Wisconsin property tax rates down in 2019 due to levy limits, higher values

Weekly Fiscal Facts are provided by the Wisconsin Policy Forum, the state’s leading resource for nonpartisan state and local government research and civic education. The Wisconsin Policy Forum logo can be downloaded here.


Robust growth in property values in Wisconsin in 2019, coupled with modest increases in local property tax levies, caused property tax rates to decrease statewide for the fifth straight year.

These findings come through the Wisconsin Policy Forum’s new 2019 Property Values and Taxes DataTool, which provides such data from the state Department of Revenue for all of Wisconsin’s 72 counties and 1,852 cities, villages and towns. It is the latest in a series of data interactives from the Forum meant to provide Wisconsinites with key facts about their state’s economy, schools and local governments.

RELATED: See more Fiscal Facts from the Wisconsin Policy Forum

The state saw equalized property values grow by 5.7% in 2019. Meanwhile, gross property tax levies for the 2019 tax year increased by 1.7% statewide. Because the growth in values exceeded the growth in levies, the statewide gross property tax rate declined 2.7% from $20.94 per $1,000 of value to $20.38.

In the seven counties in southeast Wisconsin — Kenosha, Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Racine, Walworth, Waukesha, and Washington — the region’s equalized property values increased 5.6%, the largest annual increase in the past decade. Property tax levy collections increased by 0.9% for southeast Wisconsin, similar to the growth rates for the past two years. As a result, the region’s overall tax rate declined for the fifth straight year, by 3.6%, reaching its lowest level since 2010.

Property values in Dane County grew by 7.6% in 2019, while the aggregate property tax levy in the county increased by 2.7%. As a result, the aggregate property tax rate there decreased by 3.9%.

This information is a service of the Wisconsin Policy Forum, the state’s leading resource for nonpartisan state and local government research and civic education. Learn more at wispolicyforum.org.  

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