Applicability of chapter to 1st class cities.
For purposes of this chapter, “county" includes a city authorized to proceed under s. 74.87
. Unless the context specifically indicates otherwise, all powers granted to counties by this chapter are granted to that city; all powers and duties granted to county governing bodies and officials are granted to the counterpart governing body and officials of that city; and all procedures and forms prescribed by this chapter as applicable to counties shall be applicable to that city, with the modifications necessary to retain substantial conformity with this chapter.
History: 1987 a. 378
Redemption notices; publication. 75.07(1)(1)
Each county treasurer shall, at least 6 and not more than 10 months before the expiration of the time for redeeming lands subject to a tax certificate, except lands subject to s. 75.521
that are located in a city authorized to proceed under s. 74.87
, cause to be published as a class 2 notice, under ch. 985
, in the county in which the lands are located, a list of all unredeemed lands, specifying each tract or lot, the name of the person to whom assessed, if any, and the amount of taxes, charges and interest, calculated to the last day of redemption, due on each parcel, together with a notice that unless such lands are redeemed on or before the last day of redemption, which shall be specified, they will be conveyed to the county. The county treasurer, for the purpose of such list, may condense such descriptions when such condensed description will reasonably describe the premises.
Before publishing such list such treasurer shall carefully compare the same with the tax certificate describing the lands to be included in the list to be published. If upon such examination there be found any omission or erroneous description in the tax certificate, such parcel of land in the description of which the omission or error shall occur shall not be advertised for redemption, but shall be deleted from the tax certificate in which it was originally included and placed in the next-issued tax certificate.
If the number of the description in the lists of lands to be advertised for redemption by the county treasurer shall exceed 3,000, the treasurer shall then let by contract the publication of such list to the lowest bidder upon a notice, written or printed, to be delivered to and left with the publisher or one of the publishers of each newspaper printed as aforesaid, at least 10 days prior to the time at which such contract shall be let.
Any county treasurer who shall willfully refuse or neglect to perform any duty required by this section or who shall keep back and not report any unredeemed lands for the purpose of evading its provisions shall forfeit the full amount of the penalty of the treasurer's official bond, one half of which, when collected, shall be paid to the person prosecuting therefor and the residue into the treasury of the state for the use of the school fund; provided further, that no county treasurer shall be liable to any penalty for causing such publication to be made in a weekly newspaper published in such county for the length of time hereinbefore named prior to the date of the treasurer's notice, when by reason of accident or other cause more than one week has intervened between the dates of the actual issue of such newspaper to subscribers, if such delay at any one time shall not have exceeded 3 days; but every such newspaper, for the purpose of this section shall be deemed to have been regularly published once in each week as hereinbefore provided.
History: 1987 a. 378
Sub. (1) requiring publication of a redemption notice prior to the expiration of the time to redeem lands sold for taxes is directory only; failure to include in such publication the name of the person to whom the taxes were assessed does not invalidate a subsequent tax deed. 63 Atty. Gen. 116.
In publishing redemption notices for tax delinquent lands under sub. (1), a county treasurer is not authorized to omit the names of persons to whom such property was last assessed. 63 Atty. Gen. 118.
Notice, how posted.
If no newspaper be published in such county the county treasurer shall also, at least 3 months previous to the time limited for the redemption of any lands subject to a tax certificate, cause to be posted up copies of the list and notice specified in s. 75.07
in at least 4 public places in the county, one of which copies shall be posted up in some conspicuous place in the treasurer's office.
History: 1987 a. 378
Mistake in notice.
Whenever, by mistake or otherwise, such treasurer neglects or fails to include in the treasurer's published list any such tract or tracts of land or to publish such list in accordance with the requirements of law, the same may be published at any time within 2 years after the expiration of the period of redemption. Such publication shall be made in the same manner and for the same time as prescribed in the preceding sections, and such treasurer shall specify in the treasurer's notice accompanying such published list when the time for making redemption of such lands from such sale will expire, which time shall not be less than 6 nor more than 10 months from the expiration of the full 2 weeks required for the aforesaid publication. All tax deeds made upon such tracts of land after the expiration of the regular period of redemption shall, after the expiration of such extended period of redemption, be as valid and effectual as if such publication had been made at the time required in such section.
History: 1987 a. 378
Cancellation of delinquent real property taxes on property contaminated by hazardous substances. 75.105(1)(a)
“Department" means the department of natural resources.
