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All FAQ's

Q:Can I get my prescriptions filled at the VA hospital?
A:Yes. Any veteran can enroll in the VA healthcare system. Your income and your disability status will determine if you are required to co-pay for treatment and drugs. Your prescription must be written by a VA medical doctor in order for the VA to provide the medication.
 
Q:Can my spouse be buried at the new veterans’ cemetery in Union Grove?
A:Yes. Veterans and spouses are buried together in double-depth graves. There will be a $250 charge for burial of the spouse.
 
Q:Where can I find a copy of my discharge paper (dd-214)?
A:Many vets recorded their discharges with their county veterans offices at the time they left the military. Also, some states, including Wisconsin, have maintained records libraries. As a last resort, your can write the national personnel records center in St. Louis for a file search. The forms needed for this and for most other applications are available at your county veterans service office.
 
Q:Is an honor guard guaranteed for a vet’s funeral?
A:No. Although legislation is being proposed to provide flag folders and presenters at veteran’s funerals, for now this service is offered mainly by volunteer firing squads from various service organizations (American Legion, DAV, VFW) high ranking military retirees can usually expect a squad provided by their branch of the military. Requests for honor guards can be made to the funeral director handling your service.
 
Q:Why doesn’t my husband’s grave get a flag every year?
A:Flags are placed in may by volunteers who walk the rows of each cemetery looking for vets’ graves. Often, there is nothing on or near the grave to indicate that it should receive a flag. In other cases the grave is simply overlooked. You can ensure your vet’s grave gets a flag by requesting one from the county veterans service office.
 
Q:How long do I have to use my education benefits?
A:Federal "GI Bill" benefits and Wisconsin full-time student grants must be used within 10 years of discharge from active duty.
 
Q:How do I get a veteran’s home loan?
A:Your first step is to get a certificate of eligibility which will show banks and other lending institutions you qualify for application. Visit or call your county veterans service office for the appropriate forms.
 
Q:How do I get a copy of a birth certificate, death certificate or marriage certificate?
A:These documents are called Vital Records. There is a short application form that you need to complete for the Birth Certificate, Death Certificate and Marriage Certificate. Mail that application form along with a money order (sorry, no personal checks) and a self-addressed, stamped envelope to: Racine County Register of Deeds 730 Wisconsin Ave Racine, WI 53403 or You can submit your request online, with a credit card payment. There are additional fees related to this option, but it offers you the fastest, most convenient service available.
 
Q:Do you provide assistance with my genealogy searches?
A:Our office is not staffed to perform this type of research. However, it only takes a few minutes to learn how to do this kind of research yourself. If you call ahead, we will be happy to schedule a half-hour orientation session with you. These orientations are done by appointment only, so be sure to call ahead to schedule a time slot.
 
Q:I am considering buying a parcel of real estate. How can I find out what liens, if any, have been filed against it?
A:If you are borrowing money from a financial institution in order to make the purchase, a title search will be ordered by that financial institution well in advance of the closing. This search will reveal any outstanding liens. If no financial institution is involved, then you will want to contract directly with a title company for a complete title search.  In either case, be certain your “Offer to Purchase” contains contingency clauses that state what affect these liens will have on your offer.
 
Q:Can I do my own title search?
A:Strictly speaking, the answer is “yes”. Practically speaking, however, the answer is probably “no”. The records in the Register of Deeds office are open for public inspection. However, unless you are familiar with how real estate records are organized and how to perform a “Grantor/Grantee” and a “Tract Index” search, it will be easier for you to find the proverbial “needle in a haystack”. Additionally, there may be documents on file with the Clerk of Circuit Court that may impact the property you are interested in. It is our experience that the expertise a professional title searcher offers is well worth the money you will spend – especially when you compare it to the value of the transaction you are about to enter.
 
Q:How can I find out the sale price from the previous sale of a specific property?
A:We can assist you with this type of information. There will be a fee of either $5 or $10 depending on how long ago the previous sale took place. If you send an email to Register of Deeds with the address of the property you are interested in, we will send you a search application form and inform you which fee will apply to your inquiry. Please note, we do not do this type of searching “over the phone”.
 
Q:I need the recording information (document number, volume & page, date, etc) from a previously recorded document. How can I obtain this information?
A:You need to provide the following: (1) the parcel identification number for the property, (2) what type of document you are looking for (ie: deed, mortgage, satisfaction) and (3) an approximate time frame to search in. Again, there will be a fee of either $5 or $10 depending on how long ago the document was recorded. If you send an email to Register of Deeds with the above information, we will send you a search application form and inform you of which fee will apply to your inquiry. Please note, we do not do this type of searching “over the phone”.
 
Q:What help can the Register of Deeds office provide for drafting my own real estate documents?
A:This office is charged with the duty of being an unbiased, independent custodian of records relating to real estate. As such, the only area we can assist you in is general process questions. We cannot assist you in the drafting of documents. Although several legal documents have been developed into “fill-in-the-blank” style forms and appear to be very easily completed, it is the answers to those fill-in-the-blank questions that are critically important. Those answers can vary widely from person to person. Determining the correct answer for your situation constitutes “legal advice” and none of our staff is licensed to practice real estate law. Even if we were, our role as custodian of the records would still prevent us from assisting in the creation of the records.
 
Q:We recently paid off the mortgage on our home. When will get a new deed showing that we no longer owe the bank anything?
A:Under Wisconsin law, you only ever receive one deed to your property. And you should have received it shortly after you closed on your property. If you take a look at your deed, you will notice that your name appears as a “grantee” but the bank is never mentioned. So, when you pay your mortgage in full, it is not necessary to update your deed. What needs to be done is to have a “Satisfaction of Mortgage” document recorded with our office. Financial institutions are required to record such a document within a specified timeframe. If you received the endorsed satisfaction from our office, nothing further needs to be done. If you have not received the endorsed satisfaction from our office, you should check with your lender to be certain they processed the appropriate paperwork.
 
Q:I have been told I need to get a “legal description” of my property. Where do I get that?
A:The legal description of your property appears on your deed.
 
Q:When can I get a copy of an Accident report?
A:Accident reports are generally available after 7 calendar days. Accident reports are $1.00. You must either appear in person at the Law Enforcement Center or Sheriff's Patrol Station for a copy of the accident report OR mail $1.00 plus a self-addressed, stamped envelope to Records Bureau, 717 Wisconsin Av., Racine, WI 53403.
 
Q:How do I find out about Foreclosure Sales
A:Notices are posted at the Racine County Courthouse, Racine City Hall, Racine Public Library, Ives Grove Public Works Building, and the Burlington Service Center. They may also be posted at other locations depending on the township of the property. Notices are published in the Racine Journal Times. You must appear in person to make a bid on a property. You must also have at least a 10% deposit plus .3% transfer tax fee at the time of sale. The deposit can be made in cash, or cashier's check payable to the Racine County Clerk of Courts. Any questions regarding the terms or the property are handled by the Plaintiff's attorney listed on the sale notice.
 
Q:Can I get a Background check or criminal record check?
A:This can be completed on-line by accessing the Wisconsin Department of Justice website at http://wi-recordcheck.org
 
Q:How can I make an Open Records request?
A:The request must be made in person or in writing. They should include as much information as possible to locate the information being requested including the date or time period of the incident(s). This department does not release reports where a criminal investigation is pending. All reports involving arrests must be obtained through discovery from the Racine County District Attorney until the charges are adjudicated by the courts.
 
Q:I have been ordered by the Court to be fingerprinted. How do I get fingerprinted?
A:The Records Bureau performs fingerprinting services on Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday from 9:00-11:00 a.m. and 1:00-3:00 p.m. Those persons ordered by the court or as a condition of probation/parole must present proper paperwork and identification. Those persons needing fingerprint cards for security positions or employment must bring the blank cards with them. Do not write your personal information on the cards prior to arriving. The Sheriff’s Department charges $20.00 for non-criminal fingerprinting. This department does not perform fingerprinting for INS purposes.
 
Q:I need a copy of an incident report but need to know if it is available before I drive all the way to Downtown Racine. How can I find out if the report has been completed yet?
A:Call the Sheriff’s Departments Records Bureau at 262-636-3229.
 
Q:How can I get Sex offender Information?
A:Sex Offender information can be obtained from http://offender.doc.state.wi.us/public. Computers are available for free public use at the Library in your community.
 
Q:Who do I call to find out when the parade, trick or treat or fireworks is?
A:Call your local Town, Village or City Hall. The Phone Number will be listed alphabetically in the blue section of the phone book.
 
Q:Where do I call to find out if someone is in the County Jail and how to get them out?
A:Call the County Jail at 262-636-3929. Have the person’s full name and date of birth before calling, so Jail Staff can be positive they give correct information.
 
Q:How do I find out about road construction or snow covered roads?
A:Call the free Highway information line. Dial 511. They update the information constantly and answer 24 hours per day.
 
Q:I need to get a restraining order. How do I do that?
A:Call the Clerk of Courts at 262-636-3333 to initiate the process.
 
Q:I need someone evicted or papers served on someone. Who do I call to get this started?
A:Call Civil Process at 636-3219 to initiate the process.
 
Q:A Sheriff’s Department Investigator is working on my case. How do I find out if anything has developed yet?
A:Call the Investigative Bureau at 262-636-3225 between 7:30 AM and 4:00 PM Monday through Friday. The Investigative Secretary will be able to find who has been assigned to your case.
 
Q:I need to speak to the Deputy who stopped me / was at my accident / arrested my relative.
A:Patrol Deputies work from the Patrol Station located on Washington Avenue / STH 20, just west of the Interstate. Call the Patrol Station at 262-886-9465 and ask for the Shift Supervisor.
 
Q:I can’t make my court date. How do I reschedule a court date?
A:Call the Clerk of the Court you are to appear in. The Court’s phone numbers are listed in the blue section of the phone book.
 
Q:Who do I call for information about boater safety classes or hunter safety classes?
A:Call The Sheriff’s Department Water Safety Patrol Office at 636-3298.
 
Q:Where are you located? How do I get there?
A:The Racine County Sheriff’s Department is located at 717 Wisconsin Avenue in Downtown Racine, Wisconsin. From I 94, follow STH 20 eastbound into Downtown Racine. We are on the Southwest corner of 7th Street ( STH 20 ) and Wisconsin Avenue. Directly to the west of the Department is the Racine County Court House; the tallest building in the County.
 
