Property Tax FAQ's

Property Tax FAQ's

General Questions

How are my property taxes determined?
Property taxes are determined early in December of each year based on the levies of five independent taxing units:  School District of Waukesha; City of Waukesha; County of Waukesha; Waukesha County Technical College; and State of Wisconsin.

Special Assessments and Special Charges (if applicable) are added to the tax amount to create the amount due.

Administration of property tax bills and collection is according to Wisconsin State Statutes, Chapter 74. To view the statutes (Chapter 74) regarding property taxes, click here.

The City Clerk/Treasurer's office collects current real estate taxes from mid December to July 31. After July 31st, our real estate tax records are turned over to the Waukesha County Treasurer's Office. The County Treasurer collects all delinquent real estate taxes.

When am I going to get my tax bill?
Every year, the bills are mailed to property owners around December 15th. Please keep in mind that it is your responsibility to obtain and pay the tax bills on your property. The mailing of tax bills is for your convenience, and according to Wisconsin State Statutes, Section 74.09(6), failure to receive a bill does not exempt any property owner from paying penalties in the event of late payment.

What is the tax rate (net assessed value rate) for 2013?
The 2013 tax rate is 21.39 (per $1000 of assessed valuation).

What is the amount of the 2013 lottery credit?
The Unified School District 2013 lottery credit amount is $99.29

What is the amount of the 2013 first dollar credit?
The 2013 first dollar credit amount is $58.30

How can I find my property tax info?
Please click here to look up your property tax information.

Changing Name & Address on Tax Bill

How can I change the ownership name on the bill?
Contact the Waukesha County Register of Deeds Office at (262) 548-7863.

How can I change my mailing address on the bill?
Contact the City Assessor's Office at (262) 524-3510.

Due Dates & Penalties

When is the real estate tax bill due and do I have to pay the entire bill?
There are two payment options after receiving your tax bill:

  • Full Payment Option:
         BY JANUARY 31 - Pay the total amount of the tax due
     
  • Installment Option:
         BY JANUARY 31 - Pay the amount of the first installment due.
         BY MARCH 31 - Pay the amount of the second installment due.
         BY MAY 30 - Pay the amount of the third installment due.

*If any payment is not on time, the entire unpaid balance becomes delinquent and interest and penalty will be charged. The charge will be 1.5% per month on the unpaid balance, retroactive to February 1.

If I choose the installment option, can I pay more than the installment amount due?
Yes, anything over the amount of the installment due would be applied towards the next installment.

What determines a timely payment?
To be considered a timely payment, your tax payment must be received by the City Treasurer on or before January 31st, or your mailing envelope must be postmarked no later than January 31st. Do not depend on your mailed payment being postmarked on the day you deposit in the mailbox.

What if I can't pay the amount due?
If the full payment is not received by January 31st, or any installment is not paid by the appropriate due date, the total remaining unpaid balance of the bill is delinquent. The unpaid balance will accrue penalty until it is paid in full.

How is penalty calculated?
Delinquent real estate taxes are subject to interest of one percent (1%) and penalty of one-half percent per month or fraction of a month. If any installment is delinquent, the total remaining unpaid balance becomes delinquent.

How To Make Payments

How do I make out my check and where do I send it?
Make checks payable to: City of Waukesha
Mail checks to: City of Waukesha, 201 Delafield St. Room 104, Waukesha, WI  53188

Do I have to wait in a long line if I come in person to pay my taxes?
As soon as the tax bills are mailed, we have very long lines of people waiting to pay at the City Clerk Treasurer's Office. To avoid lines, we recommend either mailing your payment, using the payment drop box located outside of our building, or making your payment at any Waukesha State Bank location.

What if I cannot mail the payment in time or make it in person before you close?
There is a payment drop box located outside of our building on the lower level. Put your payment in the yellow envelope provided or a plain envelope, marked "City Treasurer" (please do not deposit cash) and place it in the drop box, any time of the day or night. Payments received in the box prior to the due date are date stamped on time. You may also make your tax payment at any Waukesha State Bank location during their normal banking hours.

Do I need to endorse the back of my escrow check?
If you are listed as the payee or co-payee on your escrow check, you must endorse the check. If more than one payee is listed, every payee listed must endorse the escrow check.

Responsibilities of the Property Owner

I just got my real estate tax bill in the mail, what do I do now?
The property owner is responsible for paying the bill. If you have a mortgage on your property, contact your lender for information on how payment from your escrow account is handled.

I am not sure if I am supposed to pay my property taxes, or if my mortgage company is paying them. How do I find out?
If you do not know if you are to pay your property taxes or if your mortgage company plans to, you should call your mortgage company.

I recently purchased this property. I thought the taxes were already paid. Why am I getting this bill?
You should read your closing documents to determine if any portion or proration of the taxes were credited to you by the previous owner. You are responsible for any taxes which were not paid or credited as of closing.

Disagreeing With Property Taxes

Do I have any recourse if I disagree with this bill?
Early in the year, the assessed value for the property is established by the assessor. Around that time, a property owner may file an objection to their assessed value. However, the period for appealing has passed by the time the taxes are determined. For more information on assessment objections, visit the Assessor's Page.

Personal Property Taxes

What are personal property taxes?
This type of tax usually pertains to a business. It is based on assessed value of tangible items, for example, furniture and machinery. Wisconsin Statutes 70.04

For additional questions, please contact the Treasurer's Office at (262) 524-3850.