(2) Cancellation authorized.
At any time before the recording of a tax deed based on a tax certificate issued on property for nonpayment of taxes, the governing body of a county may cancel all or a portion of the unpaid real property taxes for which a tax certificate has been issued plus interest and penalties on those taxes on the property if all of the following apply:
The property is contaminated by a hazardous substance.
An environmental assessment has been conducted and concludes that the property is contaminated by the discharge of a hazardous substance.
The owner of the property or another person agrees to clean up the property by restoring the environment to the extent practicable and minimizing the harmful effects from a discharge of a hazardous substance in accordance with rules that the department promulgates.
The owner of the property or another person presents to the county or city an agreement entered into with the department to investigate and clean up the property.
The owner of the property agrees to maintain and monitor the property as required under rules that the department promulgates and under any contract entered into under those rules.
Upon the cancellation of all or a portion of real property taxes under sub. (2)
, the county treasurer shall execute and provide to the owner of the property a statement identifying the property for which taxes have been canceled and shall enter on the tax certificate the date upon which the taxes were canceled and the amount of taxes canceled.
(4) Certain cities authorized.
A city authorized to proceed under s. 74.87
may act under this section with respect to unpaid real property taxes for which it has settled with other taxing jurisdictions.
History: 1997 a. 27
; 1999 a. 32
Assignment of property contaminated by hazardous substances. 75.106(1)(a)
“Brownfield" has the meaning given in s. 238.13 (1) (a)
, except that, for purposes of this section, “brownfield" also means abandoned, idle, or underused residential facilities or sites, the expansion or redevelopment of which is adversely affected by actual or perceived environmental contamination.
“Department" means the department of natural resources.
(2) Assignment authorized.
Before a judgment is issued under s. 75.521
or a tax deed is executed under s. 75.14
, the governing body of a county may assign to a person the county's right to take judgment with respect to any parcel that is subject to foreclosure under s. 75.521
or to take a tax deed with respect to any parcel subject to s. 75.14
, if all of the following apply:
The governing body of the county provides written notice to the governing body of the city, town, or village in which the parcel is located at least 15 days before the governing body of the county meets to consider the approval of the assignment.
The governing body of the county produces a written assignment that is signed on behalf of the county, the assignee and the city, town, or village in which the parcel is located.
The assignment identifies the parcel for which a judgment or tax deed is assigned.
The parcel for which a judgment or tax deed is assigned is a brownfield.
The assignment requires an environmental assessment of the parcel and requires that the department be provided the results of that assessment before a final judgment under s. 75.521
or a tax deed under s. 75.14
related to the parcel is granted to the assignee.
The assignment requires that, if the parcel is contaminated by the discharge of a hazardous substance, as determined by the assessment under par. (e)
, and if the assignee elects to accept the judgment or deed assigned under this subsection regardless of the contamination, the assignee enter into an agreement with the department, before a final judgment is issued under s. 75.521
or a tax deed is issued under s. 75.14
related to the parcel, to clean up the parcel to the extent practicable; to minimize any harmful effects from the hazardous substance pursuant to rules the department promulgates; and to maintain and monitor the parcel pursuant to rules the department promulgates.
The assignment and an affidavit from the county treasurer that attests to the county governing body's approval of the assignment are filed with the court that is presiding over the county's foreclosure action under s. 75.521
or, in the case of a tax deed issued under s. 75.14
, with the register of deeds.