Q:How do I apply for services?
A:You must complete an application for services. After completing the application for services, you will need to send that to the Child Support Department (CSD).(rev2012)
 
Q:How do I change my child support order?
A:In order to change an existing order, a new court order must be entered. There are a few ways of doing this.
1) You can request that the CSD review your case to see if it warrants an adjustment. The CSD has strict procedure that they must follow in order to review a court order. If the CSD has reviewed your case, and they determine that it does not warrant an adjustment, no modification proceedings will commence.
2) You can file your own motion with the court to modify your court order.
3) You can file a
stipulation and order to modify the current child support order.
 
Q:How do I file my own motion with the court?
A:You can hire an attorney, consult with Legal Action of Wisconsin, or file your motion with the court.
 
Q:My child is in foster care and the child support money I was receiving from my ex-husband is now going to the State of Wisconsin. I’ve received an appointment letter stating I must go to the CSD to establish an order for me to pay. Why must I pay if you are already getting my ex-husbands child support?
A:All parents have a duty and obligation to support their child(ren) no matter where the child(ren) resides. The law requires that both parents are individually liable for supporting a child placed in substitute care.
 
Q:Does an adjustment or modification always increase the current child support order?
A:No. The adjustment could raise or lower the current support order.
 
Q:My husband and I are separated but we are not sure if we want to get divorced. I had to go to Human Services to apply for a medical card because my husbands’ employer does not offer medical insurance. My husband gives me money every week and I don’t want child support involved. Why must I appear for an appointment?
A:Because you are receiving medical assistance from the State of Wisconsin you must cooperate with the CSD. Even though you do not want us to establish an order for child support, Wisconsin law and the Court insists that as long as the non-custodial parent does not reside with you then we must enter an order. Failure to cooperate will result with any benefits you are receiving from the State of Wisconsin being stopped.
 
Q:The mother of my child had a medical card (Medical Assistance benefits from the State of Wisconsin). Will I have to pay that back? And how much will that cost?
A:The State of Wisconsin has a set amount for each county. In Racine the cost for birth expenses total approximately $4000.00. The father is usually ordered to pay back half of the cost. These costs are added to the order along with a payment per week plan. If the fathers’ income is below 185% of the federal poverty level then he cannot be required to make regular payments. However, tax intercept program may be used to recover these costs.
 
Q:My girlfriend/ex-wife is no longer receiving public assistance. Why is the CSD still enforcing the order?
A:If there is an order in effect, it does not matter if the custodial parent is receiving public assistance or not; the child support order does not stop. If there is no balance owing to AFDC or W2 or birth expenses then there is a form that the custodial parent can fill out to stop our services. However, this still doesn’t stop the order for current child support. All this form does is keep us from enforcing the case.
 
Q:My order allows me time with my kids but the custodial parent is not letting me see them. Can I stop paying support?
A:No. Wisconsin Family law draws a very definite line between the issues of physical placement and child support. No parent can withhold court ordered support because they are denied court order periods of visitation. Likewise, no parent can deny court ordered visitations because the other parent is withholding court ordered support payments. If you are being denied visitation rights, contact your Family Court Commissioners Office. It is important to remember that the Wisconsin Child Support program and its representatives have NO authority to create, change, or enforce custody and placement provisions. Even though we can sympathize with your situation we cannot get involved with it. You MUST contact the Family Court Commissioners Office with these issues.
 
Q:The kids are living with me now. Why am I still paying support to the mother?
A:You will have to continue to pay support until you produce an order from the court stating that placement has changed and your obligation to support the children has been terminated. You should file a motion with the court to modify the order.
 
Q:The custodial parent doesn’t spend the support money on our kids. What can be done?
A:The money the custodial parent spends on housing, utilities and food is spending that is shared with the children. If you believe your children are not being adequately fed, clothed and housed then you may contact the county social services agency where your child lives. Neither the state nor the federal government has jurisdiction over how the custodial parent spends child support payments.
 
Q:I'm not working now. Why do I still have to pay the same amount of child support?
A:Your child support order is based on the DWD 40, the Percentage of Income Standard, and is based off of your gross income. If you believe your current support order no longer reflects the appropriate amount based on the Percentage of Income Standards, you can request that the CSD review your order for a possible modification. If you voluntarily quit your job or were terminated, the CSD will not pursue a modification.
 
Q:If I'm in prison, why do I still have to pay child support?
A:Every child has the right to be supported by both parents, and every parent has an obligation to support their child, regardless of whether a parent is incarcerated. The only time the courts will even consider that a support obligation be terminated is when a non-custodial parent is incarcerated is if that parent was sentenced to be incarcerated for life, with no chance of parole.
 
Q:How do I know if a payment was received? Has the NCP made a child support payment yet?
A:Participants inquiring about payments received by WISCTF and subsequently disbursed by WISCTF are to be referred to call the IVR line (1-800-991-5530). You may also check for Payment Information Online.
 
Q:Why do I still have a commitment against me when I'm now making payments?
A:If you have a commitment against you, and you start making payments, the commitment will not be vacated automatically. This is a matter that will need to be ordered by the court. If you are in this situation, you should contact the CSD immediately to schedule an appointment with the paralegal to negotiate that this commitment be vacated.
 
Q:My son is 22 years old and you are still taking child support. How can this be?
A:There are arrears owed. You should contact your caseworker for more information. The KIDS system automatically holds onto any monies that come in that has nowhere to go, this causes a caseworker to take a look at why we have money coming in and nowhere to send it. We don’t just hold onto money, if no obligation exists then it gets refunded back to the payer.
 
Q:What if I don’t think I owe back child support?
A:You have the right to request payment records from the child support department. After receiving the records you may compare them with your own records to determine if the past-due support amount is accurate. If you feel there is an error, contact the child support department to discuss the possible reasons for the discrepancy. You must provide evidence for your belief that the amount is in error. The child support department will review your case to determine if there is an error. If you do not agree with the child support departments’ decision, you may request a court review. In the CSD we have a special team working on lien docket that you may ask to speak with.
 
Q:How do I find out if my name is on the lien docket?
A:If your name is placed on the lien docket you will be sent a document called Notice of Lien Docket and Credit Bureau Reporting. The notice will tell you the amount of the lien on the date that it was placed on the docket. This notice also describes your rights and procedures for disputing the lien amount.
 
Q:How long will the WSCTF take to process my payments?
A:The WSCTF will process the support payments the same day they are received Monday through Friday. KIDS will issue payment to be mailed on the next working day. Due to the vast amount of data that must be processed at the end of the month the KIDS system requires at least 24 hours of processing time at months’ end. The KIDS system is down on the 1st of each month for this processing so this will cause a one-day delay for payments.
 
Q:Will I notice a difference in the amount of support sent to my family?
A:If a payer has more than one family to support or more than one support-related obligation, the payments will be pro-rated across the payers’ cases. Payments are distributed first to families with minor children for current support and additional amounts are distributed to child support arrears or other support-related debts. Therefore payees may notice a difference in the amount they receive and the timing of these payments.
 
Q:The non-custodial parent of my children does not want a Notice of Income Withholding to go to his/her employer. He/she prefers to pay me directly. Is this all right?
A:Income withholding is mandatory in Wisconsin because it is convenient to both parents and greatly reduces the possibility of late payments or arrearages. Generally, only self-employed paying parents do not participate in immediate income withholding, they may be required to arrange for periodic payments of support from a bank account.
 
Q:I got notice that my taxes were intercepted; however, my billing statement doesn’t reflect it. Where did my money go?
A:The non-custodial parent receives notice from the IRS or DOR that his/her tax refund has been intercepted. The state child support system usually receives the tax intercept monies four to six weeks after the non-custodial parent receives this notice.
 
Q:Besides paying my current support I am making payment on the child support arrears and birth expenses. You are still charging me interest on the back support and I just received notice that my taxes are going to be intercepted. Can you do this? What can I do?
A:Wisconsin law requires the CSD to charge simple interest of 1% per month on the unpaid amount even if you are making payments on the arrears. Under federal law, the Bureau of Child Support is required to intercept federal tax refunds in any case when the custodial parent received public assistance and the arrears total $150.00 or more or non-public assistance cases when arrears total $500.00 or more. The Bureau of Child Support is required to intercept state tax.
 
Q:I owe back child support and I know my taxes will be intercepted. I am remarried and am concerned you will intercept my new wife’s tax return. Will this happen?
A:Yes. If you file a joint return, you should file an injured spouse claim. The IRS will pro-rate the refund. It may be easier for you both to file separately. Contact your tax preparer for filing advice.
 
Q:I am not getting any child support. I want the non-custodial parent in jail but the CSD just sends him/her a letter. I want him/her arrested. What can I do?
A:There are many steps to enforcement. We first send a warning letter out. If there’s no response from the payer we either refer the case for a pre-trial with the child support attorney or refer the case to court. Before any payer can be arrested he/she must first be either found in contempt of court or unable to be located to be served. We cannot just arrest someone without going through the due process.
 
Q:The non-custodial parent recently moved. I had to tell my caseworker about it. How come I had to tell the caseworker? Shouldn’t the CSD know?
A:The custodial parent will often learn information about the non-custodial parent before the CSD finds out. The locate tools used by the CSD sometimes takes awhile to report new information. The custodial parent usually finds out from the non-custodial parent himself or from mutual friends/family. Non-custodial parents are court ordered to report changes in employers and addresses within 10 days, however, if all non-custodial parents followed their court orders the CSD would not need to be involved in the first place. The custodial parent needs to report information to us to be sure the information is received and processed. Click here for the Change of Address or Employment Form.
 
Q:My daughter turned 18 in February but doesn’t graduate until June. When will my child support obligation stop?
A:Check your child support order to see when the end date is. Most of them are 18 years old unless pursuing a high school diploma but not later than 19 years old. At that time you must provide us with a copy of the high school diploma or a letter from the high school indicating the date of graduation. The CSD will then stop current child support and send a notice to terminate income withholding to your employer.
 
Q:The non-custodial parent is required to provide medical insurance. I’m receiving my child support but no medical coverage for my child. The non-custodial parent is supposed to pay half of all uninsured medical bills too and isn’t. What can be done?
A:At the Racine CSD, if a non-custodial parent is paying child support, the case will not be referred to court for enforcement of medical coverage. We may send a non-custodial parent letters regarding the issue but we must concentrate on enforcing the child support first. You may file a motion on your own or hire a private attorney to enforce that issue in Family Court. You can also file a motion in Small Claims court for any medical bills you have paid on your own.
 
