Tax Year 2021 (due in 2022)

Current Payments

Payments are due January 31, March 31, May 31, and July 31. Taxes are delinquent if not paid within 5 working days of those due dates. For the 2020 tax year, the last days of this "grace period" are: February 7, April 7, June 7, and August 5. Payments must be in the Treasurer's Office by the end of business on these days.

Delinquent Payments

  1. Failure to receive a tax bill does not relieve the taxpayer of the requirement to pay taxes on time. (see 74.09(6))
  2. The City of Madison is not required to send you a reminder or a bill for the second, third, or fourth installments. However, that is our practice. Nevertheless, our failure to mail a reminder or your failure to receive it does not relieve you of the responsibility to pay taxes on time.
  3. Payments must be received by the end of business on the last day of the grace period. Payments received the next day or later are delinquent, unless postmarked on or before the due date. (see 74.12 (7) and 74.12(8)) (The grace period does NOT apply to the accrual of interest and penalty charges for properties already delinquent.)
  4. Payments postmarked by the due date (Jan. 31, March 31, May 31, and July 31) will be considered timely, regardless of when received. (see 74.69(2))
  5. Online payments made at the City of Madison's website are considered paid when you submit the payment on your computer. Keep in mind that (like a traditional check) the money may not be debited from your account for a few days. However, if a payment is rejected because of insufficient funds, an error on your part in entering your bank information, or an error on the part of your bank, it is as if the payment was never made. In other words, the payment is treated as the return of a traditional hardcopy check. If you have waited until the last minute to make the payment, this could result in your taxes going delinquent. Taxpayers are discouraged from waiting until the end of the grace period to make their payment.
  6. Payments made via the online payment portal will carry the transaction completion date. Payments will be considered timely if initiated and completed before midnight of the grace period end date.
  7. Payments made through a bank's billpay site may result in a delay in your payment. Even though you as the bank's customer may view this as an electronic transaction, often the bank reverts to sending your payment as a hardcopy check. Checks that are received after the grace period are delinquent payments, regardless if they came from a bank's billpay site.
  8. Delinquent interest and penalty charges are applied on the first of each month. The new balance due will stay in effect for the remainder of the calendar month. New penalty and interest charges will be assessed the first day of the next month on any remaining balance. (see 74.47)
  9. A payment for delinquent taxes will be deemed paid in the month designated by the USPS postmark, provided the payment was received in the treasurer's office within five working days of the end of the month.
  10. Interest and penalty for ANY delinquent installment is calculated from February 1st. The concept is that the actual due date is January 31st; however, if you choose to pay in installments, you are committing to make the payments on time. Failure to pay any of the installments on time violates the original commitment, and, therefore, the interest and penalty is charged from the original due date. (see 74.12(10)a and 74.12(10)b)

Wisconsin State Statutes

74.09 Property tax bill and related information.
(6) EFFECT OF FAILURE TO RECEIVE. Failure to receive a property tax bill does not affect the validity of the general property taxes, special taxes, special charges and special assessments levied or the collection of delinquent general property taxes, special taxes, special charges and special assessments.

74.12 Multiple installments payment option.
(7) DELINQUENT FIRST INSTALLMENT. If the first installment of real property taxes, personal property taxes on improvements on leased land or special assessments to which an installment option pertains is not paid on or before 5 working days after January 31, the entire amount of the remaining unpaid taxes or special assessments to which an installment option pertains on that parcel is delinquent as of February 1.

(8) DELINQUENT 2ND OR SUBSEQUENT INSTALLMENT. If the 2nd or any subsequent installment payment of real property taxes, personal property taxes on improvements on leased land or special assessments to which an installment option pertains is not paid by 5 working days after the due date specified in the ordinance, the entire amount of the remaining unpaid taxes or special assessments to which an installment option pertains on that parcel is delinquent as of the first day of the month after the payment is due and interest and penalties are due under sub. (10).

(10) PAYMENT OF DELINQUENT PAYMENTS, INTEREST AND PENALTY.
(a) All real property taxes, special assessments, special charges and special taxes that become delinquent and are paid on or before July 31, and all delinquent personal property taxes, whenever paid, shall be paid, together with interest and penalties charged from the preceding February 1, to the taxation district treasurer.
(b) All real property taxes, special assessments, special charges and special taxes that become delinquent and are not paid under par. (a) shall be paid, together with interest and penalties charged from the preceding February 1, to the county treasurer.

74.69 Timely payment.
(1) GENERAL RULE. If payment is required by this chapter to be made by a taxpayer on or before a certain date, the payment is timely if it is mailed in a properly addressed envelope, postmarked on or before the due date, with postage prepaid, and is received by the proper official not more than 5 days after the prescribed date for making the payment.
(2) POSTAL SERVICE DELAY.A payment which fails to satisfy the requirements of sub. (1) solely because of a delay or administrative error of the U.S. postal service shall be considered to be timely.

74.47 Interest and penalty on delinquent amounts.
(1) INTEREST. The interest rate on delinquent general property taxes, special charges, special assessments and special taxes included in the tax roll for collection is one percent per month or fraction of a month.
(2) PENALTY ALLOWED.
(a) Any county board and the common council of any city authorized to act under s. 74.87 may by ordinance impose a penalty of up to 0.5% per month or fraction of a month, in addition to the interest under sub. (1), on any delinquent general property taxes, special assessments, special charges and special taxes included in the tax roll.
(b) Any ordinance enacted under par. (a) may specify that the penalty under this subsection shall apply to any general property taxes, special assessments, special charges and special taxes that are delinquent on the effective date of the ordinance.