- WHAT TAXES ARE INCLUDED ON MY COMBINED PROPERTY TAX BILL?
The Milwaukee City Treasurer bills and collects taxes levied for the following units of local government:
1. The Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District (MMSD)
2. Your Public School District (MPS)
3. Your Vocational, Technical, and Adult Education District (VTAE)
4. Milwaukee County
5. The City of Milwaukee
- WHAT IS THE PERCENT TAX CHANGE COLUMN?
The "% Tax Change" column shows the percentage increase or decrease from last year to this year of each of the governmental unit's tax amounts due on your property. It is not the governmental units' percent of the total taxes, but rather the change in taxes from the current year to the previous year.
- WHO QUALIFIES FOR THE FIRST DOLLAR CREDIT?
Unlike the lottery and gaming credit, the first dollar credit is applied to every parcel of real property with improvements within the City of Milwaukee. The property need not be a primary residence, which is required for the lottery and gaming credit. All taxable real estate with improvements in the City that is classified as residential, commercial, and manufacturing qualifies for the credit.
- HOW IS THE FIRST DOLLAR CREDIT COMPUTED?
The credit amount on your tax bill is based on your school tax rate and the maximum credit value set by the Wisconsin Department of Revenue.
- WHO QUALIFIES FOR THE LOTTERY AND GAMING CREDIT?
Owners of a home in Wisconsin, who use the home as their primary residence on January 1st of the year in which property taxes are levied, qualify for the credit. Primary residence is defined as the home where an individual lives more than six months of the year. If temporarily absent, it is the home to which the owner returns. Only one primary residence may be claimed. Renters do not qualify.
- HOW IS THE LOTTERY AND GAMING CREDIT COMPUTED?
The credit is determined in November of each year and depends on the amount of revenue realized from lottery games, pari-mutuel on-track betting, and bingo during the year. The credit amount on your tax bill is based on your school tax rate and the maximum credit value set by the Wisconsin Department of Revenue.
- WHAT IF I PURCHASED MY HOME AFTER JANUARY 1ST?
If you purchased a home after the January 1st date, you may claim a State lottery and gaming credit provided that you are able to attest that to the best of your knowledge the previous owner used the home as their primary residence as of January 1st and you continue to use the home acquired as your primary residence.
- WHAT IF MY TAX BILL DOES NOT HAVE THE CREDIT LISTED?
An owner, who qualifies for the lottery and gaming credit, but whose tax bill does not reflect the credit, may claim the credit until January 31, and the City Treasurer will issue a revised tax bill reflecting the credit. To apply for the credit, you must complete an application form and return the form to the City Treasurer's Office. When the application is processed, your tax bill will be recalculated. The application form can be obtained from the City Treasurer's Office web site here or contact the City Treasurer at 286-2240 and a form will be mailed to you.
- WHAT HAPPENS WHEN A HOME IS BOUGHT AND SOLD?
The credit should be deducted from the net tax payable on the next tax bill. The credit is not transferable. When a property is sold, the credit is "sold" with it.
If the use of a property changes, such that the property no longer qualifies for the credit, the owner must notify the City Treasurer that the property is no longer eligible. Failure to do so may subject the owner to penalties.
- WHEN ARE MY TAXES DUE?
Payment in full, or the first installment, is due on or before January 31.
- 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 31, or your remittance envelope must be postmarked no later than January 31. Do not depend on your mailed payment being postmarked on the day you deposit it in the mailbox.
- HOW DO I QUALIFY FOR THE INSTALLMENT PLAN?
To qualify for the installment plan, total real estate property taxes must be or exceed $100. The first installment payment must be made on or before January 31, or the installment option is lost. The total tax becomes delinquent and is subject to interest and penalty charges. All subsequent installment payments must be paid on or before the last day of each month from February through October, whether or not you receive a billing notice from this office.
Payments exceeding the first installment amount, but less than the full amount due, will automatically qualify for the installment plan. This payment amount will be applied as if payments were made on a monthly basis on the installment plan. The balance due will become payable according to the installment plan payment amounts indicated on the tax bill, whether or not you receive a billing notice from this office.
- WHEN WILL I RECEIVE MY RECEIPT?
Tax receipts will be mailed within 10 days after the City Treasurer processes a mailed or drop box payment that is:
- A payment in full
- An amount that exceeds the combined total of the January and February installment payments due; or
- An amount that is less than the first installment due.
Mailed and drop box payments, which qualify for the installment plan, will be acknowledged on the next installment bill you receive.
- IS A DROP BOX AVAILABLE?
There is a drop box available inside the Market Street entrance to City Hall seven days a week, 24 hours a day. City Hall is located in downtown Milwaukee, at 200 East Wells Street. A second drop box is available inside the Broadway Street entrance to the Frank P. Zeidler Municipal Building at 841 North Broadway Street only when the building is open. A third drop box is available outside the Market Street entrance to the Frank P. Zeidler Municipal Building. Also, there are drop boxes available at Milwaukee Police District Stations 2 to 7 from 12/18/23 until 02/02/24. Please do not deposit cash payments in any of these drop boxes. Payments deposited in these drop boxes will normally be credited on the following business day.
