What are property taxes for?
Under State law, the City’s job is to assign an assessment to each property in a Uniform and Equitable way so that the burden of property tax will be divided fairly between all property owners. Although you pay your annual tax bill to the West Allis Treasurer’s office, the City does not keep most of the money you pay on tax day. In most years, around 2/3rds of each tax bill is passed on to other public entities.

Each autumn six different public entities develop and approve a budget for the upcoming year. Each “taxing authority” must decide what services they will provide in the coming year and how much money they will need to provide those services.

Once these budgets are approved, a “rate of tax” is calculated that will generate the tax dollars needed to meet each approved budget. Your total property tax is then calculated by multiplying the tax rate by your assessment.

West Allis property owners contribute tax dollars to meet the annual budget demands of 6 taxing authorities; the State of Wisconsin, Milwaukee County, the City of West Allis, the West Allis-West Milwaukee School District, the Metropolitan Milwaukee Sewerage District and Milwaukee Area Technical College.

Show All Answers

1. What does an Assessor Do?
2. What are property taxes for?
3. What do the terms on the tax bill mean?
4. What is a Revaluation?
5. What is a “valid” or Market Sale?
6. How do I know if my assessment is fair?
7. I have recently built a new home. Will cost to build my property be considered when my assessment is calculated?
8. The Estimated Fair Market Value shown on my tax bill is more than I think my house is worth, what do I do?
9. Does the location of my property influence its value?
10. If after discussing my assessment with the Assessor’s office staff I still think the assessment is not correct, what should I do?
11. What happens if you review my property after I buy it or take out a building permit; if you discover something that isn’t on your records, will my assessment increase?
12. Can my assessment change in the years between citywide revaluations?
13. Can the assessment on my property be changed even if the assessor has not been inside my property?
14. How can my assessment change when I haven't done anything to my property?
15. Will I be notified if there is a change in my assessment?
16. I just purchased my home for less (or more) than the assessed value. Will you change my assessment to match my sale price?
17. The family across the street was foreclosed on by the bank who sold their home for a lot less than the assessed value; isn't that proof my assessment should be lowered?
18. If market values do go down, doesn’t that mean our taxes should decrease along with them?
19. What if I think my assessment might not be Correct?
20. Why am I paying taxes on an assessment that's higher than my property is worth?
21. How does the assessor value property?
22. I have a refinance appraisal – Will you change my assessment to the appraiser’s value?
23. Why do assessors avoid considering foreclosure or estate sales when calculating assessments?
24. What will happen to my assessment if I improve my property?
25. Will my assessment go up if I repair my property?
26. How does my assessment affect taxes?
27. Do the market values of all properties change at the same rate and over the same time frame?
28. What happens after the Board of Review makes its decision?
29. What is the Board of Review?
30. What is the Board of Review and what evidence do I need to present during a hearing?
31. I have heard that property values have gone down dramatically all across the Country recently, how does West Allis compare?