Tax Payment FAQ

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When will I receive my tax bill?

Tax bills are mailed out on or before the 3rd Monday in December.

What type of payments do you accept for taxes?

CHECKS and CERTIFIED FUNDS are always accepted at City Hall.  NO CASH payments will be accepted in December and January at City Hall.  All five Oak Creek Tri City Banks will accept Cash and Check payments with tax coupon in December and January.  Credit/debit card and E-Check payments can be made by telephone or internet.  Please see the Pay Your Taxes by Credit/Debit Card & E-Check section of the website for instructions.

Where and how can I pay my tax bill?

Real Estate and Personal Property Tax Payment information can be found on the City Website , in the Acorn, and in the brochure enclosed with your property tax bill.

I moved into my home a few months ago; am I responsible for the 2016 property taxes?

The owner of the property is responsible for the taxes.  If you purchased a home a few months ago and that property was in existence as of January 1, 2016, you are responsible for the taxes for the full year. Please check your closing papers to find out how the taxes were handled. (Usually taxes are pro-rated at the time of closing. They may have been deducted from the sale price as a credit to you.)

My mortgage company made the escrow check payable to the City of Oak Creek and to me. Do you need my signature?

Yes, in order to process your payment the check must be endorsed by all payees. Please avoid delays in processing, and possibly falling delinquent, by remembering to sign the back of your check.

My check from escrow is more than my taxes, what do I do?

To receive an immediate refund, make your payment at one of the Tri City Bank locations and with proper identification, they will issue you a cashier’s check immediately. If you make your tax payment at City Hall, the refund will be processed through our Finance department and a check will be issued in four to five weeks.

May I apply my escrow check to the first installment of my tax bill only and receive an overpayment refund, if the check is more than the first installment amount?

No. An escrow check must be applied in full to your tax bill. If the escrow check exceeds the full amount due, an overpayment refund will be issued.

Are my taxes paid?

We process all payments as quickly as possible, usually the same day. You may verify payment by checking the Treasurer's office page on the Oak Creek web site. Click on ‘View Your 2016 Assessment and Tax Information’ under the ‘2016 Assessment and Tax Payment Information’.  Put in parcel # (no spaces or dashes) or use name or address and click ‘Search For Parcels’. Choose current tax year then ‘Taxes’ tab on top (if this is not available, you must update your web browser to Internet Explorer 7.0, Google Chrome or Firefox).  This web site is updated in real time as payments are processed by the Treasurer’s Office.

Do you honor postmarks?

Yes, IF all the following criteria are met: 1) it is mailed in a properly addressed envelope, 2) postmarked before midnight of the last date prescribed for making the payment, with postage prepaid, and 3) is received by the proper official not more than 5 days after the prescribed date for making the payment.  December 31st is not a due date and; therefore, to ensure a receipt dated in December, payments by mail must be received in our office on or before December 29, 2016.  Payments postmarked by December 31st and received within 5 business days after December 31st will be receipted as January; however, the reference note will reflect a December Postmark.

I paid my taxes with a personal check, when can I expect it to clear my bank?

We process payments as quickly as possible. Please allow one week for your check to clear your account.  If more than one week has passed and your check has not cleared your account, please contact City Hall. You can always verify online if we received and processed your payment.

Do you send my tax bill to the mortgage company?

No, we only send tax bills to the owner on record. We provide tax payment information to mortgage companies as requested, but no tax bills will be sent to them. The City does use a service that works with mortgage companies and third party tax services that allow for bulk payment processing.

Do you accept credit or debit cards?

Credit or debit card payments can be made by telephone or online.  Please see the Pay Your Taxes by Credit/Debit Card & E-Check section of the website for instructions.

Do you accept E-Check payments?

YES, NEW this year, E-Check payments can be made by telephone or online. Please see the Pay Your Taxes by Credit/Debit Card & E-Check section of the website for instructions.

Do you accept wire transfers?

No, we do not accept wire transfers. 

My mortgage company said that a check was cut on a certain date, but yet my receipt says otherwise?

Some mortgage companies send escrow checks to a third party tax service before sending them to the City. We process checks as quickly as possible; generally the same day we receive them, so please call your bank to verify timely payments. Your receipt will reflect the date that the payment was received by the Treasurer’s Office, not the date on the check. Payments postmarked by December 31st and received within 5 business days after December 31st will be receipted as January; however, the reference note will reflect a December Postmark.

I would like to pay on the installment plan. What are the due dates?

The installment dates are: January 31st, March 31st, and May 31st. The amounts listed on your tax bill are the minimums due by those dates; you may pay more or earlier than the dates listed, but those minimums must be paid by those dates. Any payment not made by its due date will result in delinquency of the entire unpaid principal balance and forfeiture of the installment option. All delinquent tax will accumulate interest and penalty charges from February 1st at 1.5% per month until paid in full, regardless of when it becomes delinquent.

Will I receive a reminder notice for the 2nd and 3rd installment?

No, reminder notices will not be sent by the Treasurer’s office.

If I pay on the installment plan, may I pay the first installment by January 31st and the remaining installments in May?

No, you must follow the installment amounts listed on your tax bill. The amounts listed are the minimums due by those dates, you may pay more or earlier than the dates listed, but those minimums must be paid by those dates. Any payment not made by its due date will result in delinquency of the entire unpaid principal balance and forfeiture of the installment option. All delinquent tax will accumulate interest and penalty charges from February 1st at 1.5% per month until paid in full, regardless of when it becomes delinquent.

I have paid 90% of my tax bill before January 31st, and have a small balance remaining.   When do I have to pay the balance?