Q:I can't afford medical insurance coverage for my kids. Do I have to provide it anyway?
A:If you were ordered by the court to provide medical coverage, you must provide coverage. If you do not, you may be found in contempt of court.
 
Q:I am the alleged father and I want blood tests to be sure this is my child. How much will this cost me and do I need to bring the money with me at the time of testing?
A:The test costs $66.00 ONLY if you are found to be the father. There’s no need to bring any money with you when you appear for DNA testing. The costs are added to your order along with a payment per week plan.
 
Q:I believe the custodial parent is neglecting my kids and may be abusing them. Why won’t CSD help me?
A:The issues of the county protective services are separate from the issue of child support. If you believe your children are abused or neglected then contact the county social services agency where your children live.
 
Q:The non-custodial parent is (re)married. The new spouse makes a lot of money. Can the amount I receive for child support be based on the spouses’ income also?
A:No. The responsibility for supporting a child rests with the parents of the child. Under Wisconsin law a stepparent has no legal responsibility to support the children of his/her new spouse.
 
Q:When I called the CSD I was told that I’m not a custodial parent of their cases. How can I not be if I have a court order in Racine County Family Court and I’m receiving child support through them?
A:Your case is a Non-IV-D case. You either had a private attorney, used the services of a legal advocacy group or represented yourself to obtain a court order. You also never received public assistance for the child(ren) of this case. The CSD monitors your payment record but does not enforce your order unless requested. You would need to fill out an application.(rev2012)
 
Q:This is my first attempt to sell to Racine County. With whom should I make my first contact?
A:Your initial contact should be with Purchasing Personnel. We are located in the Racine County Courthouse, 4th floor, 730 Wisconsin Avenue, Racine, WI. There, you may tell us about your company and we will answer any questions you have about County purchasing procedures, policy and law.

ALL PURCHASES FOR PUBLIC WORKS, SHERIFF OFFICE, PARKS & RECREATION, RIDGEWOOD CARE CENTER, AND ALL OTHER COUNTY DEPARTMENTS ARE MADE BY PURCHASING PERSONNEL. NO PURCHASES ARE MADE DIRECTLY BY THE VARIOUS DEPARTMENT PERSONNEL EXCEPT DURING EMERGENCIES.
 
Q:Does the County buy the products or services I sell?
A:This question should be asked when you visit someone in the Purchasing Office. The County buys thousands of different products and services – most in small quantities, some in larger quantities
 
Q:Does the County have preferences for local products and services?
A:No, but for products or services that are needed quickly, it is usually most expedient to get them locally. So, many of our smaller and even some larger purchases, where the need is urgent, will, quite naturally, be made locally. Competitive pricing for emergency purchases is obtained if there is time and if it is felt by purchasing personnel that the effort will be worth the time under the circumstances.
 
Q:How do I find out when the County is going to buy the products or services I sell?
A:Notices of Formal bids for construction, the estimated cost of which exceeds $20,000, and supplies, equipment and services, the estimated cost of which exceeds $25,000 are published in the Racine Journal Times under “Legal Notices” in the classified section.
 
Q:How does the County select a vendor for a specific product or service?
A:
  • Competitive Sealed Bids (used for construction, the cost of which is estimated to exceed $20,000, and for all other products and services, the cost of which is estimated to exceed $25,000). This is the preferred method of selection for larger purchases when the end product or result can be adequately defined and specified.
  • Request for Proposal (used for products and services when the end product cannot be adequately defined or specified or where factors other than the products or service need to be considered).
  • Small Purchase Procedure (used for all purchases which have an estimated cost below the amounts stated for competitive sealed bids). The majority of purchase orders are issued under this method. However, only about 20% of the dollars are spent using this method. Written quotations, telephone quotations, catalog prices with discounts and other similar methods are used to select vendors under this method.
  • Sole Source (used when there is only one source for the required product or service). This may be the case where a product is patented and no other product exists that offers equal performance.
  • Emergency Procurement (used only when an emergency exists - where life or property is in eminent danger).
 
Q:How can I enhance my chances of selling my products or service to the County?
A:Read the IFB (Invitation for Bids) or RFP (Request for Proposal) or RFQ (Request for Quotes) carefully so that your submission is responsive and meets the specified requirements. Know your competition and their pricing policies. Perform if you are awarded the contract. Follow up on delivery and make sure the end user is satisfied. Make suggestions to County personnel about how your product/services might improve processes, etc.
 
Q:What about gifts/gratuities?
A:It is very simple – we cannot accept them. We (any County employee and elected officials) cannot (by law) accept anything of any value. So do not offer any gifts or gratuities to any County employee or elected officials.
 
Q:How quickly does the County pay invoices?
A:Payment will, in most cases, be made within 30 days after delivery. The County pays bills every Monday. Sometimes payment will take longer if there is a problem with the product or service. If it’s taking too long, call Accounts Payable (262) 636-3215. They will research and inform you about the situation.
 
Q:What if I feel there has been an irregularity in the sealed bid process?
A:Call the Purchasing Coordinator and discuss the matter. If you are unsatisfied with that discussion you have the right to file a formal protest. The procedure for filing a protest is described in Chapter 7 Article VIII Sec 7-279 of the Racine County Code of Ordinances. Do not contact elected officials or the County Executive. They will refer you to the Purchasing Coordinator.
 
Q:What if I must, in order to be responsive, submit confidential information to the County? Will it remain confidential?
A:Truly verifiable confidential information, such as trade secrets, will be kept confidential if that request is made in writing and the specific information is clearly identified. However, you should be familiar with Wisconsin’s Public Records law since it defines what is public record and what is not. Although there may be things you and we would like to keep confidential at your request, we may be unable to do so under Wisconsin Law.
 
Q:If I should have questions not addressed on this website who should I contact?
A:Purchasing Personnel can be contacted at:

PURCHASING DEPARTMENT
Courthouse, 4th floor
730 Wisconsin Avenue
Racine, WI 53403-1274


Phone: (262) 636-3706
Fax: (262) 636-3763
E-mail: RCpurchasing@racineco.com
 
Q:What is the lot size for XYZ property?
A:The lot size is for an example 125 x 200.
 
Q:Do you know the owner of XYZ address and is it owner occupied?
A:The owner of the property is John Doe and the tax bill is being sent to that address/not to that address.
 
Q:Do you have the assessment for XYZ property?
A:Land value is __________, improvement _________.
 
Q:Do you know the location of XYZ property?
A:Some times its the location to the nearest intersection, or section town and range, or what the municipality is.
 
Q:How can I get a survey of a property?
A:If we have a copy, you can purchase it from us. The same as with a 1/4 section map. We may not have copies of some surveys.
 
Q:Do you have the tax key number for XYZ property.
A:Yes and we give out the 15 digit number.
 
Q:What is the legal description for XYZ property.
A:Lot and block, subdivision or metes and bounds.
 
Q:Who is the County Executive?
A:James Ladwig has been the Racine County Executive since 2011.
 
Q:What is a County Executive?
A:A County Executive is an elected official who is in charge of the day-to-day operations of county government. The position of County Executive is a non-partisan office, meaning that candidates for the office do not have to belong to any political party. Not every county in Wisconsin is headed by a County Executive; in fact, only 12 Wisconsin counties have one. In addition to Racine County, they are: Brown, Dane, Fond du Lac, Kenosha, Manitowoc, Marathon, Milwaukee, Outagamie, Portage, Waukesha and Winnebago Counties. Other counties have a County Administrator or Administrative Coordinator who is in charge of daily operations. The Administrator or Administrative Coordinator is hired by the County Board of Supervisors and is not an elected official. A county may choose to establish the office of County Executive by action of the County Board or by passing a referendum. Racine County’s first County Executive took office in 1975.
 
Q:Who votes for the County Executive?
A:The office of County Executive is a County-wide office. Therefore, all the citizens of the County vote for the office, as they do for the County Clerk, the County Treasurer, the Register of Deeds, the Clerk of Circuit Court, the District Attorney and the Sheriff, as well as for all 10 Circuit Court judges.
 
Q:What are the duties of the County Executive?
A:The County Executive is the chief executive officer of the County, responsible for seeing to the observance and enforcement of all county ordinances and state and federal laws, if such ordinances and laws are subject to enforcement by the County Executive or persons supervised by the County Executive.
  • The County Executive directs all administrative and management functions of county government not vested by law in another elected officials and appoints and supervises the heads of all county departments except those headed by other elected officials. Six County departments are headed by other elected officials: County Clerk, County Treasurer, Register of Deeds, Clerk of Circuit Court, District Attorney and Sheriff.
  • The County Executive appoints the directors of the other county departments: Community Services, Corporation Counsel, Finance, Human Resources, Human Services (including Ridgewood Care Center), Information Systems, Planning & Development, and Public Works. The County Executive’s appointees must be confirmed by the County Board, but serve at the pleasure of the County Executive.
  • The County Executive is required to report to the County Board on “The State of the County” at least once each year; in Racine County, that usually occurs at the County Board’s first meeting in May.
  • The County Executive is required to prepare and present to the County Board an annual budget for county government; in Racine County, that usually occurs at the County Board’s first meeting in October.
  • The County Executive can approve or veto the resolutions and ordinances passed by the County Board. The County Executive’s veto of a resolution or ordinance can be overridden by a vote of two-thirds of the members-elect of the County Board.
 
Q:How long is a County Executive’s term of office?
A:The County Executive’s term is four years. In Racine County, the next term will be from April 2015 to April 2019. Non-partisan elections in Wisconsin are held in April.
 
Q:Who is eligible to run for County Executive?
A:Any person who is eligible to vote in Racine County may run for County Executive. That means someone who is an American citizen, aged 18 or older, whose primary residence is in Racine County.
 
Q:How many people work in the County Executive’s Office?
A:The County Executive’s office includes the County Executive, the Chief of Staff and an Administrative Assistant whose services are shared with the office of the Corporation Counsel.
 
Q:How do I arrange for a tour of Ridgewood Care Center?
A:Call 262-554-2203 to arrange a tour for a scheduled time or stop by Ridgewood anytime and check in at the reception area to request a tour. If there is no one here to give a tour you can look around the facility on your own.
 
