General Payment Information
Personal Checks/Cashier’s Check/Money Order/Cash
- Write your parcel number and property address on your check and include your phone number in case of questions regarding your payment.
- Do not postdate personal checks. Checks are processed on the date we receive them.
- Make sure that both the numeric and written amounts on your check agree. The legal amount on a check is the Written amount, which is what the bank processes the check for. If incorrect, your payment could be short and cause taxes to go delinquent.
- Make check payable to: City of South Milwaukee.
- Credit and debit cards are not accepted at City Hall due to the fees incurred. You must use our service provider to pay your taxes with a credit or debit card or by E-check. Go to the Online Payments page of our website to pay online.
- Do not combine your check for tax payment with any other payment.
- Third party checks are not accepted, with the exception of escrow checks specifically for the payment of property taxes.
Escrow Checks (Checks Received from Mortgage Companies)
- If your escrow check is more than the amount of the tax bill, a refund check will be mailed to you within approximately two to three weeks.
- Checks payable to two or more taxpayers whose names are separated by an "and" require ALL signatures. Be sure your escrow check is properly endorsed. If a signature is missing, the check will be returned to you for proper endorsement causing delay in processing and possible delinquency of tax bill.
- The full amount of the escrow check must be applied to the tax bill; you cannot pay just the first installment and receive a refund.
- The date of payment from escrow accounts (December or January) is determined by the agreement that you have with your financial institution. Questions regarding when your escrow check is mailed should be directed to your financial institution.
- Some mortgage companies use third party payers to process their escrow payments before sending them to the City. Because of this, there may be a significant delay from the date the funds are debited from your escrow account to the time that the City receives the payment for processing. All escrow payments are processed on the date we receive them. Payments will be reflected on our website in "real time." Please check the website to find out if your payment has been processed.
There is a $25 fee for all returned checks. In addition, the tax payment will be void and interest and penalty will be assessed unless a replacement payment plus the returned check fee is received prior to the tax due date.
The following are credits an individual may claim on their Wisconsin income tax return. The income tax return instructions are the best source to determine qualification for these credits.
- Homestead Credit – this credit has requirements that can be found in the income tax instructions or in the common questions on our website at Claiming Homestead Credit
- Veterans and Surviving Spouses Property Tax Credit – a credit equal to the amount of property taxes paid during the year on an eligible veteran's or surviving spouse's principal dwelling. The Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) provides a certificate of eligibility. Information, instructions and request forms can be found on the DVA website.
- Renter's and Homeowner's School Property Tax Credit – this credit is not available if an individual claims the veterans and surviving spouses property tax credit
There is one program intended for the elderly in particular: The Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority (WHEDA) provides property tax deferral loans for the elderly. For more information, contact WHEDA at (800)755-7835.