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New report shows how much Wisconsin municipalities rely on property taxes

Eau Claire (WQOW)- You see it in your property tax bill. Wisconsin municipalities rely on property taxes more than any other state in the Midwest.

That’s according to a new report by the Wisconsin Policy Forum.

In 2015, the most recent data available, the report shows Wisconsin municipalities got about 42 percent of their revenue from property taxes, and only 1.6 percent from state sales and income taxes.

Eau Claire Finance Director Jay Winzenz said Wisconsin cities have higher property taxes, because they can’t enact their own sales and income taxes city-by-city.

Winzenz said although the property taxes rise most years, there’s a levy limit so it can’t be increased too much at once.

Although our communities depend on the property taxes, when you look at total taxes we pay, it’s actually about average.

“In other states where you pay through the sales tax or more local revenue comes from the sales tax people just don’t feel it as much, because you pay a little bit of a time,” Winzenz said. “In Wisconsin you get this big property tax bill in December and it feels really painful.”

Winzenz said such high property taxes could be a concern for people wanting to come to Wisconsin.

He said it’s important for people to keep in mind there aren’t other local taxes though.

Shannon Satterlee

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