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Funding for Wisconsin’s Local Governments | Know Your Wisconsin

February 29, 2024

Budgets across the state are tighter than ever and communities in Wisconsin have been feeling the pressure. The ever-tightening state-imposed budget limits are in part due to state aids that have not increased, and limitations on property tax increases. State levy limits prevent local property taxes from growing beyond the percentage of new buildings built in that community the year before. This creates a problem, particularly for small rural communities compared to larger metropolitan areas. These communities tend to struggle to attract new residents which in turn means tighter budgets and cutbacks in areas like snow plowing, police, and fire protection.

In many ways, this problem is unique to the state of Wisconsin. Wisconsin is unlike any other state when it comes to reliance on property taxes as the sole source of locally-generated revenues. Sharon Eveland the City Administrator in Clintonville notes that local governments need a more balanced way to fund local services and more local control.

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