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Wisconsin Property Taxes – What You Need to Know


Wisconsin property taxes are charged at the local level for the purpose of funding local government, school systems, police and fire support and community colleges. However, unlike many other states, in Wisconsin a portion of your Wisconsin property taxes also fund the state’s government.

Tax rates are determined at the local level as well and can vary widely by area. Like in most states, the amount of Wisconsin property taxes you’ll pay is dependent upon two factors: the value of your home and the millage rate. The local tax assessor will estimate the value of your home and send you a notice regarding the fair market value of your home. If you’re a farmer, your farm land is taxed at its agricultural value, not at its real estate value; providing a tax break to Wisconsin farmers. The valuation of farm land is handled by the state, not by local tax assessors.

However, because tax assessors can work within 10% in either direction of the true fair market value and because properties in different parts of the state are worth different amounts, the state Department of Revenue has a role in the process, too. Once each district’s tax assessor has turned in their listing of property values, the state will come up with an average, called the equalized value. This equalized value is used to equalize the tax burden, particularly the portion of funds that go to the state.

These equalized property values are used by the state for other purposes as well as helping to determine the amount of your Wisconsin property taxes. The state uses these rankings to distribute state aid as well as to distribute the tax burden.

Wisconsin ranks 9th among the states in terms of the amount of property taxes paid by its residents. The average homeowner in Wisconsin owns a home that is worth $152,000 and pays about $2777 a year in property taxes.

If you receive a notice from the tax assessor informing you of his determination of the fair market value of your home and you think it’s too high, you can appeal his valuation. If it is determined that your tax value is too high, you may receive a reduction in Wisconsin property taxes owed.

Like most other states, Wisconsin also offers a homestead exemption for homeowners. However, in Wisconsin, the homestead exemption is not available to everyone; it is available only to lower income homeowners.
Wisconsin also offers a Property Tax Deferral Loan Program. This program provides loans to qualifying elderly homeowners to help them pay their Wisconsin property taxes.

Christine Gray is a recognized authority on the subject of Online Taxes. Her website Taxes Exposed provides a wealth of information on everything you will need to know about Property Taxes. All rights reserved. Articles may be reprinted as long as the content and links remains intact and unchanged.

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