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The Green Bay Packers paid nearly $1 million in property taxes for 2016. Wochit

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ASHWAUBENON – The Green Bay Packers paid nearly $1 million in property taxes for 2016. That's less than the year before, but the drop is only temporary.

Taxes should increase as Titletown District tenants open their doors this summer.

Property taxes on the 74.85 acres the Packers own in Ashwaubenon were $854,393 in 2016, $131,181 less than in 2015. The decrease reflects closing of businesses and demolition of buildings on the majority of the parcels.

The Packers do not own most of the land that houses football operations, such as the Don Hutson Center and Ray Nitschke Field, but they paid personal property taxes on improvements that totaled $101,481 in 2016, bringing the total Ashwaubenon tax bill to $955,874.

The team owns no land in Green Bay, where Lambeau Field is located. It doesn't pay personal property taxes there because state law exempts improvements in a professional football stadium district, which includes Lambeau and its paved lots, said Green Bay city assessor Russ Schwandt. The team pays about $1 million in rent to the city.

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Ashwaubenon assessor Michael Denor said assessments are re-evaluated based on property status on Jan. 1. That means Titletown District properties that are home to Lodge Kohler and Hinterland Brewery, which were well under construction then, will see bigger tax bills this year, although they won't reflect the full value of the completed buildings. Construction of Bellin Health Sports Medicine & Orthopedics had barely started by then, so most of its increase will be in 2018.

"It will be a partial for this year and the majority will be full value for the next year," said Denor.

Half of the land the Packers own, all in Ashwaubenon, will be home to the Titletown District, a commercial/retail/residential/recreational development immediately west of Lambeau Field. The Packers also plan as many as 70 townhouses, possible apartments and other commercial ventures, all of which would increase property assessments.

Tax bills for all but three parcels owned by the Packers changed in 2016, with 73 percent increasing by small amounts. The most significant change was a $68,583 decrease on land that was home to Kmart and a $21,000 reduction on the former Road Starr Inn property. On the other hand, the largest increase was $664 on the former Big Lots store property.

Denor said increases were the result of changes in the tax rate rather than new assessments. Decreases were because of lower assessments.

When buildings are razed, that value goes away, but land value remains, Denor said. What matters most with land value around Lambeau Field is proximity to the stadium, zoning and current and potential use.

The Packers paid $60 million since 1975 to buy property in Ashwaubenon. Of the 84 acquisitions made by the Packers, 90 percent were in the last decade.

Contact rryman@greenbaypressgazette.com and follow him on Twitter @RichRymanPG, onInstagram at rrymanpgor on Facebook at Richard Ryman-Press-Gazette. Or call him at 920-431-8342.

Packers' largest land purchases

1. $10.7 million, Kmart, 1109 Lombardi Access Road, $120,073 in 2016 property tax, down from $188,675 in 2015.

2. $8.5 million, future home to Cabela's, 1499 Lombardi Access Road, $322,395 in 2016 property tax, down from $330,613 in 2015. Up from $120,718 in 2013.

3. $3.4 million, Big Lots, 1177 Lombardi Access Road, $56,365 in 2016 property tax, up from $55,700 in 2015.

4. $2.8 million, Road Star Inn, 1941 True Lane, $5,446 in 2016 property tax, down from $26,711 in 2015.

5. $2.7 million, River City Realtors, 1317 Lombardi Access Road, $19,765 in 2016 property tax, up from 19,531.

Packers' largest property taxes

1. $322,395, Cabela's, 1499 Lombardi Access Road.

2. $120,073, former Kmart, 1109 Lombard Access Road.

3. $56,365, former Big Lots, 1177 Lombardi Access Road.

4. $25,460, Ray Nitchske Field (part), 830 Mike McCarthy Way,

5. $19,765, former River City Realtors, 1317 Lombardi Access Road.

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