History: 1973 c. 90
; 1977 c. 29
, 1647 (12)
; 1977 c. 300
; 1981 c. 20
; 1983 a. 372
; 1985 a. 29
; 1991 a. 39
; 1995 a. 27
; 2003 a. 33
; 2007 a. 4
; 2009 a. 11
; 2011 a. 64
; 2015 a. 321
; 2017 a. 59
See also ch. Tax 18
, Wis. adm. code.
“Taxation under s. 70.995" as used in sub. (2) means “assessment under s. 70.995". 73 Atty. Gen. 119
State assessment, time.
The department, not later than August 15 in each year, shall total the assessments of counties made by the department of revenue under s. 70.57
, and the total shall be known as the state assessment and shall be the full market value of all general property of the state liable to state, county and local taxes in the then present year. The department shall enter upon its records such state assessment.
History: 1977 c. 29
, 1647 (17)
; 1977 c. 300
Forestation state tax. 70.58(1)(1)
Except as provided in subs. (2)
, there is levied an annual tax of two-tenths of one mill for each dollar of the assessed valuation of the property of the state as determined by the department of revenue under s. 70.57
, for the purpose of acquiring, preserving and developing the forests of the state and for the purpose of forest crop law and county forest law administration and aid payments, for grants to forestry cooperatives under s. 36.56
, and for the acquisition, purchase and development of forests described under s. 25.29 (7) (a)
, the proceeds of the tax to be paid into the conservation fund. The tax shall not be levied in any year in which general funds are appropriated for the purposes specified in this section, equal to or in excess of the amount which the tax would produce and no tax shall be levied under this section beginning with the property tax assessments as of January 1, 2017.
In each of 3 years beginning with the property tax assessments as of January 1, 2005, the department of revenue shall adjust the rate of the tax imposed under this section so that the percentage increase from the previous year in the total amount levied under this section does not exceed 2.6 percent. The rate determined by the department of revenue for the property tax assessment as of January 1, 2007, shall be the rate of the tax imposed under this section for all subsequent years, ending with the property tax assessments as of January 1, 2017.
In fiscal year 2017-18, and in each fiscal year thereafter, an amount equal to 0.1697 mills for each dollar of the assessed valuation of the property of the state as determined by the department of revenue under s. 70.57
shall be transferred from the general fund to the conservation fund for the purposes described under sub. (1)
Apportionment of state tax to counties. 70.60(1)(1)
The department of administration shall compute the state tax chargeable against each county basing such computation upon the valuation of the taxable property of the county as determined by the department of revenue pursuant to s. 70.57
. On or before the 4th Monday of August in each year the department of administration shall certify to the county clerk of each county the amount of the taxes apportioned to and levied upon the county, and all special charges which the county clerk is required by law to make in any year to any such county to be collected with the state tax. The county clerk shall then charge to each county the whole amount of such taxes and charges, and the same shall be paid into the state treasury as provided by law.
County tax rate. 70.62(1)(1)
County board to determine.
The county board shall determine by resolution the amount of taxes to be levied in its county for the year.
(3) Omitted tax.
Whenever the county board of any county shall fail to apportion against any town, city or village thereof in any year any state, county or school tax or any part thereof properly chargeable thereto, such county board shall, in any succeeding year, apportion such taxes against such town, city or village and add the proper amount thereof to the amount of the current annual tax then apportioned thereto.
If a county levies a tax under sub. (1)
for operating or maintaining, or providing services to, an airport, for public health services, or economic development services, a town located in the county, and on Madeline Island, shall be exempt from the taxes levied for such purposes if the town applies to the county for an exemption no later than September 1 of the year to which the exemption relates and the town provides documentation with the application that indicates that the town levies a tax for the same purpose that is at least equal to the amount calculated as follows:
Divide the amount of tax the county levied in the prior year for operating or maintaining, or providing services to, an airport, for public health services, or economic development services, less any amount levied for capital expenditures, by the equalized valuation of property in that area of the county that was subject to the county property tax levy for such services in the prior year.
Multiply the amount determined under subd. 1.
by the equalized valuation of property in the town for the current year.
The county board shall make a decision to approve or disapprove an application received under par. (a)
, and notify the applicant of its decision, no later than 30 days after the date on which it receives the application. If the county board disapproves an application under par. (a)
the town may appeal the county board's decision to the circuit court of the county.