If by January 31st, you have paid equal to or more than the total of your January and March installment, you do have the option of paying the remaining balance by May 31st.

I do not have the money to pay my taxes. What can I do?

If you cannot pay your tax bill in full it is best to pay as much as you can and as soon as you can. All delinquent tax accumulates interest and penalty charges from February 1st at 1.5% per month on the entire unpaid principal balance. Therefore, any payments made will help reduce the amount of interest and penalty accrued. We will only be able to accept payments through July 31st; at which time all delinquent real estate tax will be turned over to Milwaukee County for collection.

What is the first dollar credit?

Every taxable parcel in the state of Wisconsin qualifies for the First Dollar Credit provided that parcel contains a real property improvement.  This includes business, commercial and private property.  This credit should be automatically applied to all qualifying properties. If the property tax bill has an amount shown in the “Ass’d Value Improvements” boxes, then that property should receive the credit.  Unlike the Lottery and Gaming Credit, the property does not need to be the primary residence of the owner and an owner may receive the credit on more than one property.  A personal property improvement is not a qualifier for this credit.

Where do I look on my tax bill to see if I received the lottery credit?

The middle section of your tax bill lists the Net Property Tax for 2015 and 2016. The amount of your Lottery and Gaming credit is shown above the 2016 Net Property Tax column. If no amount is shown you did not receive the lottery credit.

I did not receive the lottery credit, why not?

Those who qualify are owners of a home in Wisconsin who use the home as their primary residence on January 1st (Certification Date) of the year in which property taxes are levied. Primary residence is defined as the home where an individual lives more than six months of the year. If you did not previously complete a Lottery and Gaming Credit Application or you do not qualify for the credit in 2016, no Lottery Credit was applied to your 2016 property tax bill. If you are eligible for the Lottery Credit and did not receive it, the link for the Lottery Credit application form is available on the Treasurer’s Office page on the city website.  We must receive the completed form by January 31, 2017 in order to apply the credit to your 2016 property tax bill.

How do I apply for the lottery credit?

If you are eligible for the Lottery Credit and did not receive it, the link for the Lottery Credit application form is available on the Treasurer’s Office page on the city website.  We must receive the completed form by January 31, 2017 in order to apply the credit to your 2016 property tax bill.

If I pay my taxes by mail, depository box, at Tri City Bank, by credit/debit card, or by E-Check will I receive a receipt for my payment?

We process all payments as quickly as possible, generally the same day. When payment by mail or in our depository box is processed, receipts will NOT be mailed but are available online. To obtain a copy of your payment receipt, go to www.oakcreekwi.org, ‘Your Government’, ‘Treasurer’s Office’. Under 2016 Assessment and Tax Payment Informaion click on ‘View Your 2016 Assessment and Tax Information’. Enter ten-digit parcel # (no spaces or dashes), name or address and click ‘Search for Parcels’. Choose 2016 Tax Year and click ‘Taxes’ tab on top. Click on the ‘Property Summary Report’ button on bottom right.   If you pay your tax bill at Tri City Bank, the payment information is recorded on your tax coupon and will be returned to you as your receipt.  A file is exported by the City the following business day (2 business days for weekend payments and 3 if Holiday falls on weekend); payments are entered using the actual date of your payment. Payment on the internet by credit/debit card or E-Check will receive an onscreen confirmation number and a printable digital receipt.

I did not receive a tax bill, why not?

If you are a new owner, you may not have received a tax bill because our information is based on what Milwaukee County Register of Deeds sends to our Assessor’s office. We generally have all recorded changes from the County through October. To find out how much you owe – you may check our web site, contact the seller of the property to determine if they received the tax bill, or contact City Hall.

I live in a brand new condominium/subdivision and did not receive a tax bill, why not?

The 2016 tax bills are based on what is on the property as of January 1, 2016. In many cases, on January 1st your property was land only and part of one large parcel. The builder may be responsible for payment depending upon what your sales contract states.  Please check your paperwork to see what agreement was made with the builder.

Did you receive my property tax payment from my mortgage company?

We process payments as quickly as possible, generally the same day. To verify if a payment has been received please check the Oak Creek web site. Click on View Your 2016 Assessment & Tax Payment Information. Put in parcel # (no spaces or dashes) or use name or address.  Click search; choose current tax year then ‘Taxes’ tab on top (if this is not available, you must update your web browser to Internet Explorer 7.0, Google Chrome or Firefox). The web site is updated in real time as payments are processed by the Treasurer’s Office.

I have delinquent water bill charges on my tax bill; I paid these charges already so why are they on my tax bill?

If your payment was not received by the utility department by November 15th, it was placed on the tax roll. In this case, you are responsible to pay that amount to prevent your property tax bill from becoming delinquent. If you made the utility payment by November 15th, please call the Utility department at (414) 570-8210 to verify if your payment was received and applied as a credit to your account.

What is the Storm Water System user charge?

The City adopted the storm water management system user charge ordinance in 2003.  The Common Council approved increasing the charge to $33.00 for 2016.  For more information, please contact the Engineering Department.

What’s the difference between assessed value and Fair Market Value?  How is Fair Market Value calculated?

The ratio is determined by the Dept. of Revenue based on “total values” not “individual values” and is based on the difference between what the City Assessor determines as the “Total Assessed Value” of the entire City in comparison to what the State Dept. of Revenue determines to be the “Total Value” of the City.  The Dept. of Revenue then gives the City the “Ratio” figure in which is entered into the computer and used to calculate individual Fair Market Values.  Please bear in mind that if the ratio were lower the tax rate would be higher, and if the ratio were higher the tax rate would be lower, in order to collect the same amount that has been levied by all the taxing districts, and your tax amount would have been the same.