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75.42   Defense, answer.
75.43   Election to receive deposit; costs.
75.44   Release.
75.45   Deed as evidence.
75.46   Trial; defendant's interest.
75.47   Separate trials.
75.48   Effect of judgment.
75.49   Judgment for defendant.
75.50   Unknown owners.
75.52   Judgment a bar, when.
75.521   Foreclosure of tax liens by action in rem.
75.54   Reassessment of taxes by order of court.
75.55   Application of section 75.54.
75.61   Actions related to tax certificates.
75.62   Procedure in actions related to tax certificates.
75.63   Ejectment as to public lands; conditions.
75.64   No jurisdiction; issue of deed postponed; deposit.
75.67   Procedure in populous counties containing authorized city.
75.69   Sale of tax delinquent real estate.
Ch. 75 Note NOTE: 1987 Wisconsin Act 378, which repealed and recreated chapter 74, made substantial amendments to chapter 75. Act 378 contains explanatory notes.
75.001 75.001 Definitions. In this chapter, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:
75.001(1) (1)“Tax" means real property taxes, special assessments as defined under s. 74.01 (3), special charges as defined under s. 74.01 (4) and special taxes as defined under s. 74.01 (5).
75.001(2) (2)“Tax deed" means a tax deed executed under s. 75.14, a deed executed under s. 75.19 or a judgment issued under s. 75.521.
75.001 History History: 1987 a. 378.
75.002 75.002 Timely payment.
75.002(1)(1)When payment is required under this chapter to be made on or before a certain date, the payment is timely if it is mailed in a properly addressed envelope, postmarked before midnight of the last date prescribed for making the payment, with postage prepaid, and is received by the proper official not more than 5 days after the prescribed date for making the payment.
75.002(2) (2)A payment which fails to satisfy the requirements of sub. (1) solely because of a delay or administrative error of the U.S. postal service shall be considered to be timely made.
75.002 History History: 1987 a. 378.
75.01 75.01 Redemption.
75.01(1)(1)
75.01(1)(a) (a) As used in this subsection, “recording" means the presentation of a tax deed to the register of deeds for record and acceptance of it.
75.01(1)(b) (b) Any person, prior to the recording of a tax deed based on a tax certificate issued on land for nonpayment of taxes, may redeem the land described in the tax certificate. Redemption shall be made by paying to the county treasurer the amount of the unpaid taxes stated in the tax certificate plus the interest and penalty as provided under s. 74.47, computed from the date of accrual as specified in the tax certificate plus any other charges authorized by law to be imposed on the tax certificate following its issuance. If there is a redemption before the recording, the tax deed, as it relates to the land redeemed, shall be void.
75.01(1)(c) (c) The provisions of this chapter relating to redemption, conveyance, rights of action, limitation and other proceedings shall apply to all swamp and overflowed lands that have been or may be contracted for sale by any county board.
75.01(4) (4)
75.01(4)(a)(a) Redemption of land subject to a tax certificate may be made in partial payments of not less than $20, unless the county treasurer agrees to accept a smaller amount. The making of partial payments shall not operate to extend the period of redemption.
75.01(4)(b) (b) Each partial payment shall be applied first to pay all charges authorized by law, then to pay the interest and penalty accrued and then to pay the principal of the tax. The portion of the payment to be applied as principal shall be ascertained by dividing the amount of the payment by the sum of one plus a figure that is the product of either .01 or a decimal reflecting the applicable percentage under s. 74.47, multiplied by the number of months of delinquency, counting any part of a month as a full month. This amount of principal shall be deducted from the amount offered in payment and the remainder of it shall be the interest accrued from the date of accrual specified in the tax certificate on that portion of the tax that is offered to be paid. Interest on any new balance of principal sum shall be figured from the date of accrual specified in the tax certificate.
75.01 History History: 1977 c. 26; 1981 c. 167; 1987 a. 378.
75.01 Annotation Redemption under sub. (1) (b) may occur up to the time of the filing of a valid tax deed. The filing of a void tax deed does not prevent redemption. There is no authority for the retroactive amendment of a void tax deed. Theige v. County of Vernon, 221 Wis. 2d 731, 586 N.W.2d 15 (Ct. App. 1998), 97-0959.
75.01 Annotation An owner is entitled to redeem part of a parcel of land sold for taxes before the tax deed is recorded by filing with the county treasurer an application for proration of taxes containing a legal description of the portion sought to be redeemed. 58 Atty. Gen. 39.
75.01 Annotation An interested person may redeem land sold for the nonpayment of taxes up until the time a tax deed conveying the same is recorded. 63 Atty. Gen. 592.
75.03 75.03 Redeeming lands of minors or individuals adjudicated incompetent.
75.03(1)(1)
75.03(1)(a) (a) The lands of minors or any interest they may have acquired in lands prior to or after the date the lands became subject to a tax certificate may be redeemed at any time before such minors come of age and during one year thereafter if such lands did not accrue delinquent taxes for 5 or more consecutive years prior to or after such acquisition, but no such redemption shall be construed as redeeming the interest of any other person in such lands. The lands of persons adjudged mentally incompetent or any interest they may have acquired in lands prior to the date the lands became subject to a tax certificate and which did not accrue delinquent taxes for 5 or more consecutive years prior to or after such acquisition, may be redeemed at any time during disability and during one year thereafter. Redemption shall be made under s. 75.01.
