Property Taxes & Special Assessments

Assessment

The property tax process begins with assessment.  The assessment represents the value of the property as of January 1 of a given year.  If a property's assessment changes, property owners are sent a notice of assessment around March.  After receiving this notice, property owners have a limited period of time to discuss the assessment with the assessor and appeal to the City's Board of Review if needed.  This is important because the property tax is calculated based on this assessment.  After the period for appeal has passed, it would normally be too late for the property owner to appeal the amount of property tax.

The City of Onalaska contracts its assessor services with Accurate Appraisal.  They may be contacted at (920)-749-8098.

Budget

The City's budget process begins in August and ends in early November.  The budget includes the tax levy to be assessed on City taxpayers.  Prior to the adoption of the City's budget and tax levy, there is a public hearing which provides citizens an opportunity to give their input to the Council members regarding the proposed budget.

Tax Rate

All overlying jurisdictions complete a budget and submit their levy amounts to the City for use in calculating the overall tax rate.  The following overlying jurisdictions are in the City of Onalaska:

  • City of Onalaska
  • School District - Onalaska
  • School District - Holmen
  • School District - La Crosse
  • Western Technical College
  • County of La Crosse
  • State of Wisconsin

The tax levies for each jurisdiction are combined and used to calculate the overall gross tax rate.  In the City, there are two tax rates -- one for the properties located in the Holmen School District and one for properties located in the Onalaska School District.  The only difference between the two gross tax rates is the difference in the tax levy for the respective School District.