Q:How long is your waiting list for Ridgewood Care Center?
A:As of 12/12/02 we have 48 males and 78 females on our waiting list.
 
Q:How much is the daily rate for Ridgewood Care Center?
A:As of January 1, 2003 the daily rate for a semi-private room is $175.00 per day and for a private room $190.00 per day. These numbers are subject to change.
 
Q:How many beds does Ridgewood Care Center have?
A:We have 210 beds at Ridgewood. We have 4 units, 2 units upstairs and 2 units downstairs. There are elevators for the upstairs units.
 
Q:Do you have an Alzheimer´s unit at the Ridgewood Care Center?
A:We do not have a specific Alzheimer´s unit. All of our residents are integrated together. This is nice because many of the more alert residents enjoy helping the Alzheimer type residents. It works out really well that way.
 
Q:Is the food good at Ridgewood Care Center?
A:The food is good. It isn´t like the hospital where there are many choices for each meal. Family members may purchase a meal ticket for a tray to eat with their loved ones for $3.50 from the receptionist. Many of our staff enjoy purchasing meals from our kitchen. A Registered Dietician is available to discuss a resident´s nutrition needs as well.
 
Q:What kind of activities do you have for the Ridgewood Care Center residents?
A:Ridgewood has a wonderful Activities Department. They provide several church services every week including Catholic, Lutheran and Non-denominational services. They also have prayer groups and Rosary sessions for resident´s spiritual needs. We have many concerts for our resident´s enjoyment, we have exercise groups, games and craft activities including a fully stocked wood-working area. If we have a resident who doesn´t like group activities we provide one-on-one socialization for them. Ridgewood also has many wonderful volunteers who assist with the General Store gift shop, the music and game activities or simply spend time with residents.
 
Q:What are your staffing levels at Ridgewood Care Center?
A:The Bureau of Quality Assurance, Division of Supportive Living, Wisconsin Department of Health & Family Services provides the Consumer Information Report for Nursing Homes annually based on each facility´s Survey results. This report can be found at the website www.medicare.gov/nursing/home.asp. A copy of this report is included with Ridgewood´s information packet which can be obtained by calling Cathy Leclercq at 262-554-2203. This report is given to all new admissions to Ridgewood and on request as well.
 
Q:Where do I go to apply for a marriage license?
A:Courthouse, 730 Wisconsin Avenue, Racine, 1st floor, North end of the Hallway or at the Burlington City Hall, 300 N. Pine Street, Burlington.
 
Q:How do I obtain a Marriage License?
A:

Marriage License Information for Racine County

Chapter 765 Wisconsin State Statutes

AGE TO MARRY

Any person who has attained the age of 18 years may marry if otherwise competent. If a person is between 16 and 18, a consent form must be signed by the parents, guardian, custodian (appointed by a court), or person having the actual care, custody and control of the applicant. The written consent must be signed in the presence of the County Clerk or in the presence of a notary public and it must be presented to the County Clerk at the time of application. Consent forms are available at the County Clerk’s Office.

PROOF OF AGE

Each person must present a certified birth certificate. A certified copy of a birth certificate is not a baptismal certificate or the certificate that is issued by the hospital at time of birth. Certified birth certificates have a statement stating that they are true and correct copies of the birth certificate and have an official seal (this seal could be an embossed seal or a colored seal). Only certified copies of the birth certificates will be accepted.

PROOF OF RESIDENCY

Proof of residency must be shown to the County Clerk’s Office. A driver’s license, non-driver’s identification card, gas bill, electric bill, telephone bill listing the person and current address can be used. Residents must prove they have lived in Racine County for at least 30 days at the time of application.

PREVIOUS MARRIAGES

If the last marriage ended in the death of the spouse, a copy of the spouse’s death certificate must be presented.

If the last marriage ended by court annulment, a copy of the judgment from the Clerk of Court in the county in which the annulment was granted must be presented (no waiting period is required).

If the last marriage ended by divorce, a copy of the divorce judgment with the file stamp from the Clerk of Court in the county in which the divorce was granted must be presented (for last marriage only). No person may marry in the State of Wisconsin until the six (6) month waiting period has expired.

FOREIGN LANGUAGE

Any document not in English must have attached to it a certified or notarized translation. Both the bride and groom must speak and be able to read English. If not, the applicant(s) must provide a translator (non-relative). The bride or groom may not translate for each other. Thank you!

OTHER REQUIRED INFORMATION

Each couple will also be asked to provide the following information:
Social security number.
Number of this marriage, race, highest grade of education.
Place of intended marriage – city – village – town and county.
Date of intended marriage.
Name, address, and telephone of the officiant.

BLOOD TEST AND PREMARTIAL EXAMINATION ARE NO LONGER REQUIRED IN THE STATE OF WISCONSIN

PRICE-WAITING PERIOD – EXPIRATION OF LICENSE


The fee for a marriage license is $90.00 CASH ONLY, (fee increase January 1, 2014 to $100.00) payable at the time of application. After the marriage license application has been made, there is a five (5) day waiting period. This waiting period does not start the day of application. It starts on the following day and the license is not issued within those five (5) days. It is advisable that you apply for your license at least two (2) weeks before the wedding.

The County Clerk’s Office is open Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m., however, if you come into the office after 4:30 p.m. you may have to return the following day in order to print and sign the necessary papers.

In cases of extreme emergency, you may petition the County Clerk for a waiver of the five (5) day waiting period, the waiver fee is $25.00. Once a marriage license is issued, it is valid for 30 days in the State of Wisconsin. Counting starts on the day after issuance and ends on day 30.

OUT-OF-STATE RESIDENTS

Out-of-state residents may marry in the State of Wisconsin. They must apply for their marriage license in the County in which they plan to marry. They are required to present the same documents to the County Clerk’s Office that a resident would.

WHO CAN PERFORM MARRIAGES

Any ordained clergyman of any religious denomination or society, court commissioners, family court commissioners, any judge of a court of record, reserve judge, or municipal court judge may perform the ceremony. A list of judges and court commissioners is available in the County Clerk’s Office.

WHERE TO APPLY FOR A MARRIAGE LICENSE

Residents of Racine County may apply for their marriage license at either of the following locations:

RACINE COUNTY COURTHOUSE
COUNTY CLERK’S OFFICE – 1ST FLOOR
730 WISCONSIN AVENUE
RACINE, WISCONSIN 53403

OR

BURLINGTON CITY HALL
300 N. PINE STREET
BURLINGTON, WISCONSIN 53105


If you have any further questions regarding the application for a marriage license, please call the County Clerk’s Office at 636-3122.

Residents in Western Racine County may call the County Clerk’s Office toll free at 1-800-242-4202.
 
Q:Where do I call to find a judge or justice of the peace?
A:We have a list of Judges and Court Commissioners who perform ceremonies. You can click here to get the list.
 
Q:How do I obtain a dog license?
A:You need to contact your municipal clerk (the city, town, or village in which you live) for a dog license.
 
Q:How do I find an owner of a lost dog?
A:You need to know the year of the dog tag, the number of the tag, and then contact the County Clerk’s Office at 636-3123. They will then look up the license and inform you of the owner’s name, address, and phone number (if available).
 
Q:How do I know who my County Board Supervisor, State Senator, and State Representatives are?
A:This information is available by address only. Please contact the County Clerk’s Office at 636-3482 for this information.
 
Q:How do I obtain a Disabled Fishing License?
A:You need to provide a Driver’s License or Wisconsin I.D., a Forward or Medicaid Card, and $7.00 cash.
 
Q:Where can I get papers notarized?
A:Our office notarizes non court documents, as long as you have a Driver’s License or Wisconsin ID.
 
Q:How do I obtain an Official Directory?
A:You may send your request to the Racine County Clerk, 730 Wisconsin Avenue, Racine, along with $2.00 for each copy, and then the office will mail one to you. Or, you may stop by the Racine County Clerk’s Office, for a free copy. Anything over one copy will be $2.00.
 
Q:Do I need a permit to work out of my home?
A:A zoning permit is required for a home occupation. The Home Occupation Permit Application Form will provide further information.
 
Q:How many people are allowed to live in a home on a parcel zoned for a one-family dwelling?
A:One family could live in the home, which is defined as any number of persons related by blood, adoption or marriage, or not to exceed four (4) persons not so related, living together in one (1) dwelling as a single housekeeping entity.
 
Q:Can I park a business vehicle on my residentially zoned lot?
A:Section 20-1009 of the Zoning Ordinance deals with parking regulations. Vans or pickup trucks used for private and recreational use or a commercial vehicle per Section 20-1009(b) used for transportation to and from a place of employment or workplace of the occupant may be parked on residential property. No other vehicular equipment of a commercial or industrial nature is allowed to be parked or stored for more than 2 consecutive hours and 4 accumulated hours during any 24-hour period on any lot in any zoning district except business and industrial districts or as permitted by conditional use in the A-2 district.
 
Q:Can recreational vehicles be parked on my residential property?
A:Sections 20-1009(c) and 20-1115(b) & (c), if applicable, deal with recreational vehicle parking regulations. In general, recreational vehicles that are accessory to a residential use can be parked in the rear or side yards only or in compliance with same setbacks allowed in subsections 20-1115(b) & (c), if applicable. The vehicles must maintain a minimum of a 6´ setback from the rear and side lot lines but are not restricted to a minimum setback to the principal structure. For the purpose of this section, recreational vehicles shall include boats and trailers, snowmobiles and their trailers, minibikes or trail bikes and their trailers, and unoccupied tent campers and travel trailers, all-terrain vehicles and personal watercraft and their trailers.(rev 2012)
 
Q:Do I need a zoning permit for a fence?
A:Non-residential security fences require a permit. All fences should be designed so that they do not obstruct traffic visibility at street intersections (See Section 20-1086 of the Zoning Ordinance). Residential fences are only controlled if they obstruct traffic visibility on corner lots, will be located near a navigable body of water (lake, river, pond, flowage, etc.) or if they will be in a shoreland-wetland or floodplain area. Please contact Development Services for further details at (262) 886-8440. Contact the Municipal Building Inspector for local fence regulations.(rev2012)
 
Q:What happens if I neglect to get a zoning permit?
A:In most cases, enforcement action would take place to correct the violation, and a double to quadruple zoning permit fee would be imposed for any required permit. In some cases a citation(s) may be issued. Each day a violation exists or continues shall constitute a separate offense. Other action could commence to seek forfeiture or penalty as outlined in the Zoning Ordinance.
 
