CITY DEPARTMENTS : CITY CLERK-TREASURER : FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
General Questions
What are your hours?
     Monday through Friday, from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Where are you located?
  In the Municipal Building, 625-52nd Street, Room 105 (first floor).
Who should I make my check payable to?
  Checks should be paid to the order of City of Kenosha
What forms of payment do you accept?
  Checks (including money orders, cashier's and traveler's checks), cash, credit and debit cards are acceptable payment methods. Please be aware that convenience fees are added to payments made with credit and debit cards.
   
Property Tax Questions
What are tax collection hours?
     Hours for tax collection are Monday through Friday, 8:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M. We close receipting to balance before the end of the day.
Understanding Property Tax:
  Administration of property tax bills and collection is according to Wisconsin State Statutes, Chapter 74. To view the statutes (Chapter 74) regarding property taxes, click here.

The City Clerk-Treasurer collects current real estate taxes from mid-December to July 31. After July 31, our real estate tax records are turned over to the Kenosha County Treasurer, 1010-56th Street, Kenosha, 653-2542. The County Treasurer collects all delinquent real estate taxes from previous years. The City Clerk-Treasurer collects City personal property taxes (business-related), current and delinquent, year-round.
When am I going to get my tax bill?
     Every year, the bills are mailed to property owners around December 15. Remember . . . It is your responsiblity to obtain and pay the tax bills on your property. The mailing of tax bills is for your convenience, and according to Wisconsin Statutes, Section 74.09(6), failure to receive a bill does not exempt any property owner from paying penalties in the event of late payment.
What is the tax rate (net assessed value rate) for 2013?
     The 2013 City tax rate is .02937. The tax rate for Bristol School District is .02811 and Paris School District is .0300 (rates are rounded).
What is the amount of the 2013 lottery credit?
     The Unified School District 2013 lottery credit amount is $132.21, Bristol School District is $118.52 and Paris School District is $139.63.
What is the amount of the 2013 first dollar credit?
     The Unified School District 2013 first dollar credit amount is $77.63, Bristol School District is $69.59, Paris School District is $81.99.
What is my tax amount?
  Click here to look up your property tax information.
How are my taxes determined?
 

Total Assessed Value of Your Property (as of Jan 1 of the tax year) x Tax Rate=Your Real Estate Tax

Though the assessed value of your property affects your share of taxes, the actual amount you pay is determined by the budget needs of the schools, city, county, technical college, and state. All of these taxing units decide what services they will provide in the coming year and how much money they will need to provide those services. This amount is divided by the assessed value of all City property minus the school tax credit to arrive at the net tax rate. The tax rate is the rate that is necessary to raise sufficient money from the property tax to meet the levy. The levy is determined by totalling all expected sources of revenue such as state aids and shared revenues, license fees, etc. This amount is then subtracted from the estimated expenditure figure and the remainder must be raised from the property tax.

Where do my tax dollars go?
  Although your tax payments are made to the Treasurer, a large share of your tax dollars are turned over to other governmental units such as the schools, county, technical college, and the state. Taxes also pay for City services such as Public Safety, Public Works, Health and Sanitation, Administration, Grant and Aid Projects, and Culture and Recreation.
   
Changing Name & Address on Tax Bill
How can I change the ownership name on the bill?
     Contact the County Register of Deeds, 1010 - 56th Street, (262) 653-2441.
How can I change my mailing address?
  Use this address change form or Contact the City Assessor, 625 - 52nd Street, (262) 653-4480.
   
Due Dates & Penalties
When is the real estate tax bill due and do I have to pay the whole bill?
     There are two payment options after receiving your bill:
  • Full Payment Option:
         BY JANUARY 31 - Pay the total amount of the tax due.

  • Installment Option:
         BY JANUARY 31 - Pay the amount of the first installment due.
         BY APRIL 30 - Pay the amount of the second installment due
         BY JULY 31 - Pay the amount of the third installment due.

