Wisconsin’s local general purpose government system consists of municipalities (towns, villag-es, and cities) and counties. These local govern-ments may levy only those taxes that are author-ized by the Legislature. In addition to the proper-ty tax (and several in lieu of property tax reve-nues), the Legislature has authorized three op-tional local taxes for general local governments: (1) a county sales and use tax of 0.5%; (2) a mu-nicipal and/or county registration fee for certain motor vehicles (the “wheel” tax); and (3) a mu-nicipal tax on establishments providing short-term lodging to the public (the “room” tax). Al-though the property tax accounts for the vast ma-jority of all local tax revenue, use of these other local taxes has increased as local governments seek to reduce their reliance on the property tax.
Local Government Revenue Options – Informational Paper 15
Local Government Institute
3118 E. Sableridge Dr.
Appleton, WI 54913