Q:Can an accessory use or structure be put on a vacant parcel?
A:Section 20-1008 of the Zoning Ordinance deals with accessory use and structure regulations. In general, accessory uses and structures are permitted in any district but not until their principal structure is present or under construction. For example, a detached shed or garage can not be constructed until a house or business is present or under construction on the same lot. There is one exception to this rule, and that is for accessory structures in agricultural districts. The exception allows an accessory structure prior to the presence of the principal structure provided that the parcel is 10 contiguous acres in size or larger, the structure is intended for an agricultural use, it meets the minimum setbacks required for a principal structure and is at least 100´ from any existing structure.
 
Q:Can I have a horse(s) or farm animal(s) on my property?
A:Section 20-1018 of the Zoning Ordinance states that “except for the commercial raising, propagation, boarding, or butchering of animals or fowl, which are conditional uses, any restriction of the number and type of animals and pets permitted within a particular district shall be the responsibility of the local town boards.” For example, a horse used for personal use would be allowed by County code, but the Town should be contacted to see if their regulations are more restrictive. A horse boarding operation, on the other hand, would require conditional use approval.
 
Q:Can I remove trees or shrubs and do earth moving activities on my property?
A:The County regulates tree/shrub removal and earth moving activities in shoreland and floodplain areas. In addition, there may be restrictions in Primary Environmental Corridors. Contact the Development Services office at (262) 886-8440 for details prior to conducting any of these activities in the referenced areas. You should also contact the local Municipality if you propose to change property grades, as they may wish to review storm water drainage concerns. (rev 2012)
 
Q:When are a substandard lot and an abutting lot considered to be under the same ownership?
A: For the purposes of Section 20-191 of the Zoning Ordinance, lots and property shall be considered in the same ownership when owned by: the same individual or corporation; an individual and another in joint tenancy, or as tenants in common, and either of such joint or common tenants owns other abutting lots individually or as joint tenant or tenant in common with another; an individual and other abutting lots are owned by his spouse, parents, grandparents, children, grandchildren, or the spouse of any child or grandchild, or a brother or sister or spouse of a brother or sister of such person; and when any of such lots are owned by an individual and other abutting lots are owned by a corporation in which such individual is an officer or director or controlling stockholder.
 
Q:Is there a limit on the size or number of accessory structures that I can have on my property?
A:Section 20-1115 of the Zoning Ordinance deals with detached accessory structures such as pole barns, garages, sheds, etc. Typically these structures are limited to a certain size dependent on the lot area. Please contact Development Services at (262) 886-8440 for an explanation, as the rules are quite complex.(rev2012)
 
Q:Does road right-of-way get included with lot measurements?
A:No. Lot area includes the total area within the peripheral boundaries of a parcel exclusive of any highway right-of-way or road easement. The street yard setbacks are measured from the outer limit of the highway right-of-way or private road easement.
 
Q:How much lot width is needed for a parcel?
A:A minimum of 33´ of all lots shall abut upon a public street, or other means of access that was in existence prior to the original adoption of the Zoning Ordinance and which has been approved by the Town. In addition, each parcel shall have the minimum lot width that is specified for the zoning district in which it is located. Some Townships have more restrictive lot width requirements, and should be contacted for details. Lot width shall mean the width of a parcel measured at the rear of the specified street yard and is defined in Section 20-1 of the Zoning Ordinance. Please contact Development Services at (262) 886-8440 for an explanation, as the rules are quite complex.(rev2012)
 
Q:How is building height defined?
A:Building height shall mean the vertical distance measured from the mean elevation of the finished lot grade along the street yard face of the structure to the highest point of flat roofs; to the mean height level between the eaves and ridges of gable, gambrel, hip and pitch roofs; or to the deck line of mansard roofs.
 
Q:Can I get a permit for an addition to a legal nonconforming use or structure?
A:In general, a zoning permit for an addition may be allowed if the dimensional nonconformity is not increased beyond what currently exists and the total lifetime alterations, additions and expansions do not exceed 50% of the fair market value of the structure. The 50% Rule Guideline will provide additional information. Call the Development Services office at (262) 886-8440 to discuss all of the nonconforming issues.(rev 2012)
 
Q:Are permits required for an advertising sign or billboard?
A:An advertising sign is defined as a sign pertaining to goods sold or manufactured or services rendered on the premises upon which the sign is located. A billboard is a sign that advertises a product or service not offered on the premises on which the billboard is located. In most instances a permit will be required to locate, erect, extend, enlarge, convert or structurally alter an advertising sign or billboard. Some signs do not require permits under certain conditions (nameplates, real estate, political, directional, legal, memorial, subdivision, temporary construction, etc.). Contact the Development Services office at (262) 886-8440 for details and requirements.(rev2012)
 
Q:How do I apply for a variance or appeal of the Zoning Ordinance?
A:Read Variance/Appeal Procedures for variance/appeal application information. Additional criteria can be found in Section 20-41 of the Zoning Ordinance. The Variance Appeal Application Form can be printed out and completed and the Zoning Board of Adjustment Public Hearing Schedule provides filing dates and meeting dates. If you live in the Village of Caledonia, utilize the Village of Caledonia Zoning Board of Appeals Public Hearing Schedule for filing dates and meeting dates. The appropriate fee can be found in either the Fee Schedule (except Village of Caledonia) or Village of Caledonia Fee Schedule.
 
Q:What is a substandard lot?
A:A substandard lot is one which does not contain sufficient width, depth or area to conform to the dimensional requirements found in Section 20-191 of the Zoning Ordinance and was a legal lot or parcel of record in the office of the County Register of Deeds prior to the original adoption of the Zoning Ordinance or any applicable amendment to it. In general, a legal substandard lot may be utilized if it has a minimum width of 30´, a minimum area of 4,000 square feet and at least 33´ of the lot abuts a public street or other means of Town approved access that has been in existence prior to the original adoption of the Zoning Ordinance. If both an abutting lot or lands and a substandard lot are owned or become owned by the same owner on or after the effective date of the Zoning Ordinance, the substandard lot shall not be sold or used without full compliance with the provisions of the Ordinance. Such lots shall be combined into one lot by use of a deed restriction or similar instrument, which shall be recorded in the office of the County Register of Deeds, unless a habitable principal structure already exists on each lot that meets the applicable minimum provisions of Section 20-1020. With exception to some A-1 and A-3 zoning district exemptions, a substandard parcel is not allowed to be created under the present Zoning Ordinance.
 
Q:Can I build in a shoreland setback area?
A:Section 20-1045 of the Zoning Ordinance states that “within the shore yard setback area in conformance with the regulations of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, no structures are permitted. “Structures” includes fences, ice fishing shanties, accessory buildings other than boathouses, minor structures, and any retaining wall not approved by a site plan review/conditional use approval or approved by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.” Typically the minimum shoreland setback is 75´ back from the ordinary high water mark of a navigable body of water for a standard size lot and 50´ for a substandard size lot, however, averaging issues also come into play.(rev2012)
 
Q:What is the cost for obtaining a permit?
A:.The " Fee Schedule (except Village of Caledonia) and Village of Caledonia Fee Schedule the zoning and sanitation fees, including permit costs. Note that all fees must be paid by cash or check. Checks for zoning fees can be made payable to "Racine County Development Services " and sanitation fees should be payable to "Racine County Treasurer." (rev2012)
 
Q:In general, what is the order for securing permits needed to build a new home or business within Racine County?
A:A sanitary permit is required before a zoning/building permit can be issued for an unsewered parcel. The Development Services office issues Private Onsite Wastewater Treatment System (POWTS) sanitary permits for the entire County. Procedures for obtaining a sanitary permit can be found by reading Sanitary Permit Procedures. The next permit to obtain (or first permit for sewered parcels) is a zoning permit. The Development Services office can issue this for structures that will be located in any unincorporated area (Township) in Racine County and for the Village of Caledonia. The Zoning Permit Procedures document provides permit application details. A Conditional Use approval may be needed prior to the issuance of a zoning permit. After zoning permit issuance, a building permit can be secured from the local Municipality. In some instances, you may need to contact the road right-of-way owner (Town, Village, County or State) to obtain a permit to install a culvert for a driveway entrance to a lot.(rev2012)
 
Q:What types of structures or uses require a zoning permit?
A:Most new structures require a zoning permit. All residential, commercial, recreational, institutional and industrial principal buildings along with any additions, alterations or conversions to such require a permit. Additions could include a garage, carport, first or second-story enlargement, basement, crawl space, outside stairs, porch, deck, landing, etc. Detached accessory structures that are 36 square feet or more in size (along with any additions, alterations or conversions to such) also require a permit. This could include a shed, pole barn, garage, greenhouse, tree house, gazebo, deck, and an outdoor swimming pool, spa, hot tub, etc. Advertising signs, billboards, tower broadcast facilities, mobile home and campground developments, non-residential security fences, ponds, mineral extraction, non-metallic mining, sanitary landfills and home occupations also need permits. In addition, tree/shrub cutting, landscaping (cutting or filling), riprap projects, and/or retaining walls in a shoreland and/or floodplain area require County approvals. When in doubt, call the office at (262) 886-8440, as this is not a complete list of possible permits. All permits/approvals are to be secured before anything is constructed, erected or placed on a property and before earth moving or cutting of trees and shrubs takes place in a shoreland area.(rev2012)
 
Q:How do I obtain a zoning permit?
A:The Zoning Permit Procedures document will provide detailed information.
 
