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Why Did My Property Taxes Go Up?

Your property tax bill is affected by many factors, including both state and local government decisions.

In the 2011-13 state budget, Governor Scott Walker and the Legislature adopted strong property tax limits to help control local property taxes. These limits were coupled with significant budget reforms that enabled local governments to protect taxpayers as they dealt with their budgets.

School districts and municipal governments determine their budgets and the amount of money they spend to provide services. However, the property tax limits put restrictions on the amount your local government can raise property taxes to fund their budget. If your local government wants to exceed the amount of money it can spend and levy under the limits, it must first get approval through a public referendum so that you have an opportunity to vote on any increase.

While overall limits are at historical lows, individual tax bills can vary due to a number of factors. For example, property tax bills may vary depending upon:

  • the level of services provided by county and municipal governments, school districts, and other special districts,
  • new property growth in your area,
  • specific state aids and credits, and
  • local referendums.

Your property tax bill depends on the budget decisions made by your local governments and the value your assessor gave your property, which is used to distribute property taxes among a municipality's residents.

Even as increases in local property taxes will be at historical lows, no two individual property tax bills are the same. If you are concerned about the amount due on your property tax bill, we encourage you to contact your municipal treasurer or county clerk for more information.

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