75.03(1)(b) (b) The heirs of any such minor who dies after the minor's title to the lands shall accrue and before the expiration of the time when, if the minor had lived, the minor might have redeemed the lands, may also, if minors, redeem the interest of the minor in the lands within the time in which the minor could, if living, have redeemed the same; and if not minors they may redeem within one year from the time their title so accrues and within the time in which the minor could, if living, have redeemed the same.
75.03(2) (2)The period of redemption of lands or any interest in the lands of minors or persons adjudged mentally incompetent, which they acquired prior or subsequent to the date the lands became subject to a tax certificate and which lands accrued delinquent taxes for 5 or more consecutive years, prior to or after such acquisition, shall not be extended under sub. (1).
75.03(3) (3)If a tax certificate includes lands or any interest in lands which are held by a minor or a person adjudged mentally incompetent, and those lands have accrued delinquent taxes for 5 or more years, and the time for issuance of a deed upon the certificate has not expired, the county may either foreclose by action under s. 75.19 or take title under s. 75.14 or 75.521 and foreclose any right of redemption or interest of any minor or person adjudged mentally incompetent by separate action under s. 75.19. In such action the minor or person adjudged mentally incompetent must appear by guardian ad litem as provided by law, and the guardian, if the person has one, shall be joined as a party defendant.
75.03 History History: 1977 c. 83; 1987 a. 378; 2005 a. 387.
75.04 75.04 Redemption receipt and entries. Upon the redemption of any lands subject to a tax certificate by payment to the county treasurer, the treasurer shall execute to the person so redeeming a receipt specifying the land redeemed and the amount of the redemption money paid on each parcel separately. The treasurer shall enter on the tax certificate the information required under s. 74.57 (4) (d).
75.04 History History: 1987 a. 378.
75.05 75.05 Disposition of redemption money. The county treasurer shall distribute and retain funds paid to redeem land subject to a tax certificate as follows:
75.05(1) (1)Partial payments of delinquent real property taxes shall be retained by the county and applied as provided in s. 75.01 (4) (b).
75.05(2) (2)Payments of delinquent real property taxes, plus any interest and penalties, shall be retained by the county.
75.05(3) (3)Payments of delinquent special taxes, plus any interest and penalties, shall be retained by the county.
75.05(4) (4)Payments of delinquent special assessments or special charges for which the county settled under s. 74.29, plus any interest and penalties, shall be retained by the county.
75.05(5) (5)Payments of delinquent special assessments or special charges for which the county did not settle for under s. 74.29, plus any interest, shall be paid within 15 days after the last day of the month in which the payments were received by the county treasurer to the taxing jurisdiction which levied the special assessment or special charge. Penalties on special assessments and special charges for which the county did not settle for under s. 74.29 shall be retained by the county.
75.05 History History: 1987 a. 378; 1991 a. 39.
75.06 75.06 Applicability of chapter to 1st class cities. For purposes of this chapter, “county" includes a city authorized to proceed under s. 74.87. Unless the context specifically indicates otherwise, all powers granted to counties by this chapter are granted to that city; all powers and duties granted to county governing bodies and officials are granted to the counterpart governing body and officials of that city; and all procedures and forms prescribed by this chapter as applicable to counties shall be applicable to that city, with the modifications necessary to retain substantial conformity with this chapter.
75.06 History History: 1987 a. 378.
75.07 75.07 Redemption notices; publication.
75.07(1)(1)Each county treasurer shall, at least 6 and not more than 10 months before the expiration of the time for redeeming lands subject to a tax certificate, except lands subject to s. 75.521 that are located in a city authorized to proceed under s. 74.87, cause to be published as a class 2 notice, under ch. 985, in the county in which the lands are located, a list of all unredeemed lands, specifying each tract or lot, the name of the person to whom assessed, if any, and the amount of taxes, charges and interest, calculated to the last day of redemption, due on each parcel, together with a notice that unless such lands are redeemed on or before the last day of redemption, which shall be specified, they will be conveyed to the county. The county treasurer, for the purpose of such list, may condense such descriptions when such condensed description will reasonably describe the premises.
75.07(2) (2)
75.07(2)(a)(a) Before publishing such list such treasurer shall carefully compare the same with the tax certificate describing the lands to be included in the list to be published. If upon such examination there be found any omission or erroneous description in the tax certificate, such parcel of land in the description of which the omission or error shall occur shall not be advertised for redemption, but shall be deleted from the tax certificate in which it was originally included and placed in the next-issued tax certificate.
75.07(2)(b) (b) If the number of the description in the lists of lands to be advertised for redemption by the county treasurer shall exceed 3,000, the treasurer shall then let by contract the publication of such list to the lowest bidder upon a notice, written or printed, to be delivered to and left with the publisher or one of the publishers of each newspaper printed as aforesaid, at least 10 days prior to the time at which such contract shall be let.