Q:What areas of the county are under the Racine County Code Administration zoning jurisdiction?
A:All of the unincorporated areas (Townships) in Racine County come under this office’s general zoning jurisdiction. Additional jurisdiction extends to shoreland and/or floodplain areas of the unincorporated areas in the County. Shoreland areas include lands within 1,000 feet of a navigable lake, pond or flowage and/or within 300 feet of a river or stream or to the landward side of its floodplain, whichever distance is greater. County zoning jurisdiction does not extend to cities or villages. However, Racine County has been contracted by the Village of Caledonia to issue general zoning and shoreland/floodland permits for the Village.(rev2012)
 
Q:How long is a zoning permit valid?
A:A zoning permit shall expire within six months of issuance (Village of Caledonia) or nine months of issuance (Racine County) unless substantial work has commenced and is continuing. Substantial work shall mean a considerable amount of work done towards completing the project that received approval, that may include obtaining necessary plot plans, surveys, engineering data, easements, deed restrictions, approvals, permits, and physically starting the project. For typical building construction projects, the site work must progress beyond grading and completion of structural foundations, and construction must be occurring above grade to be considered substantial work. For a minor fee and while the permit is still valid, it is possible to extend a zoning permit for a six-month (Village of Caledonia) or nine-month (Racine County) period of time. If a zoning permit expires without substantial work, it become null and void and a new zoning permit would be required.(rev2012)
 
Q:What is the zoning district for my property?
A:You can call the Development Services office at (262) 886-8440 to find out the zoning district for any unincorporated area in Racine County and the Village of Caledonia (but not other cities and villages). It is helpful if you can provide the tax identification number for the property in question, which is normally found on the property tax bill. For City of Racine zoning questions please call (262) 636-9464. For Village of Mt. Pleasant zoning questions please call (262) 554-8750.(rev2012)
 
Q:What activities are allowed in my zoning district?
A:You can call the Development Services office at (262) 886-8440 or go to the Racine County Code of Ordinances web site and navigate to Chapter 20, Article VI to get the specific principal and conditional uses for each zoning district. Each district has a specified minimum lot width and area requirement as well as minimum lot line setbacks and maximum building heights. Other Racine County Zoning Ordinance Sections referenced in the FAQ’s can also be researched through this web link.(rev2012)
 
Q:How can I find out if there is 100-year floodplain on my property?
A:The County has topographic maps that contain general 100-year floodplain delineation by elevation. A land surveyor should delineate the exact floodplain location on a property. There are also Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRM) that are part of the National Flood Insurance Program. These are sometimes referred to as Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) maps, and show designated floodplain zones.
 
Q:Do I need a zoning permit for temporary or movable structures?
A:Except for minor structures, which is defined as “any small, movable accessory erection or construction such as birdhouses, tool houses, pet houses, play equipment and arbors,” a zoning permit would be required for a structure. Small detached accessory structures that are less than 36 square feet, as well as small movable lawn furniture, picnic tables, portable grills, and bird feeders normally do not require a permit. Also see, "Can I build in a shoreland setback area?"
 
Q:Do I need an appointment to visit the office, and how long does it take to process a permit?
A:No appointment is necessary to get information or a permit from the Development Services office. Allow at least an hour before lunch or closing to allow staff to review information with you. Some permits can be issued while you wait; others may require additional information or further review before processing. The office has up to 30 days to process a permit once all applicable information has been submitted.(rev2012)
 
Q:Can I live in a mobile home on my property?
A:Mobile homes (not manufactured dwellings or manufactured homes) intended for human habitation are only allowed within mobile home parks.
 
Q:Can I build a home on my lot?
A:Since there are so many factors involved in siting a home on a property (yard setbacks, floodplain, wetlands, shoreland regulations, height limits, minimum core living area, etc.) it would be best to sit down with Development Services staff during normal business hours to discuss your particular situation.(rev 2012)
 
Q:Do I need a permit for a pier or boatlift?
A:Racine County does not issue permits for a riparian landowner’s private pier or boatlift. However the local Municipality and/or the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources may regulate these structures in navigable waters. The County does regulate water-oriented commercial or multiple use piers for facilities such as marinas, resorts, planned residential developments and subdivisions.
 
Q:Can I place a boathouse on my property?
A:One boathouse could be placed in a shore yard area of a property having a residential use after obtaining the required zoning permit. Section 20-1117 of the Zoning Ordinance indicates that a boathouse cannot be located closer than 20´ to the annual high water elevation of the body of water nor more that 15´ above that elevation and it may not contain a deck or railing on the roof. The size is limited to 250 square feet in horizontal area covered. It must be at least 15´ from a side lot line and the main opening must be oriented toward the body of water. Boathouses must be used strictly for the storage of boats and water-related recreational accessories. In addition, no plumbing, heating, cooking facilities or human habitation is allowed in a boathouse.
 
Q:Can I have a two-family dwelling on my property?
A:The R-6, R-6A, R-8 and A-2 zoning districts could allow two-family dwellings. Call the Development Services office at (262) 886-8440 for details.(rev 2012)
 
Q:What areas of the county are under the Racine County Code Administration sanitation jurisdiction?
A:All of the unsewered areas in Racine County come under this office’s private onsite wastewater treatment system (POWTS) jurisdiction. It is possible that the POWTS jurisdiction could be extended to an area that is served by municipal sewer if the sewer district granted permission or a variance to do so.(rev2012)
 
Q:How do I apply for an appeal of a sanitary administrative action or decision?
A:The Economic Development & Land Use Planning Committee shall act as the board of appeals and shall hear appeals of final decisions for Chapter 19 of the Utilities Ordinance. Requests shall be filed in writing with the Development Services office within three weeks after the final administrative action or decision. The appropriate fee must accompany the request. After hearing the appeal, the Committee shall render its decision at or before its next regularly scheduled meeting.(rev2012)
 
Q:How do I report a Zoning violation?
A:: Contact Racine County Development Services at (262) 886-8440 if you suspect that there is a zoning violation in an unincorporated area of the County or in the Village of Caledonia.(rev2012)
 
Q:Is grant money available to assist with costs associated with replacing my failing POWTS?
A:.You may be eligible to apply for a Wisconsin Fund grant through the Development Services office. Read the Wisconsin Fund Grant Eligibility Guidelines document for detailed information.(rev2012
 
Q:Does Racine County have a maintenance requirement for POWTS?
A:State codes require that all counties enact a maintenance program for all POWTS. The owner of a POWTS is responsible to ensure that the operation and maintenance of the POWTS occurs in accordance with State and County codes and any approved management plan. A properly licensed individual must visually inspect septic tanks and lift pump tanks within 3 years of the date of system installation and at least once every 3 years thereafter. Documentation of the inspection must be sent to the County (along with an administrative fee of $10.00) and shall certify that the system is in proper operating condition without ponding on the surface of the ground and that after inspection, and pumping, if necessary, the tank is less than 1/3 full of sludge and scum. Some management plans will require more frequent maintenance. A licensed individual must pump holding tanks when the wastewater in the tank reaches a level of one foot below the inlet invert of the tank. Proof of this pumping must be submitted to the Development Services office along with a $10.00 annual administrative fee. Further maintenance requirements can be found in Section 19-105, of the Utilities Ordinance.(rev2012)
 
Q:Can I elect to install a holding tank as a POWTS?
A:In most cases, a holding tank can only be utilized if a soil evaluation shows that no other type of POWTS can be installed on the property and if the local Municipality allows the use of the requested holding tank. Some exceptions exist for the temporary use of a holding tank. In addition, the installation of a holding tank in a subdivision is prohibited unless it is the only alternative and it replaces a failing POWTS that serves an existing habitable building on the subject property. For further details on holding tank use, contact the Development Services office at (262) 886-8440.(rev2012)
 
Q:How do I report a Sanitation violation?
A:For a private on-site wastewater treatment system (POWTS) violation, including a failing private sewage system, contact Racine County Development Services at (262) 886-8440. If there is a storm water drainage concern, please contact your local Municipality(rev2012)
 
Q:Does Racine County allow the installation of constructed wetlands, evapotranspiration beds or pit privies?
A:No.
 
Q:Can I change plumbers after the sanitary permit is issued?
A:When an owner with a valid sanitary permit wishes to change plumbers, it will be necessary to submit a new Sanitary Permit Application form (signed by the new plumber) along with the applicable fee, to the Development Services office to obtain approval prior to system installation. Plumbers can only be changed if the original plan was prepared by an architect, engineer or plumbing designer unless a new plan approval is obtained by the new plumber. (rev2012)
 
Q:Can a sanitary permit be transferred?
A:A valid sanitary permit may be transferred from the holder to a subsequent owner of the land. A new Sanitary Permit Application form must be completed, signed by the plumber and submitted to the Development Services office with the required fee to obtain a new sanitary permit. Transfer of ownership does not affect the expiration date or renewal requirements.(rev2012)
 
Q:How long is a sanitary permit good for and can it be renewed?
A:A sanitary permit is valid for two years from the date of issuance. The property owner/agent may renew a permit following written application to the Development Services office and submittal of the proper fee. The renewal shall be based on current code requirements in force at the time of renewal and changed requirements may impede renewal. If a sanitary permit is not renewed prior to expiration, a new permit would be required to complete any desired POWTS installation.(rev2012)
 
Q:Plat books
A:Plat books, when the supply is not exhausted, may be obtained from the Farm Bureau (Rural Insurance), 1701 Main Street, Union Grove, 262-878-2418. A fee may be charged for the books. Plat books are published by Cloud Cartographic, Inc. in Minnesota. Their web site is listed as ccimaps They may also available for a fee at the Real Property Lister office (formerly Real Estate Description), downtown at the Courthouse, 262-636-3548. They ARE NOT AVAILABLE from the Farm Service Agency, from Co-Operative Plus, Inc. (formerly Farmers Grain & Supply), from Racine County Planning, or from Racine County Code Administration. Additionally, plat books are copyrighted, & duplication thereof must comply with copyright laws.
 
Q:Zoning Jurisdiction
A:Generally, all unincorporated areas of Racine County, including the Towns of Burlington, Caledonia, Dover, Norway, Raymond, Rochester, Waterford, & Yorkville. The Village of Mount Pleasant has it’s own zoning ordinance.
 
Q:Sanitation Jurisdiction
A:All unsewered areas of Racine County.
 
Q:Shoreland Jurisdiction
A:Related to navigable waterways in the unincorporated areas of Racine County as follows: 1,000 feet from the ordinary high water mark of a lake, pond, or flowage; 300 feet from the ordinary high water mark of a river or stream or to the landward side of the floodplain, whichever distance is greater.
 
Q:Mining Jurisdiction
A:All non-metallic mining operations in Racine County.
 
Q:Plat Review Jurisdiction
A:All unincorporated areas of Racine County & extra-territorial review of all plats in incorporated areas of Racine County.
 