    If you choose to pay in installments, please remember:
    The bill is divided into 3 installments. The due dates are January 31st, April 30th and July 31st. The amount of the installment due on your bill must be paid by the appropriate due date. If any portion of the installment is paid late, the ENTIRE balance of the real estate tax bill becomes delinquent, and will accrue penalty until it is paid in full.
If I choose the installment option, can I pay more than the installment amount due?
  Yes, anything over the amount of the installment due would be applied towards the next installment.
What determines a timely payment?
  To be considered a timely payment, your tax payment must be received by the City Treasurer on or before January 31st, or your mailing envelope must be postmarked no later than January 31st. Do not depend on your mailed payment being postmarked on the day you deposit it in the mailbox.
What if I can't pay the amount due?
  If the full payment is not received by January 31st, or any installment is not paid by the appropriate due date, the total remaining unpaid balance of the bill is DELINQUENT. The unpaid balance will accrue penalty until it is paid in full. Wisconsin Statutes 74.12(7)(8) www.legis.state.wi.us/rsb/stats.html
How is penalty calculated?
  Delinquent real estate taxes are subject to interest of one percent (1%) and penalty of one-half percent (1/2%) per month or fraction of a month, computed back to February 1. If any installment is delinquent, the total remaining unpaid balance becomes delinquent. Wisconsin Statutes Chapter 74.47, 74.12 (10), 74.12 (7)(8). www.legis.state.wi.us/rsb/stats.html
   
How to Make Payments
How do I make out my check and where do I send it?
     Make checks payable and mail to: City of Kenosha City Treasurer 625 - 52nd Street Kenosha, WI 53140
Do I have to wait in a long line if I come in person to pay my taxes?
  As soon as the tax bills are mailed, we have very long lines of people waiting to pay. In December, the wait can be from 10 to 20 minutes. We recommend either mailing your payment, or using the payment drop boxes located outside of our building.
What if I cannot mail the payment in time or make it in person before you close?
  There are two payment drop boxes located outside of our building, one in the visitor parking lot on the west side of the building, and one in the front of the building, on 52nd Street. Put your payment in an envelope, marked "City Treasurer" (please do not deposit cash) and place it in one of the drop boxes, any time of the day or night. Payments received in the box prior to the due date are date stamped on time.
Do I need to endorse the back of my escrow check?
  If you are listed as the payee or co-payee on your escrow check, you must endorse the check. If more than one payee is listed, every payee listed must endorse the escrow check.
What do I do if my escrow check from my mortgage company is not enough or too much to cover the amount due?
  If the check is not enough to pay the first installment, you are responsible to pay the difference by January 31. However, if it covers more than the first installment, you may pay the balance of the second installment by April 30, and the amount of the third installment by July 31. If it is more than the first and second installments, you may pay the balance of the third installment by July 31. If the check is more than the total amount due, you will receive a refund.
   
Responsibilities of the Property Owner
I just got my real estate tax bill in the mail, what do I do now?
     The property owner is responsible for paying the bill. If you have a mortgage on your property, contact your lender for information on how payment from your escrow account is handled.
I am not sure if I am supposed to pay my property taxes, or if my mortgage company is paying them. How do I find out?
  If you do not know if you are to pay your property taxes or if your mortgage company plans to, you should call your mortgage company.
I recently purchased this property. I thought the taxes were already paid. Why am I getting this bill?
  You should read your closing documents to determine if any portion or proration of the taxes were credited to you by the previous owner. You are responsible for any taxes which were not paid or credited as of closing.
   
Disagreeing with Property Taxes
Do I have any recourse if I disagree with this bill?
     No. Early in the year, the assessed value for the property is established by the assessor. Around that time, a property owner may file an objection to their assessed value. However, the period for appealing has passed by the time the taxes are determined. For more information on assessment objections, visit the assessor page.
   
Personal Property Taxes
What are personal property taxes?
     This type of tax usually pertains to a business. It is based on assessed value of tangible items, for example, furniture and machinery. Wisconsin Statutes 70.04 www.legis.state.wi.us/rsb/stats.html
   
Credits
How do I get the Lottery Credit?
  Lottery Credit Application
What is the First Dollar Credit?
  First Dollar Credit Information
   
Property Tax Programs
Are there any programs to help me with my property taxes?
     Certain Wisconsin property owners and renters may qualify for additional tax credits and/or loan assistance under special programs administered by the Wisconsin Department of Revenue (DOR), the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) and WHEDA. Some income and residency restrictions apply. You may obtain information about several of these programs on the DOR website at www.revenue.wi.gov.

