state tax

Wisconsin State Tax Guide

State tax rates and rules for income, sales, property, fuel, cigarette, and other taxes that impact Wisconsin residents.

Bottom Line

Middle-Class Families: Least Tax-Friendly (Go to the Kiplinger Tax Map for Middle-Class Families)
Retirees: Least Tax-Friendly (Go to the Kiplinger Tax Map for Retirees)

It may sound cheesy, but Wisconsin is really milking its residents when it comes to taxes. Property taxes in the Badger State are high and are the driving force behind the state's poor tax rankings. The statewide median property tax rate is the sixth-highest in the nation. Income taxes can also be high for certain residents when compared to other states.

The good news is that the average combined state and local sales tax rate is actually low in Wisconsin. It has the ninth-lowest average combined state and local tax rate in the nation. There are no estate or inheritance taxes, either.

Wisconsin Income Taxes

Wisconsin Income Tax Range

Low: 3.54% (on up to $12,120 of taxable income for singles or up to $16,160 for married couples)

High: 7.65% (on taxable income over $266,930 for singles or over $355,910 for married couples)

Wisconsin Taxation of Social Security Benefits

Social Security benefits are not taxed by the state.

Wisconsin Tax Breaks for Other Retirement Income

Income from federal government and designated Wisconsin state and local government retirement plans is exempt if the taxpayer was a member of the plan before 1964.

In addition, taxpayers age 65 and older with federal adjusted gross income of $15,000 or less ($30,000 or less for joint filers) can deduct up to $5,000 of federally-taxed income from private or government retirement plans (other than income otherwise excluded).

Military pensions (including for certain service with the Coast Guard, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and Public Health Service) and Railroad Retirement benefits are fully exempt.

Wisconsin Sales Tax

5% state levy. Municipalities can add up to 1.75% to that, with the average combined rate at 5.43%, according to the Tax Foundation.

  • Groceries: Exempt
  • Clothing: Taxable
  • Motor Vehicles: Taxable
  • Prescription Drugs: Exempt

Wisconsin Real Property Taxes

In Wisconsin, the median property tax rate is $1,781 per $100,000 of assessed home value.

Wisconsin Property Tax Breaks for Retirees

Unlike younger taxpayers, residents age 62 or older don't have to have earned income to claim a homestead tax credit on their income tax return for property tax or rent paid.

In addition, the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority provides property-tax-deferral loans for the elderly with incomes under $20,000.

Wisconsin Motor Fuel Taxes

Gasoline: 32.9¢ per gallon.
Diesel: 32.9¢ per gallon.

Wisconsin Sin Taxes

Cigarettes: $2.52 per pack
Moist snuff: 100% of manufacturer price
Other tobacco products: 71% (no more than $0.50 per cigar)
Vapor products: $0.05 per ml

Beer: $0.06 per gallon
Wine: $0.07 per gallon
Liquor: $3.25 per gallon

Wisconsin Estate and Inheritance Taxes

No estate or inheritance tax.

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