Q:Economic Development & Land Use Planning Committee meetings
A:Racine County Economic Development & Land Use Planning Committee meetings are generally held on the first & third Monday’s of each month, beginning at 6:00 p.m. in the Ives Grove Office Complex Auditorium. Deadlines & meeting dates are covered on separate sheets.
 
Q:Hazardous waste disposal
A:Racine County does not currently have a household hazardous waste disposal program. Hazardous waste disposal questions (paint, pesticides, herbicides, microwave ovens, etc.) should be directed to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources’ Sturtevant office at 272-884-2300.
 
Q:Ponds
A:Town & County permits are required before constructing ponds, & information regarding digging a pond is covered on a separate sheet.
 
Q:Pets
A:Unless it is a commercial breeding, boarding, raising, etc. operation, questions regarding “pets” should be directed to your local municipality.
 
Q:Drainage/storm water management
A:Storm water drainage & storm water management questions should be directed to your local municipality.
 
Q:Land divisions
A:Land divisions must be consistent with the provisions of the Racine County Zoning Ordinance for the zoning district in which the parcel lies. The divisions should also be consistent with densities specified in local land use plans. Most municipalities require a minor land division to be made through the use of a certified survey map. Please contact your local municipality for their specific provisions.
 
Q:Piers
A:For an individual riparian land owner, the local municipality is the contact regarding questions on numbers, lengths, & locations of piers. Racine County shoreland provisions to control erosion may apply concerning the actual connection of the pier to the shoreline
 
Q:Mill rates & property taxes
A:Please contact your local municipality for information regarding mill rates & other property tax questions.
 
Q:Zoning permits
A:Zoning permits must be obtained before construction begins, & they are required for all structures (permanent or temporary) that are 36 square feet or larger in size, most signs, fences within the shore yard area, & earth disturbance activities within the shoreland jurisdictional area. Contact Racine County Code Administration for permit information.
 
Q:In-rem property
A:In-rem property information can be obtained from the Racine County Treasurer at 262-636-3239.
 
Q:Abutting property owner lists
A:To obtain a current list of abutting property owners, please contact your local municipality.
 
Q:What is a POWTS?
A:POWTS is an acronym for a “private onsite wastewater treatment system” or what is sometimes referred to as a private sewage system. This would include various sewage treatment and disposal systems such as a holding tank, mound system, in-ground soil absorption system, at-grade system, pressure distribution system, drip-line effluent dispersal system, etc.
 
Q:How do I obtain a sanitary permit for a POWTS?
A:The Sanitary Permit Procedures document provides detailed information for permit application. A Certified Soil Testers List and Restricted/Master Plumbers List can also be accessed. These lists are for informational purposes only and should not be construed to be a recommendation or endorsement. Any properly licensed individual is allowed to perform the applicable duties.
 
Q:Towers
A:Towers (cellular, television, etc.): contact Racine County Planning at 262-886-8470 or consult municode municode.com & refer to Article X, Towers
 
Q:Has a decision been made to dissolve the County School operation?
A:The Racine County Board of Supervisors passed Resolution 2003-45 to dissolve the Racine County School operation and all of the special education programs provided by Racine County effective June 30, 2006.
 
Q:Would there still be special education programs for children in the western part of the County if the County School operation dissolves?
A:The local school districts are required by law to provide special education services to the children in their districts. There would still be special education programs for all children who qualify in western Racine County. The services would be provided by the local district instead of by the County School operation.
 
Q:How would dissolving the County School district affect a particular special education student?
A:The services that a special education student receives are determined by an individual education plan (IEP). A student’s IEP would remain in effect even after the County School operation was dissolved and the local school districts would be required to provide services to the student based on the IEP for that particular student.
 
Q:Who is going to pay for student special education if the County does not levy the tax?
A:Wisconsin Statutes provide for a transfer of taxing authority when the County dissolves the district. The combined levy authority of the 11 local school districts is increased by the amount that the County Schools’ authority is decreased. After dissolution the local school district will receive the State Aids and Grants currently received by the County and levy the tax for educational services.
 
Q:How many students received special education services in Western Racine County?
A:In the 2002-2003 school year approximately 1400 students received one or more special education services.
 
Q:Which are the school districts in Western Racine County that receive their special education service through Racine County?
A:All eleven school districts in Western Racine County have special education services provided through the Racine County program. These eleven districts are:
    Burlington Area School District
    Drought School District (Norway Jt. 7)
    Kansasville School District (Dover #1)
    North Cape School District
    Raymond School District
    Union Grove Graded/Middle School District
    Union Grove Union High School
    Washington-Caldwell School District
    Waterford Graded School District
    Waterford Union High School
    Yorkville School District
 
Q:What options do the local school districts have in regard to providing special education services for their special needs students?
A:Local school districts can provide special education services by doing one or a combination of the following:

  1. Establish and operate their own special education program;

  2. Participate in a cooperative program with another school district or with several school districts under section 66.0301 of the Wisconsin Statutes;

  3. Participate in a program offered by a cooperative education service agency (CESA); or

  4. Send special needs students to other school district programs through tuition agreements.

It will be the local school districts that will determine how they can best deliver the services to their special needs students. Parents will have an opportunity for input on the local level.
 
Q:What will happen to the Birth-3 Program?
A:The Birth-3 Program is not a service provided by the County School Office. This program is provided throughout the county by the Racine County Human Services Department. State law mandates that the counties provide this service and this program will continue.
 
Q:What if the local school districts hire inexperienced “off the street” special education staff?
A:The local school districts in the western part of the county have provided quality education to their students for years. The same districts that have provided quality education for regular education students can provide quality education for special needs students. The local districts can be expected to hire competent special education teachers just as they hire competent regular education teachers.
 
Q:In some states there are separate tax bills for schools, county, state, town, etc., what is the structure for Wisconsin property taxes?
A:All property taxes for schools, county, state, town, vocational schools, and sanitary districts are on one bill.
 
Q:When are property taxes in Wisconsin due?
A:Property tax bills are mailed out by the third Monday in December. Taxes are then due, in full, on or before the following January 31. If mailed, U. S. Postal Service postmark on the envelope determines date of payment.
 
Q:What if I do not have the full payment for my property taxes by January 31?
A:The County taxpayer has the option of paying the full first half on or before the following January 31, and the second half, on or before the following July 31.

If the property is in the City of Racine the taxpayer has the option of making the payments in quarters. The first quarter would be due January 31, the second, March 31, the third May 31, and the fourth, July 31.
 
Q:What if I am late paying my property tax bills on any of the due dates?
A:If you miss a due date, the taxes are then due in full and interest and penalty are calculated back to Feb. 1.

Example: John Doe has a total tax bill of $1,000 and lives in the County. He made his first payment on time, before or on January 31. He missed the July 31 deadline for the second half and made the payment on August 1. His tax balance was $500. The interest and penalty of 1.5% go back to Feb. 1. That means that Mr. Doe must pay $500 in taxes and 10.5% interest and penalty, which would equal $52.50. The total he would pay August 1 would be $552.50. Interest and penalty are added on once a month, the first day of the month @ 1.5%. If Mr. Doe had property in the City of Racine, and he missed any of the due dates, the interest calculated would be done the same way as for taxpayers in the County.
 
Q:What if my taxes are not paid in full by July 31?
A:All delinquent taxes are bought by Racine County. Any property that has delinquent taxes for two years is subject to tax foreclosure by the County.
 
Q:I don’t want to lose my home because I have delinquent property taxes. What can I do?
A:The best solution is to make an appointment to meet with the County Treasurer and draw up a formal payment arrangement agreement. As long as the agreement is kept, there would be no foreclosure.
 
Q:Does your office report to anyone if there are delinquent taxes?
A:No reporting is done. Tax records are open records and available to anyone who inquires.
 
Q:Are there any credits on property taxes and how do I get them?
A:Yes, there are two credits, the Lottery and Gaming Credit and the Homestead Credit.

Lottery and Gaming Credit

The State of Wisconsin has initiated the Lottery and Gaming Credit that is applied to property taxes. This is a result of permitting gambling in the state and all profits must go for property tax relief for Wisconsin residents, only.
 
Q:How can I get the Lottery and Gaming Credit?
A:
  1. The property you pay taxes on must be your primary residence.
  2. It must have been your primary residence as of January 1, the year you are applying for.
  3. You must sign a Lottery and Gaming Certification Card.
 
Q:Where can I get a Lottery and Gaming Certification Card for property taxes?
A:From the County Treasurer’s Offices, by requesting one by mail (include a self addressed stamped envelope) or walking in to sign one.
 
Q:Do I have to apply for the Lottery and Gaming Credit on property taxes each year?
A:No, you do not. Once the credit is applied to a parcel it is only removed if the residence no longer is the owner’s primary residence.
 
Q:My name is on my parent’s residence, they have life estate. Will they get the Lottery Credit and Gaming Credit on their property taxes?
A:Yes, just as long as the property is designated life estate.
 
Q:I just received my tax bill and the Lottery and Gaming Credit is not on it. What do I do?
A:When you pay your taxes at your municipality, point the omission out to them, and they can give you the credit right then and there.
 
Q:Homestead Credit
A:The homestead credit is administered by the State of Wisconsin Department of Revenue. It is given based on your income levels, and the property taxes on your residence. You may apply for this even if you are a renter. Contact the Wisconsin Department of Revenue. In Racine the phone number is 262-638-7500. The office is at 616 Lake Ave.
The hours are:
Jan. 1 – Apr. 15 M – TH 7:45a.m. – 4:30p.m.
Apr. 16 – Dec. 31 M, & W 7:45a.m. – 1:00p.m.
 
Q:Where do I pay my property taxes?
A:Payments due January 31 are paid to the municipality where you live.
 
Q:Are there any alternative places to pay property taxes, in addition to the municipalities’ offices?
A:Yes, you may pay by mail, and some municipalities have banks which collect taxes for them as well. Consult your municipality to find out where collection points are and the hours.

The July 31 payments of property taxes for County municipalities are made with Racine County.

All City of Racine payments are made to the City.

Receipt for payment will ONLY be mailed if a “Self Addressed Stamped Envelope” is enclosed with payment.
 
Q:What form of payment for property taxes is acceptable?
A:By mail or in person you may pay by cash, cashier’s check, money order, personal check, certified check. I f you rather pay by Credit Card or E-check, you can do so by internet.
 
