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Renting space on a communications tower located on leased land is subject to Wisconsin sales and use tax. A communication tower is considered, by both The Wisconsin Court of Appeals and the Tax Appeals Commission, to be tangible personal property, not real property. The basis for this is through a determination made by the Commission that a market exists for the sale and purchase of used towers and that it is possible for the towers to be disassembled and reassembled at another site. Also, the owner could remove the tower from the land and the landowner could terminate the lease when it expires. The court concluded that, with these facts in mind, the towers could not be permanently affixed to the land and considered real property. (All City Communications Company Inc. and Waukesha Tower Associates v. State of Wisconsin Department of Revenue, Wisconsin Court of Appeals, District IV, Docket No. 02-1201, 3/27/2003)


Taxable telecommunication message services now include mechanical and nonmechanical telephone answering services, security monitoring that has a recorded message which notifies customers or authorities, and e-mail services. In the category of taxable telecommunication services call forwarding, caller ID, and Internet access services have now been included. (Rule 11.66, Wisconsin Department of Revenue, effective December 1, 2002)



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