- CAN I PAY MY PROPERTY TAXES OVER THE TELEPHONE?
Yes, you can pay your property taxes over the telephone during normal business hours. To pay by telephone, call 414-286-2240, have your tax year, bill number, credit or debit card number, or bank account number available and follow the prompts to pay by credit or debit card with a 2.75% convenience fee ($2.50 minimum fee) and 50₵ telephone processing fee or by ACH debit to your checking or savings account with no additional fees. Your bill number can be found to the right of your TAX KEY/ACCOUNT NO. on your property tax bill. Please note that every tax bill has a unique bill number.
- CAN I PAY MY PROPERTY TAXES USING MY BANK’S AUTO-PAY SYSTEM?
Yes, you can pay your property taxes using your bank’s auto-pay system. If you decide to use your bank’s auto-pay system to make monthly property tax installment payments, you need to be aware that the monthly installments are not the same amount every month. The January installment due is usually less than the amounts due from February through July and the amounts due from August through October are less than those due from February through July. The first time an installment payment is either missed or underpaid, regardless of the amount paid short, you can be reinstated to the installment plan by paying 1% interest on the missed installment or the amount that was paid short, along with the next month’s installment due. However, if you miss an installment for the second time or pay short a second time, regardless of the amount, your account will go tax delinquent and interest and penalty will be assessed back to the first of February, in accordance with Wisconsin State Statutes and Milwaukee Ordinances.
Also note that the bank auto-pay systems issue and mail out checks and do not transmit monthly property tax payments electronically to this office. You need to make sure that your bank’s property tax payment checks are not sent to the City’s tax payment lock box, which cannot process tax payments without a return remittance coupon. To assure timely payment, your bank’s monthly property tax payment checks must be dated and mailed with a postmark no later than the last day of the month and sent directly to the Office of the City Treasurer, City Hall, Room 103, 200 East Wells Street, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53202.
Taxpayers are strongly encouraged to enroll in the City Treasurer’s Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) for the Property Tax Installment Payment Plan to assure monthly installments due are made in the correct amount and on time.
- 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.
- MY ESCROW CHECK IS GREATER THAN THE AMOUNT OF MY TAXES. HOW WILL I GET MY REFUND?
If a refund is due a taxpayer and the tax payment was mailed, a refund will be mailed or placed in a drop box, to the taxpayer with a receipt.
If you are a new owner and the previous owner's name is still on the tax bill, make sure you check off the change of address box on the front of the payment coupon, and complete the change of name and address section on the back side of the payment coupon, or the refund check will be sent to the previous owner.
- MY ESCROW CHECK IS LESS THAN THE AMOUNT OF MY TAXES. WHAT DO I DO?
If your escrow check is less than the full payment amount, you can enclose a personal check or money order for the difference with your payment coupon and mail to the City Treasurer's Office in the remittance envelope provided.
If you are unable to make up the difference at this time, you should still make a partial payment on your tax account using the escrow check. In most cases, the escrow check is sufficient to place your account on the installment plan.
Failure to make the first installment payment on or before January 31 will cause your account to go delinquent. Delinquent tax accounts accrue interest at a rate of 1% per month and a penalty at a rate of 1/2% per month from February 1 through the month paid.
- WHAT DO I DO IF I HAVE PRIOR YEARS' DELINQUENT TAXES?
If you have "PRIOR YEARS' TAXES ARE DELINQUENT" noted on your Combined Property Tax Bill, it is to your advantage to pay these taxes first before the current levy year taxes. Do not write instructions on your check, but enclose a separate note with your tax payment listing your tax key/account number and indicating that you are paying your delinquent taxes first. Make your check payable to the CITY OF MILWAUKEE and mail your delinquent tax payment in a separate envelope to:
Office of the City Treasurer
P.O. Box 514062
Milwaukee, WI 53203-3462
Important Note - Escrow checks will be applied in full to the current taxes due and then to any delinquent taxes payable on your account.
- DO I NEED TO ENDORSE 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.
- I AM MAKING PAYMENTS ON MORE THAN ONE TAX BILL. MAY I MAIL THEM ALL IN ONE ENVELOPE?
If you are making payments on more than one tax bill, please check the "CHECK IF MULTIPLE TAX PAYMENTS ARE ENCLOSED" box on the face of the return remittance envelope below your return address.
- HOW DO I MAKE OUT MY CHECK AND WHERE DO I SEND IT?
Annual Combined and Installment Tax Bill Payments
Make checks payable to the CITY OF MILWAUKEE and mail in the return remittance window envelope provided with payment coupons enclosed to:
Office of the City Treasurer
Milwaukee, WI 53278-0776
A return remittance envelope is provided with every tax bill. Be sure to enclose only the payment coupon, facing forward in the envelope window, with your signed remittance check behind the payment coupon. Do not staple or paper clip your check to your payment coupon. DO NOT send back the entire tax statement with your payment. Do not enclose any correspondence with your payment. Your remittance check must be payable in U.S. dollars and be drawn on a U.S. financial institution.
