Wisconsin Property Tax: How it works?

Wisconsin Property Tax: How it works?


Table of Contents

Table of Contents

If you’re considering purchasing an estate in Wisconsin, there are bad news: the Badger State imposes some of the highest property taxes in the United States. Wisconsin property tax rate being 1.51%, ranking seventh in the United States.

This rate is unlikely to rise significantly in the future years. Wisconsin enacted legislation that strictly regulates growth in total property tax income collected by cities, municipalities, counties, and schools.

How the Wisconsin Property Tax Works

Wisconsin property taxes in can be paid in two different installments. The initial one requires all taxes to be paid by January 31, while the second provides a greater degree of flexibility, with two separate payments due on January 31 and July 31. Taxes are calculated using two important numbers: the assessed value of a property and the overall property tax rate.

What are the Wisconsin Property Tax Rates?

District assessors in each tax district determine the assessed value on an annual basis. While assessed value should be nearly similar to market value (the price at which a home could actually sell), in some locations it varies by more than 25%. As a result, the state of Wisconsin yearly equalizes values across districts and produces an assessment ratio for each.

The assessment ratio can assist homeowners determine whether their home has been correctly appraised. For instance, if your home has an assessed value of $100,000 and an assessment ratio of 0.80, its market value is expected to be around $125,000. If you believe your home was incorrectly assessed, you may submit an appeal with the local Board of Review or Board of Assessors in Milwaukee.

Many Wisconsin homeowners benefit from a variety of tax advantages. The most popular is the School Levy Tax Credit. This credit is available to anybody that pays property taxes plus is based on both the school district levy and the value of their home. Another prominent credit is the Lottery and Gaming Credit, which is available to Wisconsin homeowners residing in their primary house. The final benefit is the First Dollar Credit, which is provided to real estate owners who make qualified improvements to their property.

Read more: Publication 530 (2023), Tax Information for Homeowners | Internal Revenue Service

What are the Wisconsin Property Tax Rates?

The rates charged by Wisconsin homeowners differ based on where they reside. Cities, towns, municipalities, and school districts all levy various taxes at different rates. Rates are computed by dividing the entire levy (the amount of income a tax district wishes to generate) by the district’s total assessed value.

To give an easy example, if a district’s levy equals $1,000 and the entire assessed value is $100,000, the rate is.01, or 1%. In 2013, the Wisconsin legislature passed legislation limiting total levies. Tax districts are limited to raising a tax through a public vote, whenever there is new building, or in a few other exceptional circumstances.

Tax rates in Wisconsin are commonly represented as dollars of taxes per thousand of assessed value. Because assessed values on similar property vary from one taxation district to the next, tax rates in different locations are not always comparable.

Instead, effective rates allow for direct comparisons. An effective property tax rate is the yearly property tax payment expressed as a percentage of the home’s value.

