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Wisconsin Municipalities Rely Heavily On Property Taxes, Report Finds

Jonathan Miske

Gov. Tony Evers will make his first budget address on Thursday. As he outlines his spending priorities for the coming two years, officials from municipalities around Wisconsin will be listening with a keen ear as they set out to create their own spending plans. But many of these budgets will rely on property tax revenue to fund their services, rather than state aid.

The Wisconsin Policy Forum examined just how dependent they are on property taxes, versus other sources of revenue, and how Wisconsin compares with other places.

"We did isolate 10 of the most property tax reliant states, in terms of supporting their municipalities in the country. We looked at the property tax levy limits in each of those states, and we found that the state of Wisconsin’s is the most restrictive," says Rob Henken, president of the Wisconsin Policy Forum and one of the authors of the report Dollars and Sense: Is it time for a new municipal funding framework in Wisconsin?