The average Stoughton homeowner will find an increase of $226.42 over last year’s taxes when bills arrive in the mail in the next few days.
That comes despite a 44-cent decrease in the overall mill rate because an average home in the city increased nearly $15,000 in value over last year.
But homes that have been reassessed with less than the average increase will see a smaller hike, or even a decline in their taxes. For example, a $200,532 home, last year’s average, would see its taxes remain the same or lessen if its value increased less than $4,055.
Each home in the city is reassessed every year. The city contracts with Accurate Appraisal to do “walk-through” on-site assessments of 20 percent of properties each year for five years. The rest are adjusted by computer modeling and through sales of comparable homes, according to an email from co-owner Jim Danielson, “to maintain 100% market value assessments.”
For the second year in a row, home values increased more than 50 percent higher compared to last year’s, and this year’s total is double the more-than-$7,000 increase in 2016.
The Stoughton Area School District collects the largest portion of the taxes, accounting for an average increase of $89.98, including the state school credit. The city is next, with $107.13 of the increase, followed by Dane County and then the Madison Area Technical College. The state abolished its property tax in 2017.
Mill rates dropped across the board, with Dane County’s dipping $.12, SASD going down $.23, Madison College about $.02, and the city $.07.
All this adds up to a $21.74 mill rate per $1,000 of property for taxpayers.
In addition, most homeowners will claim the state Lottery Credit, which is $186.25 this year, up $50.07 over last year. The state First Dollar Credit is $76.69, down $1.12 from 2017. The $162 fee for garbage collection remains the same.
The increase in city taxes will be used in part for a 3 percent wage increase for city personnel, but the city was limited to raising its levy about $113,000 by state statute. It also increased its levy more than $400,000 to pay for debt.
The school district added positions related to behavior and discipline this year, costing an additional $45,000 but kept the budget relatively level otherwise. Dane County’s $630.1 million budget represents the smallest increase (0.8 percent) in the operating portion of the levy since 1991.
Tax bills are required by state law to be mailed by Dec. 17, and Finance Director said they were “stuffing envelopes” late last week. The first half of payment is due Jan. 31, 2019, but many homeowners pay all or part of the bill before the end of the year to count it toward their 2017 taxes.
Payments postmarked by Dec. 31 will be credited as a December payment for tax purposes. City Hall is open regular hours Dec. 31.
To see your tax information online, visit the public access portal of AccessDane at accessdane.co.wi.us.