If a county assigns a judgment under sub. (2)
and the county is entitled to a final judgment in the county's foreclosure action under s. 75.521
, the court that is presiding over the foreclosure action shall grant a judgment to the assignee under sub. (2)
on the parcel that is the subject of the assignment and shall grant a separate judgment to the county for parcels that are not the subjects of an assignment. The court shall enter a judgment ordering and adjudging that the assignee is vested with an estate in fee simple absolute in the parcel that is the subject of the assignment and the court shall enter a judgment ordering and adjudging that the county is vested with an estate in fee simple absolute in all parcels that are not the subjects of an assignment. A judgment under this subsection is subject to all unpaid taxes and charges that are subsequent to the latest dated tax lien appearing on the list specified in s. 75.521 (3) (b)
and to recorded restrictions as provided by s. 75.14
An assignee who is granted a judgment under sub. (3)
shall take title to, and is the owner of, the parcel that is the subject of the assignment, except that a person who commences an action under s. 75.521 (14a)
related to the parcel shall commence the action against only the county that assigned judgment to the parcel under sub. (2)
. An assignment under sub. (2)
may provide that an assignee who is granted a judgement under sub. (3)
shall indemnify the county that makes the assignment and hold the county harmless against any loss, expense, liability, or damage that the county may incur as a result of an action under s. 75.521 (14a)
An assignee who is assigned a tax deed under sub. (2)
shall take title to, and is the owner of, the parcel that is the subject of the assignment, except that a person who commences an action under s. 75.144
related to the parcel shall commence the action against only the county that assigned the tax deed under sub. (2)
. An assignment of a tax deed under sub. (2)
may provide that an assignee shall indemnify the county that makes the assignment and hold the county harmless against any loss, expense, liability, or damage that the county may incur as a result of an action under s. 75.144
Compensation of printer.
The printer who publishes the list and notice of the time when the redemption of land subject to a tax certificate will expire shall receive compensation therefor the same as is provided for legal notices under ch. 985
, except that when the same is published under contract, as provided by law, the printer shall receive the compensation fixed by such contract and no more.
History: 1987 a. 378
Rights of persons who have an interest in mineral rights.
Notwithstanding ss. 75.14 (1)
and 75.521 (3) (am) 4.
and (13) (b)
, the failure of an owner of a fee simple interest in surface rights to pay property taxes on land does not extinguish the rights of a holder of a fee simple interest in severed mineral rights related to that land.
History: 1993 a. 391
Deed, notice of application for. 75.12(1)(1)
No tax deed shall be issued on any lot or tract of land subject to a tax certificate unless a written notice of application for tax deed shall have been served upon the owner, or one of the owners of record in the office of register of deeds of the county wherein the land is situated. If such lot or tract be improved by a dwelling house, or building used for business purposes, or a building used for agricultural purposes, and in any of said cases, such building has been actually occupied for the purpose specified for 30 days immediately prior to the date of service of the notice of application for tax deed, or if such lot or tract of land has been occupied and cultivated for agricultural purposes for 30 days within the period of 6 months immediately prior to the date of service of the notice of application for the tax deed, then notice of application for tax deed shall be served upon the occupant or one of the occupants thereof. If the records of the office of register of deeds in the county where such land is situated show that such lot or tract of land is encumbered by an unsatisfied mortgage or mortgages, such notice of application for tax deed shall be served upon at least one of the mortgagees in each such mortgage, or upon the last assignee or one of the last assignees of each such mortgage, if the assignment is recorded.
Such notice shall state the date of the tax certificate, the description of the lands involved, the amount of the delinquency and that such amount will bear interest and penalty as provided by law, and shall give notice that after the expiration of 3 months from the date of service of such notice the county will apply for a tax deed. A notice of application for a tax deed shall not be served earlier than 88 days prior to the earliest date on which the county is entitled to a deed.
The notice of application for tax deed may be served by the county treasurer or any person acting for the treasurer. The notice shall be served in the manner that service of a summons in a court of record is made, or by certified mail, with return receipt of the addressee only demanded. If notice cannot be given by use of either of the foregoing methods, the county treasurer or the treasurer's agent shall make an affidavit setting forth the effort to make service, the inability to do so, and shall file the affidavit with the county clerk. In such cases the notice shall be published by the county treasurer as a class 3 notice, under ch. 985
, in the county. The affidavit of the county treasurer or the treasurer's agent as to inability to secure service personally or by certified mail, together with proof of publication of the notice, shall be deemed completed service of the notice of application for tax deed.
Before the tax deed is issued, proof of service, or the returned certified mail receipt, or proof of publication of the notice of application for tax deed shall be filed with the officer authorized by law to issue the tax deed, and a copy of the proof of service, returned certified mail receipt, or proof of publication with evidence of the cost of publication shall be retained by the county treasurer. A person subsequently redeeming a lot or tract of land, or any part or interest therein, shall pay in addition to the amount required to redeem the lot or tract, $1.50 for each person served with the notice or, if notice is sent by certified mail, the cost of sending any notices by certified mail, plus the cost of publication of the notice. If there is no occupant of the lands as hereinbefore defined, the county treasurer shall file an affidavit to that effect with the officer authorized by law to issue the tax deed.