75.07(2)(c) (c) Any county treasurer who shall willfully refuse or neglect to perform any duty required by this section or who shall keep back and not report any unredeemed lands for the purpose of evading its provisions shall forfeit the full amount of the penalty of the treasurer's official bond, one half of which, when collected, shall be paid to the person prosecuting therefor and the residue into the treasury of the state for the use of the school fund; provided further, that no county treasurer shall be liable to any penalty for causing such publication to be made in a weekly newspaper published in such county for the length of time hereinbefore named prior to the date of the treasurer's notice, when by reason of accident or other cause more than one week has intervened between the dates of the actual issue of such newspaper to subscribers, if such delay at any one time shall not have exceeded 3 days; but every such newspaper, for the purpose of this section shall be deemed to have been regularly published once in each week as hereinbefore provided.
75.07 History History: 1987 a. 378.
75.07 Annotation Sub. (1) requiring publication of a redemption notice prior to the expiration of the time to redeem lands sold for taxes is directory only; failure to include in such publication the name of the person to whom the taxes were assessed does not invalidate a subsequent tax deed. 63 Atty. Gen. 116.
75.07 Annotation In publishing redemption notices for tax delinquent lands under sub. (1), a county treasurer is not authorized to omit the names of persons to whom such property was last assessed. 63 Atty. Gen. 118.
75.09 75.09 Notice, how posted. If no newspaper be published in such county the county treasurer shall also, at least 3 months previous to the time limited for the redemption of any lands subject to a tax certificate, cause to be posted up copies of the list and notice specified in s. 75.07 in at least 4 public places in the county, one of which copies shall be posted up in some conspicuous place in the treasurer's office.
75.09 History History: 1987 a. 378.
75.10 75.10 Mistake in notice. Whenever, by mistake or otherwise, such treasurer neglects or fails to include in the treasurer's published list any such tract or tracts of land or to publish such list in accordance with the requirements of law, the same may be published at any time within 2 years after the expiration of the period of redemption. Such publication shall be made in the same manner and for the same time as prescribed in the preceding sections, and such treasurer shall specify in the treasurer's notice accompanying such published list when the time for making redemption of such lands from such sale will expire, which time shall not be less than 6 nor more than 10 months from the expiration of the full 2 weeks required for the aforesaid publication. All tax deeds made upon such tracts of land after the expiration of the regular period of redemption shall, after the expiration of such extended period of redemption, be as valid and effectual as if such publication had been made at the time required in such section.
75.10 History History: 1987 a. 378.
75.105 75.105 Cancellation of delinquent real property taxes on property contaminated by hazardous substances.
75.105(1)(1)Definitions. In this section:
75.105(1)(a) (a) “Department" means the department of natural resources.
75.105(1)(b) (b) “Discharge" has the meaning given in s. 292.01 (3).
75.105(1)(c) (c) “Hazardous substance" has the meaning given in s. 292.01 (5).
75.105(2) (2)Cancellation authorized. At any time before the recording of a tax deed based on a tax certificate issued on property for nonpayment of taxes, the governing body of a county may cancel all or a portion of the unpaid real property taxes for which a tax certificate has been issued plus interest and penalties on those taxes on the property if all of the following apply:
75.105(2)(a) (a) The property is contaminated by a hazardous substance.
75.105(2)(b) (b) An environmental assessment has been conducted and concludes that the property is contaminated by the discharge of a hazardous substance.
75.105(2)(c) (c) The owner of the property or another person agrees to clean up the property by restoring the environment to the extent practicable and minimizing the harmful effects from a discharge of a hazardous substance in accordance with rules that the department promulgates.
75.105(2)(d) (d) The owner of the property or another person presents to the county or city an agreement entered into with the department to investigate and clean up the property.
75.105(2)(e) (e) The owner of the property agrees to maintain and monitor the property as required under rules that the department promulgates and under any contract entered into under those rules.
75.105(3) (3)Administration. Upon the cancellation of all or a portion of real property taxes under sub. (2), the county treasurer shall execute and provide to the owner of the property a statement identifying the property for which taxes have been canceled and shall enter on the tax certificate the date upon which the taxes were canceled and the amount of taxes canceled.
75.105(4) (4)Certain cities authorized. A city authorized to proceed under s. 74.87 may act under this section with respect to unpaid real property taxes for which it has settled with other taxing jurisdictions.
75.105 History History: 1997 a. 27; 1999 a. 32.
75.106 75.106 Assignment of property contaminated by hazardous substances.
75.106(1)(1)Definitions. In this section:
75.106(1)(a) (a) “Brownfield" has the meaning given in s. 238.13 (1) (a), except that, for purposes of this section, “brownfield" also means abandoned, idle, or underused residential facilities or sites, the expansion or redevelopment of which is adversely affected by actual or perceived environmental contamination.
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2017-18 Wisconsin Statutes updated through 2019 Wis. Act 186 and through all Supreme Court and Controlled Substances Board Orders filed before and in effect on September 1, 2020. Published and certified under s. 35.18. Changes effective after September 1, 2020, are designated by NOTES. (Published 9-1-20)