County Median Home Value Median Annual Property Tax Payment Average Effective Property Tax Rate
Adams $140,000 $2,135 1.53%
Ashland $115,300 $1,961 1.70%
Barron $159,300 $2,557 1.61%
Bayfield $176,900 $2,230 1.26%
Brown $181,300 $3,325 1.83%
Buffalo $164,100 $2,647 1.61%
Burnett $163,200 $1,861 1.14%
Calumet $189,700 $3,433 1.81%
Chippewa $180,000 $2,545 1.41%
Clark $128,200 $2,225 1.74%
Columbia $202,000 $3,422 1.69%
Crawford $136,600 $2,665 1.95%
Dane $277,000 $5,853 2.11%
Dodge $169,000 $3,025 1.79%
Door $223,200 $2,735 1.23%
Douglas $149,100 $2,413 1.62%
Dunn $172,500 $3,036 1.76%
Eau Claire $180,000 $3,256 1.81%
Florence $130,700 $1,822 1.39%
Fond du Lac $162,600 $2,986 1.84%
Forest $131,600 $1,874 1.42%
Grant $151,600 $2,512 1.66%
Green $177,000 $3,527 1.99%
Green Lake $149,600 $2,425 1.62%
Iowa $194,600 $3,495 1.80%
Iron $130,100 $1,761 1.35%
Jackson $143,600 $2,376 1.65%
Jefferson $194,300 $3,704 1.91%
Juneau $131,100 $2,287 1.74%
Kenosha $188,400 $3,948 2.10%
Kewaunee $166,900 $2,773 1.66%
La Crosse $184,500 $3,675 1.99%
Lafayette $143,600 $2,734 1.90%
Langlade $113,600 $1,702 1.50%
Lincoln $141,700 $2,339 1.65%
Manitowoc $133,200 $2,497 1.87%
Marathon $161,500 $3,021 1.87%
Marinette $125,600 $1,800 1.43%
Marquette $156,500 $2,608 1.67%
Menominee $105,900 $3,136 2.96%
Milwaukee $164,200 $4,161 2.53%
Monroe $157,600 $2,620 1.66%
Oconto $162,400 $2,333 1.44%
Oneida $179,000 $1,963 1.10%
Outagamie $176,900 $3,315 1.87%
Ozaukee $292,200 $4,128 1.41%
Pepin $151,200 $2,735 1.81%
Pierce $224,900 $4,025 1.79%
Polk $177,100 $2,704 1.53%
Portage $178,600 $2,961 1.66%
Price $119,800 $1,894 1.58%
Racine $187,700 $3,878 2.07%
Richland $141,800 $2,287 1.61%
Rock $156,800 $3,264 2.08%
Rusk $111,900 $1,703 1.52%
Sauk $264,100 $3,849 1.46%
Sawyer $185,000 $3,391 1.83%
Shawano $174,000 $1,769 1.02%
Sheboygan $141,300 $2,295 1.62%
St. Croix $165,400 $3,045 1.84%
Taylor $145,800 $2,429 1.67%
Trempealeau $161,500 $2,909 1.80%
Vernon $161,900 $2,638 1.63%
Vilas $212,700 $1,843 0.87%
Walworth $212,900 $3,666 1.72%
Washburn $163,300 $2,029 1.24%
Washington $248,000 $3,427 1.38%
Waukesha $293,500 $4,113 1.40%
Waupaca $154,000 $2,726 1.77%
Waushara $149,300 $2,264 1.52%
Winnebago $158,400 $3,211 2.03%
Wood $133,700 $2,492 1.86%

Source: SmartAsset

Milwaukee County

Milwaukee County is Wisconsin’s largest by population. It is located on the western side of Lake Michigan, somewhat under one hundred miles north of Chicago. It also has among of the highest property taxes in Wisconsin.

Milwaukee County’s average effective property tax rate is 2.53%. That’s over twice the national average of 0.99%. Milwaukee’s overall property tax rate being $26.07 per $1,000 assessed value.

Dane County

Dane County, just west of Milwaukee, is home to Wisconsin’s state capital, Madison. Dane County homeowners pay among the highest property taxes in Wisconsin. Dane County homeowners pay the highest median annual property tax in the state ($5,853).

Waukesha County

Waukesha County is a mostly suburban county just outside of Milwaukee. Waukesha County has much lower tax rates than adjacent Milwaukee County. Waukesha County’s average effective tax rate is 1.40%, which is lower than Milwaukee County’s 2.53%.

Brown County

Brown County, with an estimated population of around 270,000, is Wisconsin’s fourth-largest county. It is located at the end of Green Bay and includes the city of the same name. For Green Bay, the tax rate is around $7.58 per $1,000 assessed value.

Racine County

While Racine’s property tax rates are one of the highest in the state, these rates are still significantly lower than those in Milwaukee County.

Racine County’s median effective property tax rate is 2.07%. At that rate, a $200,000 home would cost $4,140 in property taxes per year.

Where to Go for Wisconsin Property Tax Help

If you need additional assistance with Wisconsin property taxes or general Wisconsin state tax information, please visit XOA TAX Service. We can connect you with a tax consultant who is experienced with your state. A skilled tax specialist may do your taxes for you without the need to visit an office.

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