Law Change Announcements

August 10, 2021

To: Certified Assessors, Assessor List, Municipal Clerks and Treasurers, County Clerks and Treasurers, Real Property Listers and Registers of Deeds


The Wisconsin Department of Revenue would like to inform you of the following law changes impacting state and local finance.


2021 Wisconsin Act 55 modifies local room tax state laws

  • Effective October 1, 2021
  • Clarifies the terminology and procedures for collection of room taxes by marketplace providers who facilitate sales on behalf of others
  • Requires marketplace providers to forward the tax to the municipality on a quarterly basis, along with a form prepared by DOR. The marketplace provider may report the tax more frequently by written agreement between the marketplace provider and municipality.
  • Specifies penalties applicable to marketplace provider's failure to file a room tax return or pay the tax as required
  • Revises the definition of “short term rental" to fewer than 30 days rather than fewer than 29 days under current law
  • Allows municipalities to (1) conduct a joint room tax audit, (2) provide audit and other information to DOR, and (3) exchange audit information with any municipality taking part in a joint room tax audit
  • Requires the County Treasurer to provide DOR with the complete county tax roll by March 15 each year, in a form and manner prescribed by DOR
  • Requires DOR to create a website with this information about room tax collections:
    • Name and mailing address of each municipality that imposes a room tax 
    • Rate of the room tax imposed by each municipality
  • Requires every municipality subject to sec. 66.0615(1m)(dm), Wis. Stats., to certify and report on or before May 1, 2022, on a form created and provided by DOR, the amount of room tax retained by the municipality in each of the following fiscal years: 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014.

2021 Wisconsin Act 58state biennial budget bill

  • Effective January 1, 2022 – new exemption from general property taxes under sec. 70.11(4n), Wis. Stats.:
    • Any parcel of vacant land owned by a church or religious association
    • No more than 0.8 acres
    • Located in a first-class city
    • Less than a quarter mile from the shoreline of Lake Michigan
    • Is adjacent or contiguous to a city incorporated in 1951 with a 2018 estimated population exceeding 9,000
  • Effective July 10, 2021
    • Adjustment to technical college revenue limit under sec. 38.16(3)(a)2w., Wis. Stats., to include additional aid
    • Adjustment to lottery credit activities funding property tax relief under sec. 79.10(11), Wis. Stats.
  • Changes made to the payment rates by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to municipalities for state forest land and state parks under secs. 70.113 (1)(a), 70.113(1)(b), 70.113(2)(b) and 70.114(4)(a), Wis. Stats.:
    • Effective July 10, 2021 – the amount is $3.20 per acre and $0.30 per acre, compared to $0.80 per acre and $0.08 per acre under prior law
    • Effective 2022 – amount paid under the 10-year schedule will be no less than $3.50 per acre; DNR shall pay the greater amount of the parcel's estimated property tax bill or $3.50 per acre for land acquired by DNR
  • Adjustment to the funding allocated for video service provider aid

2021 Wisconsin Act 61 distribution of state aid after a Tax Incremental District (TID) terminates

  • Effective July 10, 2021
  • Changes to personal property aid – under sec. 79.096, Wis. Stats., starting with 2022 distribution:
    • When a TID terminates, the State will distribute aid to the municipality and other taxing jurisdictions in the following year and each year thereafter, instead of eliminating the aid under current law
    • For TIDs active for the 2017 tax year that terminated since and would have received aid, the State will distribute the sum of that aid to the municipality and other taxing jurisdictions – as well as the appropriate annual amount each year thereafter
    • The terminated TID aid payments will not be included in levy/revenue limit calculations
  • Changes to exempt computer aid – under sec. 79.095, Wis. Stats., starting with 2022 distribution:
    • When a TID terminates, the State will distribute aid to the municipality and other taxing jurisdictions in the following year and each year thereafter, rather than solely to the municipality under current law
    • Note: No retroactive adjustments are required
  • Updates expenditure restraint program reporting under sec. 79.05, Wis. Stats., to exclude the expenditures of terminated TID personal property aid payments

2021 Wisconsin Act 68special exemption for a Tax Incremental District (TID)

  • Effective date July 10, 2021
  • Increases the timeframe within which expenditures may be made in TIDs created in an electronics and information technology manufacturing (EITM) zone to the first 180 months after the TID in an EITM zone is created, instead of the first 84 months under current law

Questions? Contact us:

  • Property assessment and exemptions – bapdor@wisconsin.gov
  • Shared revenue, levy limits and room tax reporting – lgs@wisconsin.gov
  • Tax incremental finance – tif@wisconsin.gov
  • Tax roll (XML) submittals – otas@wisconsin.gov