For purposes of par. (a)
, “public health services" includes emergency fire, ambulance, and medical services and operating or maintaining a community health care clinic. For purposes of par. (a)
, “economic development services" includes providing community, business, and economic development information and assistance services and programs, loans, surveys, design assistance, site preparation and infrastructure for brownfield development, administrative assistance, and permitting assistance.
No county may increase its levy on any municipality to compensate for granting the exemption under par. (a)
History: 1973 c. 90
; 1975 c. 39
; 1977 c. 113
; 1977 c. 142
; 1977 c. 418
, 929 (42)
; 1979 c. 34
; 1979 c. 175
; 1979 c. 346
; 1981 c. 20
; 1983 a. 27
; 1985 a. 29
; 1997 a. 35
; 2013 a. 282
Apportionment of county and state taxes to municipalities. 70.63(1)(1)
By county clerk.
The county clerk shall apportion the county tax and the whole amount of state taxes and charges levied upon the county, as certified by the department of administration, among the towns, cities and villages of the county, according and in proportion to the valuation thereof as determined by the department of revenue. The county clerk shall carry out in the record book, opposite the name of each in separate columns, the amount of state taxes and charges and the amount of county taxes so apportioned thereto, and the amount of all other special taxes or charges apportioned or ordered, or which the clerk is required by law to make in any year to any town, city or village, to be collected with the annual taxes. The clerk shall certify to the clerk of and charge to each town, city and village, except in cities of the 1st class, the amount of all such taxes so apportioned to and levied upon it, and shall, at the same time, file with the county treasurer a certified copy of each apportionment.
(2) City of first class.
The county clerk shall certify in a similar manner to the commissioner of assessments of each city of the first class located within the limits of the county.
The statutory duties of the county clerk under ch. 70 may not be transferred to the county auditor, but the county auditor may be granted supervisory authority over the manner in which such duties are exercised. OAG 6-08
Review of equalized values. 70.64(1)(1)
By tax appeals commission.
The assessment and determination of the relative value of taxable general property in any county or taxation district, made by the department of revenue under s. 70.57
, may be reviewed, and a redetermination of the value of such property may be made by the tax appeals commission, upon appeal by the county or taxation district. The filing of such appeal in the manner provided in this section by any county or taxation district shall impose upon the commission the duty, under the powers conferred upon it by s. 73.01 (4) (a)
, to review the assessment complained of. If, in its judgment based upon the testimony, evidence and record made on the preliminary hearing of such appeal, the commission finds such assessment to be unequal and discriminatory, it shall determine to correct such assessment to bring it into substantial compliance with law. Except as provided in this section, the appeal shall be taken and such review and redetermination shall be made as provided in ss. 73.01
and under the rules governing the procedure of the commission.
(2) Authorization of appeals.
To authorize such appeal an order or resolution directing the same to be taken shall be adopted by the governing body of the county or taxation district taking the appeal at a lawful meeting of the governing body. When an appeal shall have been authorized the prosecution of it shall be in charge of the chairperson of the county board or county administrator or of the chairperson, mayor or president of the taxation district taking the appeal unless otherwise directed by the governing body. The officers or committee in charge of the appeal may employ attorneys to conduct the appeal. After authorizing an appeal as provided in this subsection, any 2 or more taxation districts in the same county may join in taking and prosecuting an appeal.
(3) Form of appeal.
To accomplish an appeal there shall be filed with the tax appeals commission on or before October 15 an appeal in writing setting forth:
That the county or taxation district, naming the same, appeals to the tax appeals commission from the assessment made by the department of revenue under s. 70.57
, specifying the date of such assessment.
Whether the appeal is to obtain a review and redetermination of the assessment of all the taxation districts of the county or of particular districts only, therein specified.
Whether review and redetermination is desired as to real estate, or personal property, or both.
That the appeal has been authorized by an order or resolution of the county board or governing body of the taxation district in whose behalf the appeal is taken.
A plain and concise statement, without unnecessary repetition, of the facts constituting the grievance sought to be remedied upon appeal, which shall specifically allege in what respects the assessment is in error.
The appeal shall be verified by a member of the governing body of the county or taxation district authorizing the appeal in the manner that pleadings in courts of record are verified. When 2 or more taxation districts join in taking such appeal the verification may be made by the proper officer of any one of them.
(4) Certified copies.
Upon the filing of such appeal, the clerk of the county or taxation district, without delay, shall prepare certified copies of it, together with certified copies of the value established by the department of revenue from which the appeal is taken and a complete list showing the clerk of each taxation district within the county and the post-office address of each. The clerk shall mail by certified mail 4 sets of certified copies to the tax appeals commission and one set of the copies to the department of revenue, the county clerk and the clerk of each taxation district within the county.
