County Sales Tax Generally Effective For Property Tax Relief

Feb 10, 2014


The Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance in Madison looked over 12 years of data beginning in 2000. The county sales taxes came into vogue in the 1980's as a way to offset rising property tax rates.

Spokesperson Dale Knapp says the collections did little to offset property taxes. He said some counties found a reliable revenue stream, but for most others, it wasn't that good...


"...we see a lot of increases one year, decreases the next, it sort of bounces up and down. A couple of counties, we actually see collections fallling between 2000 and 2012...."

Marquette and Price counties saw those declines. Knapp says for some counties, what originally was designed to lower property taxes found the tax used to increase overall spending....


".....on average, counties were doing more spending. Some, there was a definate shift down in property taxes, but those were the exceptions rather than the rules...."

With a fluctuating economy, the counties saw similar fluctuations in sales tax revenues.

Among the nine counties least dependent on the county sales tax were Forest, Oconto, Florence and Iron counties. Their website is