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1804, 02 Nov 19

Washington County Tax Rate

While appreciated, this is not the whole story.

By Melanie Boyung

Special to Conley Media

WASHINGTON COUNTY — The county tax rate is set to drop to its lowest levels since 1917.

In October, the Washington County Executive Committee gave unanimous approval to the 2020 budget proposal for Washington County. That committee’s approval moves the budget forward to the full County Board, which is expected to take it up this month.

The 2020 recommended budget has a $2.298 tax rate; the rate for 2019 was $2.393, 9.48 cents higher than the current proposal, according to county budget documents. That $2.298 tax rate is the lowest in more than a hundred years — County Administrator Josh Schoemann wrote in the budget book that it is the lowest since World War I.

While the tax rate is comparable to a hundred years ago, that does not mean tax bills will be the same. The tax rate is the amount paid by a property owner per $1,000 of property value, and property valuation has risen a great deal in the past century. Owners of a $225,000 home would therefore owe $517.10

Do you know what else the taxpayers of Washington County didn’t have to pay? A county sales tax. So while the county has been able to decrease the tax rate on the back of increasing property values, they have been able to keep spending more by extracting more tax revenue from the same taxpayers through the sales tax.


1804, 02 November 2019


  1. WestBendConservative

    Keep an eye on Washington County Supervisors. They once gave themselves Cadillac health insurance for a very part time gig.

    Which is why we need a conservative as county exec and not Josh “spending increase” Showman

  2. Mark Hoefert

    This obsession with mill rates is ridiculous.  $2.30 in 1918 would have a present value of about $39.00.  The fact that the tax on a $225,000 home is $517 instead of $8775 is not exactly cause for cuffing one’s carrot in celebration.

    Very few people living in a home that had an Estimated Fair Market value of $225,000 when they got their 2018 tax bill will be living in a $225,000 value home when they receive their 2019 tax bill – unless they moved to a lower cost home in the past year.

    City of West Bend tax bills for 2018 were based on a reassessment. This year their Estimated Fair Market values will increase about 5%. $225,000 Total Assessed Value divided by Average Assessment ratio of .948861987 = $237,000, as per WI DOR values posted in late October.  Using the mill rates above, I would say that the $225,000 home in 2018 was taxed at $538, and for 2019 it will be taxed at $545. A  very minimal increase, for sure, as the budget itself was limited to the increase in property values attributed to new construction.

    Here is link for 2019 aggregate ratios for anyone interested in calculating what their Total Estimated Fair Market Values will be.

    Of course, if my interpretations are wrong, I would welcome corrections. Unfortunately, taxation is very complex and it seems like the media and public officials are not able to understand and explain them either.

  3. dad29

    the media and public officials are not able to understand and explain them either.

    Public officials understand them VERY WELL, but prefer not to explain, for obvious reasons.

    But “media” are ignorant twits.  They went to publik screwels and that means that for them, history began on their birthday and math is racissss.

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