For the past several years, the Public Policy Forum produced an annual publication analyzing property values and property taxes within the seven-county southeast Wisconsin region. This year, the newly created Wisconsin Policy Forum has transformed that publication into an interactive web-based report. We also provide a separate dashboard with statewide county-by-county breakdowns.
As in previous years, we explore trends in property values – an important indicator of the region’s economic health – and the connection between those values and the property tax levies and rates of local governments and school districts. For more on our methodology click here.
For our analysis of property values, we examine recently-released 2018 regional data on equalized values, breaking down the information by county and analyzing trends. For property taxes, we analyze 2018 budgeted tax levies and tax rates in southeast Wisconsin. In both cases, we aggregate the data for the region as a whole and by individual county, and we also compare the seven-county region to the state as a whole.
To view our analysis of southeast Wisconsin property values and taxes, click on the icons.
Overall, our analysis is good news for property taxpayers and owners in southeast Wisconsin. The hypothetical tax bill for the region continues its downward trend with the third consecutive year of decline, although the decrease is not as large as the previous year’s.
Total equalized property value in the region increased 4.6% in 2018 after climbing 3.5% in 2017, while gross tax levies again grew by just 1.0%. This suggests a benefit for taxpayers, as school districts and local governments are not increasing their tax levy collections to the level that might be expected by the growth in values (in part because of levy limits imposed by the state).
On the other hand, the fact that property tax collections are not keeping up with the increase in values may pose a problem for some local governments and school districts, which may be precluded from tapping into their growth in values to the extent desirable to fund needed services because of the manner in which levy limits are constructed.
Additional Data Dashboards
In addition, we provide statewide county-by-county property value and tax dashboards, as well as a southeast Wisconsin municipal listing.
Click the icons below for more.