To assure that your tax payment check can be processed in this age of electronic imaging, please use black ink only, so the check is readable. Failure to use black ink may result in your tax payment check being returned to you as unable to process, which may result in your tax account going delinquent.
Delinquent Tax Bill Payments
Make checks payable to the CITY OF MILWAUKEE and mail in the return remittance envelope provided with payment coupons enclosed to:
Office of the City Treasurer
Milwaukee, WI 53203-3462
A return remittance envelope is provided with every tax bill. Be sure to enclose only the payment coupon, facing forward in the envelope, with your signed remittance check behind the payment coupon. Do not staple or paper clip your check to your payment coupon. DO NOT send back the entire tax statement with your payment. Your remittance check must be payable in U.S. dollars and be drawn on a U.S. financial institution.
Tax Bill Payments without Payment Coupon
Make checks payable to the CITY OF MILWAUKEE and mail to:
Office of the City Treasurer
Milwaukee, WI 53203-3462
Make sure to sign your remittance check and list the tax account numbers, or property addresses, and the levy years on which you are making payments on the memo line of a personal check, or the stub of a business check. Your remittance check must be payable in U.S. dollars and be drawn on a U.S. financial institution.
- HOW DOES THE ON-LINE ELECTRONIC PAYMENT OPTION WORK?
A taxpayer, who wants to pay their property taxes electronically may do so by visiting the City Treasurer's Home Page at http://www.milwaukee.gov/treasurer.
You may authorize the City Treasurer to debit your checking or savings account for your payment without a convenience fee being assessed, or you may charge the payment to your credit or debit card with a convenience fee of 2.75% ($2.50 minimum fee) being assessed on your credit card payment transaction.
Remember that the transfer of funds to the City Treasurer will not occur if there are insufficent funds in a taxpayer's checking or savings account, or you exceed your credit card limit. A tax receipt will be mailed to you within five working days of payment settlement. Please note that transactions authorized after 3:00 P.M. will be settled the next regular, banking business day.
- HOW DOES THE EFT INSTALLMENT PAYMENT PLAN WORK?
All current levy year property tax levy accounts that qualify for the installment payment plan under Wisconsin State Statutes and City of Milwaukee Ordinances will be eligible for electronic funds transfer (EFT) for payment of the property taxes due on the installment payment plan. The City Treasurer will debit the checking or savings accounts of taxpayers enrolled in the EFT installment payment plan for the monthly installments due each month. The installment tax payments due each month will be debited to taxpayers' checking or savings accounts on the due date each month, or the following business day, if the last day falls on a weekend or holiday. The transfer of funds to the City Treasurer will not occur if there are insufficient funds in a taxpayer's checking or savings account, which will result in your tax account going delinquent. Once enrolled in the EFT installment payment plan, a taxpayer's authorization will remain in effect and shall apply to subsequent tax years until the City Treasurer receives a written notification from the taxpayer terminating the EFT debit authorization. Written cancellation of an authorization must be received by the 25th of the month in which you want to terminate your participation in the EFT installment payment plan.
Taxpayers enrolled in the EFT installment payment plan will receive monthly installment tax bills via the U.S. Mail that delineate the payment amounts due and the date on which the taxpayers' checking or savings accounts will be debited for the payments due. Remember that the transfer of funds to the City Treasurer will not occur if there are insufficient funds in a taxpayer's checking or savings account. Taxpayers enrolled in the EFT installment payment plan are responsible for assuring sufficient funds are in their checking or savings acounts on the dates their accounts will be debited for the taxes due. Failure to pay the property taxes when due will result in the accrual of interest and penalty charges.
- HOW DO I ENROLL IN THE EFT INSTALLMENT PAYMENT PLAN?
To enroll in the EFT installment payment plan for the current year tax levy, you may call Customer Services at 414-286-2240 and request that an enrollment form be sent to you. The enrollment form is also available on the City Treasurer's web site at: https://city.milwaukee.gov/treasurer/eft
The enrollment form must be returned by January 15 to assure that the January installment tax payment due can be debited to your checking or savings account on January 31.
If you initially make your installment payments by check, you can choose to enroll in the EFT installment payment plan during the course of the year. However, your enrollment form must be received by the 15th of the month in which you want to begin utilizing EFT to make your installment payments.
- HOW DO I REQUEST A NAME OR ADDRESS CHANGE ON MY TAX BILL?
The ADDRESS CHANGE REQUEST that is on the back of the City of Milwaukee Combined Property Tax Payment Coupon is used only for mailing out tax payment receipts, tax refund checks, installment tax bills, and delinquent tax bills through November.
Any permanent change in ownership or name must be recorded with the Milwaukee County Register of Deeds (414-278-4000) at the County Courthouse.
Any permanent change in mailing address must be recorded with the City Assessor's Office at City Hall, Room 507, (414-286-3651).