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How Wisconsin’s Property Tax Works

Property taxes in Wisconsin are due in two annual installments, the first by January 31 and the second by July 31. Taxes are based on two key numbers: the assessed value of a property, and the total property tax rate.

Assessed value is calculated annually by local assessors in each tax district. While assessed value should be roughly equal to market value (the amount for which a home would actually sell), in some areas it varies by over 25%. For this reason, the state of Wisconsin annually equalizes values between districts, and calculates an assessment ratio for each district.

The assessment ratio can help homeowners determine if their home has been accurately assessed. For example, if your home’s assessed value is $100,000, and your assessment ratio is 0.80, your market value should be about $125,000 (that’s $100,000 divided by 0.80). If you believe your home has been incorrectly assessed, you can file an appeal with your local Board of Review (or Board of Assessors, in Milwaukee).

There are several types of tax credits that many homeowners in Wisconsin receive. The most common is the school levy tax credit. This credit is given to anyone who pays property taxes and is based on their school district levy as well as the value of their home. Another common credit is the lottery and gaming credit, which is given to Wisconsin homeowners living in a primary residence.


Wisconsin Property Tax Rates

The rates paid by homeowners in Wisconsin vary depending on where they live. Cities, towns, municipalities and school districts all levy separate taxes with their own rates. Rates are calculated based on the total levy (the revenue a tax district would like to generate) divided by the total assessed value in the district.

So, to use a simple example, if a district’s levy is $1,000 and the total of assessed value in the district is $100,000, the rate would be .01, or 1%. In 2013, the Wisconsin legislature passed a law that limits any increases in total levies. Tax districts can only increase a levy by a public vote, when there is new construction or in a few other special circumstances.

Tax rates in Wisconsin are typically expressed in dollars of taxes per thousand of assessed value. Since assessed values vary on similar property between one taxation district and the next, rates in different areas are not necessarily comparable.

Instead, effective rates can be used to make direct comparisons. An effective property tax rate is the annual property tax payment as a percentage of home value. 

Property taxes may be paid in the Clerk's office by cash, check or online via the link above. PSN does charge a convenience fee for payments. When the installment plan is used for paying real estate taxes, the first installment of the bill must be paid by January 31, 2019 to the Village Treasurer. 

The Village Treasurer does not collect property taxes after January 31 (except business personal property tax). 

The second installment is due and payable by July 31  to:   Dodge County Treasurer, 127 East Oak Street, Juneau, WI  53039.  If you want a tax receipt from the County, send a self-addressed stamped envelope to the County with your payment. Do NOT pay the second installment online with the link above. Contact the County Treasurer's office.