Income Tax Credits - Wisconsin Department of Revenue; Box 8949; Madison WI 53708-8949
     Homestead Credit (email: income@revenue.wi.gov)
     Farmland Tax Relief Credit (email: income@revenue.wi.gov)
     School Property Tax Credit (email: income@revenue.wi.gov)

DATCP Credit - Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection; Box 8911; Madison WI 53708-8911
     Farmland Preservation Credit Box 8911, Madison WI 53708-1728

Loan Assistance - WHEDA, 1-800-755-7835, Box 1728, Madison, WI 53701-1728
     Property Tax Deferral Loans for the Elderly

Property Tax Credits - Email: Igs@revenue.wi.gov - Wisconsin Department of Revenue 6-97, Box 8971, Madison, WI 53708-8971
     Lottery and Gaming Credit
     First Dollar Credit
     School Levy Tax Credit
   
Licenses
How do I get a dog license?
     Bring the rabies certificate which shows a valid rabies shot for the dog to our office. The fees vary depending upon the time of year and if the dog is neutered or spayed. Current dog licenses fees are $15.00 if the dog is spayed/neutered and $35.00 if not spayed or neutered. After March 31st, there is an additional $5.00 fee if the license is not purchased within 30 days of ownership within the City, if the dog is older than 5 months old.
How can I get a license for my business?
  The answer to this would depend on the type of business. The City Clerk's office issues specific licenses (i.e., bar, taxicab). For a Business Occupancy Permit, please click here: Permit (Building) Application Forms For a sellers permit, please click here: Wisconsin Department of Revenue
How can I get a bartender or taxi driver license?
  Complete the proper application form and pay fee. After filing and payment in the City Clerk's office, the application must go to Common Council for approval. Applicants receive a letter from the Police Department advising the status of their application. No license is issued to any person with outstanding municipal court fines. Bartender licenses are not issued until the applicant has provided proof of completion of the Beverage Server Course. If the applicant has held an operator's license within the last two years, in Wisconsin, they are exempt from the Beverage Server course requirement.

Application Forms:
     Bartender Application
     Taxi Driver Application
 
   
Elections/Voting
Do I need identification to register to vote?
  At the polling place, you must provide acceptable proof of residence, which must include;

a) A current and complete name, including both the given and family name and;

b) A current and complete residential address, including a numbered street address, if any, and the name of a municipality. (Some examples: Driver's license, utility bill, rent receipt.)

What election activity does the City Clerk conduct?
    
  • Voter registration
  • Voter history maintenance
  • Candidate registration
  • Pollworker and voting machine technician supervision
  • Comprehensive voting system administration
  • Absentee ballot administration
When are the elections?
     In even-numbered years:
Spring Primary (if required) 3rd Tuesday in February
Spring Election 1st Tuesday in April
August Primary2nd Tuesday in August
September Primary (if required) 2nd Tuesday in September
General Election Tuesday after the 1st Monday in November
In odd-numbered years:
Spring Primary (if required) 3rd Tuesday in February
Spring Election 1st Tuesday in April
Where can I register to vote?
     Any City Library Branch (except Uptown), the City Clerk's office, or on the day of any election at your polling place. To locate your polling place, click here. Or visit My Vote Wisconsin

You can also register to vote by mail. If you are a first-time Wisconsin voter, include a copy of proof of residence.

For a voter application and more information on voter registration, Click here

How can I get an absentee ballot?
  Ballots are available approximately 4 weeks before any election. For information on how to get a ballot click here.
How can I become a pollworker?
  Apply through the Human Resources page.
What times do the polling places open and close?
  The polls are open from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. on election day.
   
Candidate Guidelines
How can I run for the office of alderman/mayor?
  Any person seeking public office in the State of Wisconsin must register as a candidate. You should register as a candidate in the City Clerk's office before circulating nomination papers to ensure proper disclosure.

For State campaign guidelines, visit elections.state.wi.us.