Not later than 30 days after the clerk of the county or taxation district has mailed the certified copies, unless the time is extended by order of the tax appeals commission, any county, town, city or village may cause an appearance to be entered in its behalf before the commission in support of the appeal and uniting with the appellant for the relief demanded; and by verified petition or statement showing grounds therefor may apply for other or further review and redetermination than that demanded in the appeal. Within the same time the county, town, city or village in the county may in the same manner have its appearance entered in opposition to the appeal and to the relief demanded. Such appearances shall be authorized in the manner for authorizing an appeal under sub. (2)
. When so authorized the interests of the county, town, city or village authorizing it shall be in the charge of the chairperson, mayor or president thereof unless otherwise directed by the body authorizing such appearance; and attorneys may be employed in that behalf. In such appearances any 2 or more of the towns, cities and villages of the county may join if united in support of or in opposition to the appeal. Four copies of each appearance, petition or statement mentioned in this subsection shall be filed in the offices of the tax appeals commission and a copy of each mailed by certified mail to the department of revenue, to the county clerk, and to the clerk of each town, city and village within the county, and a copy to the attorney authorized to appear on behalf of the county or any town, city or village within the county.
As soon as practicable, the commission shall set a time and place for preliminary hearing of such appeal. At least 10 days before the time set for such hearing, the commission shall cause notice thereof to be mailed by certified mail to the county clerk and to the attorney or the clerk of each town, city and village in whose behalf an appearance has been entered in the matter of such appeal, and to the clerk of each town, city or village which has not appeared, and mail a like notice to the clerk of the taxation district taking such appeal and to the department of revenue. The department of revenue shall be prepared to present to the commission at such time during the course of the hearings as the commission requires, the full value of all property subject to general property taxation in each town, village and city of the county, as determined by the department according to s. 70.57 (1)
or in the case of a complaint by a taxation district under a county assessor such information as the department has in its possession. Said hearing may be adjourned, in the discretion of the tax appeals commission, as often and to such times and places as may be necessary in order to determine the facts. If satisfied that no substantial injustice has been done in the taxation district assessment appealed from, the commission in its discretion may dismiss such appeal. If satisfied that substantial injustice has been done in the taxation district assessment, the commission shall determine to revalue any or all of the taxation districts in the county, which it deems necessary, in a manner which in its judgment is best calculated to secure substantial justice.
The commission shall then proceed to redetermine the value of the taxable general property in such of the taxation districts in the county as it deems necessary. It may include in such redetermination other taxation districts than first determined upon and may include all of the taxation districts in said county, if at any time during the progress of its investigations or revaluations it is satisfied that such course is necessary in order to accomplish substantial justice and to secure relative equality as between all the taxation districts in such county. It shall make careful investigation of the value of taxable general property in the several taxation districts to which such review and redetermination shall extend, in any manner which in its judgment is best calculated to obtain the fair, full value of such property. The commission may employ such experts and other assistants as may be necessary, and fix their compensation. In making such investigations the commission and all persons employed therein by the commission shall have all the authority possessed by assessors so far as applicable, including authority to administer oaths and to examine property owners and witnesses under oath as to the quantity and value of the property subject to assessment belonging to any person or within any taxation district to which the investigation shall extend.
The commission may at any time before its final determination appoint a time and place at which it will hear evidence and arguments relevant to the matters under consideration upon such appeal. The time to be devoted to such hearings may be limited as the commission directs. At least 10 days before the time fixed for such hearings, the commission shall cause notice thereof to be mailed by certified mail to the county clerk and to the attorney or other representative of each town, city and village in whose behalf an appearance has been entered in the matter of such appeal, and a like copy to the department of revenue.
The tax appeals commission may take testimony. Witnesses summoned at the instance of said commission shall be compensated at the rates provided by law for witnesses in courts of record, the same to be audited and paid the same as other claims against the state, upon the certificate of said commission. If any property owner or other person makes any false statement to said commission or to any person employed by it upon any matter under investigation that person shall be subject to all the forfeitures and penalties imposed by law for false statements to assessors and boards of review.
