Alison Dirr, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Wisconsin residents could be facing their largest property tax increase in 10 years, a report by the nonpartisan Wisconsin Policy Forum found.
"School property taxes across Wisconsin are rising by more than $220 million on December 2019 tax bills, which suggests — when combined with increases in county and technical college district levies — that Wisconsin residents could see their largest property tax increase in a decade," the report states.
School districts across the state are collectively raising K-12 schools' portion of the property tax levy by 4.5%, a result of state budget changes and referendums approved by individual districts' voters to exceed state revenue limits, the report found.
School districts levied $5.21 billion in 2019-20 property taxes compared with $4.99 billion in 2018-19, the report states.
"Given the fact that the revenue limits were raised in the state budget, and given that a number of referenda have passed, it is not a surprise that school district levies are going up," said Jason Stein, research director at the Wisconsin Policy Forum.
At the same time, they are going up more than had been projected during the state budget, he said.
County property taxes increased to $2.28 billion in 2019-20 from $2.23 billion in 2018-19, a 2.2% increase. Of the state's 72 counties, 66 raised their property tax levies, the report states.
The statewide total for technical college property tax levies increased this year to $471.2 million from $457.2 million, an increase of 3.1%.