Deadline Looms for Payment of Property Taxes
Most local schools, governments held the line on taxes this year.
If your property tax bill is sitting on the kitchen table along with all the Christmas cards, make sure it doesn't get buried amid the holiday chaos.
That's because you have a little more than a week to pay your taxes, if you want to deduct them from your 2010 federal income taxes. Otherwise, taxes aren't due until Jan. 31.
For the most part, the taxing districts in Fox Point and Bayside pretty much held the line on taxes this year.
In Fox Point, for example, the total amount levied by all taxing districts in the village - including local school districts, the Milwaukee Area Technical College, the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District, the county and the state -- rose by 0.5 percent from 2009.
The village's overall tax rate for properties in the Fox Point-Bayside School District dropped 9.7 percent - from $27.15 to $24.51 per $1,000 of assessed valuation. That means the owner of a home assessed at $300,000 will pay $7,353 in taxes this year.
However, it's difficult to compare a typical tax bill from last year to this year because Fox Point conducted a villagewide revaluation in 2010. So while the tax rate dropped nearly 10 percent, many property owners saw an increase in their assessed values and a subsequent rise in their actual bills.
Of the local taxing bodies, the largest levy increase came in the village of Fox Point, where taxes are going up 3 percent this year.
Despite the increase, Village Manager Susan Robertson said officials made several reductions to hold the line on spending, ranging from eliminating some police non-emergency hours to discontinuing geese and deer management programs.
In Bayside, the overall tax rate rose less than 1 percent - from $27.34 to $27.60 per $1,000 of assessed value. A Bayside resident with a home assessed at $300,000 who lives in the Fox Point-Bayside School District will see a $78 hike in taxes this year.
The village's levy, which held steady in 2008 and 2009, rose by 1.1 percent this year to $4.4 million.
Village Manager Andy Pederson said what drove the levy increase was mostly a decrease in revenue from interest earnings and an increase in debt service costs. Interest earnings are directly linked to the economy and they have been plummeting since the recession hit.
Tax bills can be paid at either village hall, but residents of Bayside are encouraged to visit M&I Bank at 8740 N. Port Washington Rd. where they can immediately be issued a refund check if they've paid too much.
The full amount or first installment is due by Jan. 31. The second is due by March 31, and the third installment is due by May 31.