The tax appeals commission shall make its determination upon such appeal without unreasonable delay and shall file a copy thereof in the office of the county clerk and mail by certified mail a like copy to the department of revenue and to the clerk and attorney of the taxation district appealing, and a copy to the clerk and attorney of each taxation district having appeared. In such determination the commission shall set forth the relative value of the taxable general property in each town, city and village of such county as found by them, and what sum, if any, shall be added to or deducted from the aggregate value of taxable property in each such taxation district as fixed in the determination of the department of revenue from which such appeal was taken in order to produce a relatively just and equitable taxation district assessment. Such determination shall be final.
The determination of the commission shall not affect the validity of taxes apportioned in accordance with the taxation district assessment from which such appeal was taken; but if it is determined upon such appeal that such taxation district assessment is relatively unequal, such inequality shall be remedied and compensated in the apportionment of state and county taxes in such county next following the determination of said commission in the following manner: Each town, city and village whose valuation in such taxation district assessment was determined by said commission to be relatively too high shall be credited a sum equal to the amount of taxes charged to it upon such unequal assessment in excess of the amount equitably chargeable thereto according to the determination of the commission; and each town, city and village whose valuation in such taxation district assessment was determined by said commission to be relatively too low shall be charged, in addition to all other taxes, a sum equal to the difference between the amount charged thereto upon such unequal assessment and the amount which should have been charged thereto according to the determination of the commission. The department of revenue shall aid the county clerk in making proper computations.
The tax appeals commission shall transmit to the county clerk with its determination on such appeal a statement of all expenses incurred therein by or at the instance of the commission, which shall include the actual expenses of the commission and regular employees of the commission, the compensation and actual expenses of all other persons employed by it and the fees of officers employed and witnesses summoned at its instance. A duplicate of such statement shall be filed in the office of the department of administration. Such expenses shall be audited upon the certificate of the commission, and paid out of the state treasury, in the first instance, as other claims against the state are audited and paid. The amount of such expenses shall be a special charge against such county and shall be included in the next apportionment and certification of state taxes and charges, and collected from such county, as other special charges are certified and collected. Unless otherwise directed by the commission in its determination upon such appeal, the county clerk, in the next apportionment of state and county taxes, shall apportion the amount of such special charges to and among the towns, cities and villages in such county whose relative valuations were increased in the determination of the commission in proportion to the amount of such increase in each of them respectively. The apportionment of such expenses shall be set forth in the determination of the commission. The amount so apportioned to each such town, city and village shall be charged upon its tax roll and shall be collected and paid over to the county treasurer as other state taxes and special charges are collected and paid.
The provisions of s. 73.01
, insofar as consistent with this section, shall be applicable to proceedings under this section.
Cross-reference: See also s. TA 1, Wis. adm. code.
Clerk to prepare.
Annually the clerk of the taxation district shall prepare a tax roll. The clerk shall begin preparation of the tax roll at a time sufficient to permit timely delivery of the tax roll under s. 74.03
The tax roll shall do all of the following:
Identify all the real property within the taxation district and, with respect to each description of real property, the name and address of the owner and the assessed value.
Identify the name and address of the owners of all taxable personal property within the taxation district and the assessed value of each owner's taxable personal property.
With respect to each description of real property and each owner of taxable personal property:
Show the total amount of taxes levied against the property by all taxing jurisdictions to which the property is subject.
Show all other taxes, assessments and charges against the property which are authorized by law to be collected as are taxes levied against property.
Set forth the taxes, assessments and charges against property in the tax roll in a manner sufficiently organized and apportioned to permit collection and settlement of the taxes, assessments and charges under ch. 74
Show the total amount of taxes, assessments and charges to be collected against property within the taxation district.
Direct the treasurer of the taxation district and the county treasurer to collect, under s. 74.07
, the amount of taxes, assessments and charges under par. (d)
Set forth any other information required by law or determined necessary by the department of revenue.
(3) Certification of correctness.
The clerk of the taxation district shall certify, on the tax roll, that the information contained in the tax roll is accurate, to the clerk's best knowledge.
The format of the tax roll shall be prescribed by the department of revenue under s. 70.09 (3)
The clerk of the taxation district shall transfer the tax roll under s. 74.03
A municipality is entitled to rely on the address provided on the transfer tax return until it is provided with information reasonably calculated to inform of a new address. Pocius v. Kenosha County, 231 Wis. 2d 596
, 605 N.W.2d 915
(Ct. App. 1999), 98-3176
Municipal treasurer's bond; substitute for. 70.67(1)(1)
The treasurer of each town, city, or village shall, unless exempted under sub. (2)
, execute and deliver to the county treasurer a bond, with sureties, to be approved, in case of a town treasurer, by the chairperson of the town, and in case of a city or village treasurer by the county treasurer, conditioned for the faithful performance of the duties of the office and that the treasurer will account for and pay over according to law all taxes of any kind which are received and which are required to be paid to the county treasurer. If such bond is executed the amount of the bond shall be no less than the amount of state and county taxes apportioned to the town, village, or city. The county treasurer shall give to the town, city, or village treasurer a receipt for the bond, and shall file and safely keep the bond in the county treasurer's office.