No tax deed shall be taken upon any notice of application therefor after one year from the last date of service of such notice.
This section shall supersede all provisions of law, including the provisions of any city charter, which are in conflict with it.
Due process requires that every owner of a recorded interest, including a mineral interest under s. 706.057, be provided written notice of an application for a tax deed. 74 Atty. Gen. 59
If a proper affidavit of service of notice of application for tax deed or a proper proof of nonoccupancy, in due form, as provided in s. 75.12
, has heretofore been filed with the county clerk, the fact that such affidavit of service of notice or affidavit of nonoccupancy or such proof has not been otherwise filed shall not be alleged or raised in any action or proceeding attacking or questioning the title of the county or its successors in interest in the land which was the subject of the notice or proof.
History: 1979 c. 89
; 1987 a. 378
Deeds, execution of; rights under; evidence. 75.14(1)(1)
If any land subject to a tax certificate shall not be redeemed the county clerk shall, after the expiration of the time prescribed by law for the redemption thereof, on presentation of the tax certificate and proof of service of notice, execute in the name of the state and of the county, as such officer thereof, under the clerk's hand and the seal of the county, to the county and its assigns, a deed of the land so remaining unredeemed, and shall acknowledge the same which shall vest in the county an absolute estate in fee simple in such land subject, however, to recorded restrictions and redemption as provided in this chapter; and such deed duly witnessed and acknowledged shall be presumptive evidence of the regularity of all the proceedings, from the valuation of the land by the assessor up to and including the execution of the deed, and may be recorded with the like effect as other conveyances of land. No deed may be issued under this section until the county board, by resolution, orders issuance of the deed.
The county clerk shall not issue a deed of any parcel of land until by carefully comparing the advertised list of the same for redemption with the tax certificate, the clerk shall find that the description of such parcel of land so to be conveyed has been correctly and fully published, in such advertised list of redemptions; and if upon such examination the county clerk shall find any error or omission in any such advertised description the clerk shall enter opposite the description of said land in the tax certificate a statement of the fact of such error or omission. If the description of said land in the tax certificate is in error, the county board shall cause such certificate to be canceled, as it relates to that parcel, and direct the county treasurer to correct the description thereof, using the procedure under s. 74.61
, and include the parcel in the tax certificate next issued under s. 74.57
. If the error or omission is in only the advertised list of redemptions, the county treasurer shall correct and readvertise the same for redemption in the next such publication and the period of redemption shall be extended thereby an additional year.
Whenever a deed in the chain of title shall contain valid and enforceable restrictions and covenants running with the land, as hereinafter defined and limited, said restrictions and covenants shall survive and be enforceable after the issuance of a tax deed to the same extent that they would be enforceable against a voluntary grantee of the owner of the title immediately prior to the delivery of the tax deed. This subsection shall apply to the usual restrictions and covenants limiting the use of property, the type, character and location of building, covenants against nuisances and what the former parties deemed to be undesirable conditions, in, upon and about the property, covenants to contribute to the cost of maintaining private roads, and other similar restrictions and covenants; but this subsection shall not protect covenants creating any debt or lien against or upon the property, or that will require the owner to expend money for any purpose, except such as may require the owner to keep the premises in a sightly condition, contribute to the cost of maintaining private roads, or to abate undesirable conditions. During the period that the county is the owner of lands so acquired it shall not be required to expend any money to keep the premises in sanitary or sightly condition or to contribute to the cost of maintaining private roads or to abate nuisances or undesirable conditions, but its successors in title shall be subject thereto and to covenants and restrictions as provided in this section. Any rights the former owner had to enforce the restrictions and covenants to which this subsection is applicable against the grantor and other parties owning property subject to such restrictions and covenants, except forfeitures, right of reentry, or reverter, shall likewise survive to the county as grantee in said tax deed and to successors and assigns.
History: 1987 a. 378
When a county accepts a tax deed, all property rights vest in fee simple in the county. A county has no statutory authority to rescind a tax deed that was lawfully issued and to thereby unilaterally impose property ownership on a third party. An attempted rescission has no effect on ownership of the property containing the landfill. Jackson County v. DNR, 2006 WI 96
, 293 Wis. 2d 497
, 717 N.W.2d 713
An income tax lien is extinguished by a tax deed under s. 75.14 or by a judgment under s. 75.521. 62 Atty. Gen. 234.
