Daydreaming about where you’ll spend the next era of your life? If you’re torn between a few of Wisconsin’s amazing cities property taxes can be a deciding factor. Especially in Act 3. When you’ve seen a Return On Your Investments. If your home is paid off, all you have to worry about is insurance, property taxes, and an HOA (if that’s your style!).

We’ll give you a breakdown of property taxes and trends throughout major Wisconsin cities in the past 10 years. But first: 

How Mill Rates and How Property Tax in Wisconsin Works:

Disclaimer: If you have an active mortgage, you can ignore this part and skip to the bottom. Typically property tax and insurance are rolled into your monthly payment. You don’t have to worry about this unless your home is paid off and are wondering how to navigate taxes in a certain area.

In Wisconsin, you can break your annual property tax into two equal payments. The first payment is due on January 31st. The second is due on July 31st.

What you pay in property taxes every year is determined by a mill rate (or millage rate). Understanding it can be a little complicated. But as a property owner, you benefit from this method. It’s a very fair way of determining taxes per value. You’ll need to work with a property assessor each year to determine the current market value.

After your city passes its yearly budget, they’ll determine what needs to be raised through property taxes. The formula for what you’ll pay looks like this: 

(Mill rate x assessed property value) ÷ 1,000= Dollar amount of tax you’ll pay 

Basically, you’ll pay a certain dollar amount for every 1,000 dollars of value your home has. 

For example, If your home costs $300,000 and the mill rate in your area is 20.95, this is what you’ll pay: 

($300,000 x 20.95) ÷ 1,000= $6,285

Cities will report their net mill rates as part of public records. Net mill rates include more than just property taxes. They include any city taxes or school system taxes as well. All taxes that are associated with where you live, and being a citizen of your municipality will be included in your net mill rate.

Madison, WI | Dane County Property Tax

Madison is our home city, so we’re going to dive into the most detail on this one. Dane County property taxes are, unfortunately, one of the highest in the state. I have a theory about this. Madison is beautiful. It’s an amazing place to live. That’s no secret! State officials know this, so they know they can charge a little extra on taxes.

But in all seriousness, it’s very common for state capitols to have higher tax rates than other cities. 

If you’re set on living in Madison (like myself and so many others!), we can help you navigate parts of town that take pressure off the tax burden. 

Dane County Taxes:

The net mill rate for Madison is 20.95. 

The Median Home Value in Dane County:


Tax trends in the city of Madison and surrounding suburbs:

If you stick close to the city center and surrounding suburbs (Verona, Middleton, Waunakee, etc.) you can count on the property tax rate to stay close to the county average of 2.3%. Mill rates in these areas will fluctuate naturally with changing economics. 

The highest property tax area in Dane County

The Village of Maple Bluff sees the highest property taxes in Dane County. There are a few reasons for this. It’s a historic area. To live among the old maple trees in this neighborhood, you must also help the city pay for the upkeep of those trees. Special attention and care are needed to tend to historical landmarks. It’s also a waterfront community, adorning the shores of Lake Mendota. With all its history and beauty, Maple Bluff is a highly coveted area, high taxes or not. 

The lowest property tax area in Dane County

The Town of Westport sees very low property taxes. The homes in Westport are modest but well-kept and very fairly priced. 

If you need help navigating your Dane County home buying experience through the lens of property taxes, don’t hesitate to reach out! We’ve got you covered. 

Milwaukee, WI | Milwaukee County Property Tax 

Property tax rate 

The net mill rate in Milwaukee County is 26.16, according to the county assessor.

Median Home Value 


Milwaukee County 10-Year Property Tax Trends

The mill rate has decreased by 0.41 throughout the last 10 years in Milwaukee County.

Green Bay, WI | Brown County Property Tax 

Property tax rate 

The net mill rate in Brown County for the City of Green Bay is 24.07, according to the county assessor. 

Median Home Value 


Brown County 10-Year Property Tax Trends

Throughout the last 10 years, the Brown County mill rate has increased by 0.53.

Racine, WI | Racine County Property Tax

Property tax rate 

The net mill rate in Racine County for the City of Racine is 27.60, according to the county assessor.

Median Home Value 


Racine County 10-Year Property Tax Trends 

Throughout the last 10 years, Racine County mill rate has decreased by 3.1. 

Oshkosh, WI | Winnebago County 

Property tax rate 

The net mill rate in Winnebago County is 25.97, according to the county assessor. 

Median Home Value 


Winnebago 10-Year Property Tax Trends

Throughout the last 10 years, Winnebago County mill rate has increased by 2.03. 

Are there any tax break programs available?

Yes! There are a few types of credits you may qualify for. 

  1. The School Levy Tax Credit 

This tax break is given to anyone who pays property taxes based on their school district. 

  1. Lottery and Gaming Credit 

If you’ve spent a good amount of time at the Ho-Chunk Casino this year… and have reaped the rewards… you may have another win coming your way. Some of the tax you’ve paid on your winnings can be applied to your property tax. There are certain requirements you must meet, of course. You have to be a primary residence of the property, for example. Read a list of all the requirements here. 

  1. First Dollar Credit

If you own land and have started developing it to increase the value of the property, you can get a tax credit. This applies to manufacturing, residential, and commercial developments. 

These are the only property tax programs currently available. BUT there are some property-related credits that you can apply to your income tax return. 

  1. The Homestead Credit

This program is designed to ease tax burdens on low-income homeowners. For example, a person who recently lost their spouse. Income cut in half from unexpected hardship is a qualifier for this credit. To learn more, read The Homestead Credit Fact Sheet.

  1. Farmland Preservation Credit

Do you make money off your land? Specifically, at least $6,000/year? If so, you’re likely eligible for this credit. There are a couple of other guidelines you have to meet, of course. Your farm must also meet state soil and water conservation standards. Check all guidelines here.

  1. Historic Homes Tax Credit

If you can prove that your home is historic (this includes an active registry of National or State Historic Places) you can get some tax relief. Madison in particular has many historic homes in the downtown area. But the guidelines for this one are rigorous. Check your eligibility here.

  1. Veterans and Surviving Spouses Property Tax Credit

The title of this one pretty much describes it all.  If you are a veteran or an (un-remarried) surviving spouse of a veteran you are eligible for a refund. That refund is for the entire property taxes you paid the previous year. Eligibility guidelines apply, of course. Check them out here.