The treasurer of any municipality shall not be required to give such bond if the governing body thereof shall by ordinance obligate such municipality to pay, in case the treasurer thereof shall fail so to do, all taxes of any kind required by law to be paid by such treasurer to the county treasurer. Such governing body is authorized to so obligate such municipality. If the governing body of the municipality has adopted an ordinance as specified in this subsection, it may demand from its treasurer, in addition to the official bond required of all municipal treasurers, a fidelity or surety bond in an amount and upon such terms as may be determined by the governing body. Such bond shall run to the town or village board or the city council, as the case may be, and shall be delivered to the clerk of the municipality. A certified copy of such ordinance filed with the county treasurer shall be accepted by the county treasurer in lieu of the bond required by sub. (1)
. Such ordinance shall remain in effect until a certified copy of its repeal shall be filed with the county clerk and the county treasurer. The official bond executed pursuant to s. 19.01
, required of municipal treasurers, shall extend to and include the liability incurred by any town, city or village whose governing board shall adopt and certify to the county treasurer an ordinance in accordance with this subsection.
For purposes of sub. (2), the town board is the governing body of the town. 63 Atty. Gen. 10.
Collection of taxes. 70.68(1)(1)
Collection in certain cities.
In cities authorized to act under s. 74.87
, the chief of police shall collect all state, county, city, school and other taxes due on personal property as shall then remain unpaid, and the chief of police shall possess all the powers given by law to town treasurers for the collection of such taxes, and be subject to the liabilities and entitled to the same fees as town treasurers in such cases, but such fees shall be turned over to the city treasurer and become a part of the general fund.
(2) Bond of chief of police.
The chief of police shall give a bond to the city, in such sum and with such sureties as the council may prescribe, for the payment to the city treasurer of all taxes collected by the chief of police.
Proceedings if roll not made. 70.71(1)(1)
Whenever any town, city or village clerk neglects or refuses to make and deliver the tax roll within the time required by law the county clerk shall, at any time after such neglect or refusal, demand and summarily obtain the assessment roll for such year, and make, in the same manner as required of the town clerk, a tax roll for such town, city or village and deliver the same to the county treasurer for collection.
If the assessment roll cannot be obtained the county clerk may use a copy thereof if obtainable. If the clerk can obtain neither original nor copy the clerk shall make out, to the best of the clerk's ability, a tax roll from the last assessment or tax roll on file in the clerk's office or in the office of the county treasurer, which shall then be taken and deemed conclusively the legal tax roll of such town for all purposes whatever. For all such services the county clerk shall be allowed by the county board and paid from the county treasury a reasonable compensation, which shall be charged to the town in the next apportionment of taxes.
Clerical help on reassessment.
Whenever a reassessment or reassessments of taxes shall hereafter be ordered in any town, the town board of such town may employ such additional clerical help for the purpose of preparing the tax rolls upon such reassessment as in its judgment shall be necessary.
Correction of tax roll. 70.73(1)(a)(a)
If it is discovered by any town, village or city clerk or treasurer that any parcel of land has been erroneously described on the tax roll the clerk or treasurer shall correct the description.
If a town, village or city clerk or treasurer discovers that personal property has been assessed to the wrong person, or 2 or more parcels of land belonging to different persons have been erroneously assessed together on the tax roll, the clerk or treasurer shall notify the assessor and all parties interested, if the parties are residents of the county, by notice in writing to appear at the clerk's office at some time, not less than 5 days thereafter, to correct the assessment roll.
At the time and place designated in the notice given under par. (b)
, the assessment roll shall be corrected by entering the correct names of the persons liable to assessment, both as to real and personal property, describing each parcel of land and giving the proper valuation to each parcel separately owned. The total valuation given to the separate tracts of real estate shall be equal to the valuation given to the same property when the several parcels were assessed together.
The valuation of parcels of land or correction of names of persons whose personal property is assessed under this subsection may be made at any time before the tax roll is returned to the county treasurer for the year in which the tax is levied. The valuation or correction of names, when made under this subsection, shall be held just and correct and be final and conclusive.