School Property Taxes Rebound

School property taxes across Wisconsin are rising by more than $220 million on December 2019 tax bills.

On tax bills sent out this month, Wisconsin’s school districts together are raising property tax levies by 4.5% – the largest year-over-year increase in a decade. The rise reflects changes in the state budget, as well as recent referenda passed by voters in many individual districts to exceed state-imposed revenue limits. In addition, new data show growth in levies for counties (2.2%) and technical colleges (3.1%), suggesting that the 2019-20 gross property tax levies in Wisconsin might see the highest increase since the last recession.

The tax data come from the state Department of Revenue (DOR) and include the levies reported by counties, technical colleges, and school districts, which together account for roughly two-thirds of all property taxes in Wisconsin. Statewide figures are not yet available for municipalities, special districts, and tax increment districts, which make up the remaining share of property taxes.