Defer taking of tax deed. 75.143(1)(a)
“Dwelling" means any building that contains one or 2 dwelling units and any land included with that building in the same entry on the tax roll.
“Dwelling unit" means a structure or that part of a structure used as a home, residence or sleeping place by one person or by 2 or more persons maintaining a common household, to the exclusion of all others.
The council of any city authorized to proceed under s. 74.87
may by ordinance direct its treasurer to defer the taking of tax deeds by the city on dwellings. The ordinance shall designate the period of time that the taking of a tax deed shall be deferred after the one-year period provided by law. The deferral period may not exceed 2 years. The deferral shall apply to those delinquent taxes and assessments incurred while the dwelling was owned and occupied by the person who owns and occupies the building at the beginning of the deferral period. If the owner ceases to occupy the dwelling during the deferral period, the city treasurer shall take a tax deed on the dwelling as soon as practicable. A city adopting an ordinance under this section may require the dwelling owner to submit proof that the owner is eligible for a deferral under this section.
History: 1981 c. 322
; 1987 a. 378
Rights of persons claiming adverse possession. 75.144(1)(1)
Titles subject to claim of ownership by adverse possession.
Subject to subs. (2)
, titles that are obtained under this chapter are subject to claims of ownership by adverse possession under s. 893.25
(2) Claims of ownership by adverse possession barred. 75.144(2)(a)(a)
If a county obtains a survey of property complying with par. (b)
and mails notice concerning the property complying with par. (c)
and if no action concerning the property is commenced under sub. (3)
on or before the date set forth in the notice, any claim to ownership of the property by adverse possession under s. 893.25
The survey under par. (a)
shall show all of the following:
The locations of any visible structures and the dimensions of any principal buildings on the property.
Any boundary fences, apparent easements, roadways and visible encroachments on the property.
The treasurer of the county seeking to transfer title to property under this chapter shall mail the notice under par. (a)
, at least 8 weeks before the date that title to the property will be transferred, to the last-known address of each owner of an interest in other real property that has a common boundary with the property. The treasurer shall attach a list containing the legal description of the property to the notice. The notice shall appear in at least 10-point boldface type or its equivalent and shall read as follows:
NOTICE REGARDING TRANSFER
OF ADJACENT PROPERTY
TAKE NOTICE THAT ANY PERSON THAT HAS OR CLAIMS TO HAVE A RIGHT, TITLE OR INTEREST IN ANY REAL PROPERTY THAT IS DESCRIBED IN THE ATTACHED LIST IS HEREBY NOTIFIED THAT .... (name of the county) WILL TRANSFER TITLE TO THE REAL PROPERTY DESCRIBED IN THE ATTACHED LIST ON .... (date of transfer of title).
TAKE FURTHER NOTICE THAT YOU ARE RECEIVING THIS NOTICE BECAUSE YOU HAVE AN INTEREST IN REAL PROPERTY THAT BORDERS ON A PIECE OF REAL PROPERTY DESCRIBED IN THE ATTACHED LIST. THE TREASURER OF .... (name of the county) HAS A COPY OF A SURVEY OF ALL REAL PROPERTY THAT IS DESCRIBED IN THE ATTACHED LIST. THE SURVEY SHOWS THE SIZE AND LOCATION OF THE REAL PROPERTY, ITS EXTERIOR BOUNDARIES, THE LOCATION OF ANY VISIBLE STRUCTURES ON THE PROPERTY, THE DIMENSIONS OF ANY PRINCIPAL BUILDINGS ON THE PROPERTY AND ANY BOUNDARY FENCES, APPARENT EASEMENTS, ROADWAYS AND VISIBLE ENCROACHMENTS. YOU MAY WISH TO LOOK AT THE SURVEY TO MAKE SURE THAT YOU DO NOT CLAIM ANY RIGHT, TITLE OR INTEREST IN THE REAL PROPERTY. IF YOU BELIEVE THAT THE SURVEY SHOWS THAT SOME OF THE REAL PROPERTY TO BE TRANSFERRED BELONGS TO YOU, YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO ATTEMPT TO PROVE THAT THE REAL PROPERTY BELONGS TO YOU UNDER THE WISCONSIN LAW AND YOU MAY WISH TO CONSULT AN ATTORNEY.