Assessed Values and the Tax Rate

The assessor's office primary responsibility is to determine an estimate of the fair market value of property so that all taxpayers only contribute their fair share of property taxes to support the community services you receive.

For these services to continue the village as well as the other agencies levy taxes to fund their operations with the point of property tax collection being the local municipality. The other taxing agencies include the Kenosha Unified School District, Kenosha County, and Gateway Technical College. Taxes levied by these other agencies are included on your tax bill along with the taxes levied by the Village of Pleasant Prairie. Here again, state laws define the powers of these taxing agencies and the kinds of properties that are exempt from taxes, such as schools, hospitals, and churches.

Towards the end of each year the separate governing bodies of the various taxing agencies propose budgets for the following year. To finance the expenditures in their budget, they total all expected sources of revenue such as state aids and shared taxes, license fees and tuition. This is subtracted from their estimated expenditures. The remainder is the total amount to be collected through property taxes and is called the "tax levy". The amount of the tax levy for each of the taxing authorities depends on the size of the budget for each which is determined by the supervisory Board of each authority. The total combined tax levy is determined by adding together each of the separate tax levy's for each of the taxing authorities.

In order for the local municipality to collect the correct amount of property tax, the total tax levy is divided by the total assessed value in the municipality. The result is called the "tax rate" which is the rate applied to the assessed value of each property to determine the amount of property tax associated with the property. In Wisconsin, this rate is the same for all property owners. When this tax rate is applied to the value of all the taxable property in the village it will exactly equal the total tax levy and ensure the village's responsibility to forward the correct amount of property tax to the school district, county, and technical college.

The tax rate is calculated by simply dividing the amount of taxes needed by the total assessed value of all taxable property in the village.

Tax Rate = Total Levy ÷ Total Assessed Value

Once the tax rate is set, the assessed value of your property is used to determine your portion of the total tax levy. The tax rate when multiplied by the assessed value of your property equals what you owe in property taxes -- your tax bill. The tax rate is often expressed in terms of dollars per thousand and is sometimes referred to as a "mill rate".

The entire taxation process requires the cooperation of several parts of village government. The assessor's office determines the assessed value of your property. The Village President and Village Board approve the cost of village services thereby establishing the tax rate necessary to generate funds for local services. The finance department collects the property tax and forwards the correct amount of property tax to each of the other taxing authorities so they are able to operate during the following year.

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