Q:How does the credit card system work for payment of property taxes?
A:This is paid through a credit card company “Official Payments” and the taxpayer must pay a 2.75% service charge up front to use this method of payment. Be sure your municipality takes credit card payments. It should show on your tax bill. You will need to use the municipalities’ code to be sure the payment is credited properly.

Racine County does take credit card payments using the same method. Visa, Master Card, American Express and Discover are honored.
 
Q:May I use my credit card to pay property taxes the same way I use it to buy merchandise?
A:Not quite. There are two methods for using your credit card to pay property taxes, by using the internet or by phone.

Internet

There is a link from the Racine County Treasurer’s web page, or go to Official Payments.com
- Or -
You may call 1-800-2PAY-TAX; 1-800-272-9829


When you make the payment by credit card, the time and date of the payment is recorded so your payment will be applied appropriately.

Receipt for payment will ONLY be mailed if a “Self Addressed Stamped Envelope” is supplied to us.
 
Q:Where are the locations to pay property taxes in person, to Racine County?
A:The locations to pay in person are:

Racine County Courthouse, 730 Wisconsin Ave., Racine,
Western Racine County Service Center at 209 N Main St., Hwy 11, in Burlington.
 
Q:What are office hours for paying property taxes?
A:In both offices the hours are 8:00a.m. - 5:00p.m., Monday through Friday. Both offices are open during the lunch hour. There are no office hours on Saturdays or Sundays, or major holidays.
 
Q:May I mail my property tax payments in?
A:Yes. The address to mail the payments is:

Racine County Treasurer
Dept 3964
PO Box 2088
Milwaukee WI 53201-2088

Receipt for payment will ONLY be mailed if a “Self Addressed Stamped Envelope” is enclosed with payment.
 
Q:I lost my property tax bill and need a copy.
A:You may get a certified copy of your tax bill from the Racine County Treasurer’s Office for a $10.00 fee. It only takes 10-15 minutes for the department to get the information for you and is prepared when you come to the office to make your request. This information cannot be given over the phone, nor can it be faxed or e-mailed. You can request the form through the mail and enclose your $10.00 check along with a “Self Addressed Stamped Envelope”. This service is provided at both locations, Racine and Burlington.
 
Q:I have recently lost my spouse, how do I get the property tax bill to only show my name?
A:You must bring a tax bill for the prior year of the year your spouse passed away. Take it to the Register of Deeds and they have a form for you to fill in. The charge at the Register of Deeds is $25.00 to record this document.
 
Q:What if I do not have the property tax bill?
A:You may get a certified copy of your tax bill from the Racine County Treasurer’s Office by walking in. The charge is $10.00. You may get the copy at either the Courthouse or the Western Racine County Service Center. Be sure you state that the copy is for

Termination of Joint Tenancy.

  1. You may also get a copy by mailing your request along with a self addressed stamped envelope with a check for $10.00, to the

    Racine County Treasurer
    730 Wisconsin Ave.
    Racine, WI 53403.
    Your request will be filled the day it is received and mailed back to you the same day.
NOTE: This form would also be used in the case of a divorce.
 
Q:How long can a person be delinquent on their property taxes before they lose their property to tax foreclosure?
A:Once taxes are delinquent for two years, the County may start the foreclosure process.

Example: If you have 2000 taxes and you are delinquent for two years the foreclosure process would start Sept. 1, 2003 and the court date would be sometime in the Fall of 2004.
 
Q:Will my property be foreclosed because I have delinquent taxes even if I have payment arrangements with the County Treasurer?
A:No. As long as the payments are kept up as agreed, there would be no foreclosure.
 
Q:What happens to the properties that Racine County takes in foreclosure because of delinquent property taxes?
A:Municipalities and organizations such as Habitat for Humanity, Racine County, Economic Development Corporation, and Neighborhood Housing Services take some of the properties and rehabilitate them. The rest are put up for public sale.
 
Q:When do you have the sale of properties taken because of delinquent property taxes?
A:In the spring to summer of each year. Please watch the legal notices and/or our web-site during this time for the exact dates.
 
Q:I have another question that is not on this list regarding property taxes. Where can I call?
A:Contact the Racine County Treasurer’s Office at 262-636-3239.
 
Q:How does the sale of properties taken because of delinquent property taxes work?
A:
  1. Each property is appraised.
  2. The sale is advertised in the Journal Times and the Burlington Standard Press.
  3. It is also on the Racine County web site.
  4. A potential buyer must bid on the property. The bid cannot be lower than the minimum bid listed.
  5. The bid must be accompanied by a cashier’s check, money order, certified check, or personal check of 20% down of the amount you are placing in bid.
  6. There is a deadline for submitting bids. When bids are submitted, the date, and time received are noted on the envelope.
  7. No employee of the county treasurer’s office may fill in a bid form for you.
  8. One half hour after the deadline is past, the County Treasurer opens the bid envelopes in the order they are received. This is done, with the public and any other interested parties, in a room in the Courthouse.
  9. The County Treasurer opens the bid and checks all the bidding criteria to be sure it is a legitimate bid.
  10. The County Treasurer will then take the offers to the Finance Committee of the County Board and they will accept or reject each offer.
  11. Once the Finance Committee has issued their decision the County Treasurer will advise all bidders of the action.
  12. Once notified by the County Treasurer, the successful bidder has 30 days to pay the balance due on their offer and the title and recording fee.
  13. Should a successful bidder fail to pay within 30 days, their deposit on the property is forfeited.
  14. In the case of the offers that are rejected by the Finance Committee the County Treasurer will also notify the bidder and their deposits are returned within 30 days.
  15. Once the successful bidder pays in full, the County Treasurer sends the documents to Corporation Counsel for preparation of a Quit Claim Deed.
  16. When the Deed is done, the County Treasurer will forward a copy to the bidder, record the original one with the Register of Deeds office. Within six to eight weeks the bidder will receive the original deed from the Register of Deeds office.
  17. The successful bidder may do nothing with the property until the deed is in their hands.
 
Q:How do I find out who owns a parcel of real estate?
A:You can get this information from our new Tax Inquiry Search.
 
Q:How do I find out the assessed value of a parcel of real estate?
A:You can get this information from our new Tax Inquiry Search.
 
Q:How do I find out what a parcel of real estate sold for?
A:This is more difficult than you might think. In actual practice, the sale price is not necessarily disclosed on a deed. The Wisconsin Real Estate Transfer Fee is assessed on most, but not all coveyances. This fee is noted on the deed at the time of recording. This fee is based on the value of the property and can be calculated as follows:

Transfer fee paid divided by .003 = sale value

You can get this information from our new Tax Inquiry Search.
 
Q:What are the ‘rules of the road’?
A:We have to operate within the law. County procurement of construction is governed by Wisconsin statutes. All other procurement (products and services) is governed by Racine County Code of Ordinances, Chapter 7 Article VIII. Public procurement is just that! Public! We live in the proverbial “fishbowl.” We conduct all of our activities in a manner that will endure public scrutiny. Expect nothing less from us.
 
Q:I am considering starting a new business. What forms do I need to file with whom?
A:This is not a simple question to answer. There are many variables. Ultimately you will probably need to consult with an attorney that practices in the area of business law. But to help get you started, the State of Wisconsin has some great resources at the following address: www.wisconsin.gov/state/byb
 
Q:What is the status of the prescription issue?
A:Please read this document.
 
Q:What is the Municipality?
A:The first three numbers of the Parcel ID number a.k.a. Tax ID number indicate the municipality the property is in.
 
Q:What if you do not have the address or parcel number but you know the general location of the property?
A:Go to the Mapping section of our web site, which is located under the letter “M” for mapping. You can zoom into the map and select a parcel with the identify tool. That will give you the parcel number and the owner information.
 
Q:When and Where do I pay my property taxes?
A:

Real estate property tax bills are prepared and mailed mid-December by your local municipality.  The first installment is due by January 31 and paid to the municipality.  Please note:  if the first installment payment is late or short, all taxes become due and interest and penalty starts accruing as of February 1st.  Installment options would no longer be valid. 

For City of Racine properties, the City allows taxpayers to pay in four installments: January 31st, March 31st, May 31st and July 31st to the City.  Please contact them at 262-636-9171 for payment information.  After July 31st, all payments are payable to the Racine County Treasurer.

For all other county municipalities, there are two installments allowed;  January 31st and July 31st.  Current real estate payments made prior to January 31st are collected by your local municipality. All payments after January 31st are to be paid to the Racine County Treasurer.

PAYMENT OPTIONS FOR RACINE COUNTY:

  • IN PERSON:  Racine County Treasurer’s Office, Racine County Courthouse, 730 Wisconsin Ave, Racine WI  53403.
  • DROP BOX:  Located outside Racine County Courthouse on Wisconsin  Ave
  • MAIL:  Racine County Treasurer, 730 Wisconsin Ave, Racine WI 53403
  • CREDIT CARD/ELECTRONIC CHECK:  1-800-272-9829 or www.officialpayments.com jurisdiction code 5835
 
Q:My payments are delinquent. May I make monthly payments on them?
A:Yes. We encourage taxpayers to set up a regular payment plan to assist in getting delinquent taxes paid in full.
 
Q:Why am I being charged interest and penalty?
A:

If the entire amount of your first installment is not paid in full to your local municipality on or before January 31st, then two things will occur:

  • First, per Wisconsin State Statue (74.11(7) or 74.12 & 74.85) you will be assessed a 1.5% interest and penalty charge per month beginning February 1st.
  • Second, you will lose the option of paying your taxes in installments for the current year.  The entire amount of your taxes would be due and any unpaid balance will continue to accrue interest and penalty until the taxes are completely paid in full.
 
Q:Can you forgive some of the interest and penalties on my delinquent taxes?
A:No. State of Wisconsin law sets interest and penalties on delinquent tax amounts. There are no allowances to make any adjustments in those laws.
 
Q:WHERE WILL MY RELATIVE/FRIEND BE TAKEN?
A:If no autopsy or examination is needed, he/she will be taken to the funeral home. If further examination by our office is needed, he/she will be taken to the local hospital (Wheaton Franciscan/St. Mary’s Medical Center or Memorial Hospital of Burlington). If an autopsy is deemed necessary, he/she will be taken to the Waukesha County Medical Examiner’s Office.

PLEASE DO NOT CALL the hospital or Waukesha County. Contact us for any information needed at 262-636-3303
 
Q:IS IT NECESSARY FOR ME TO COME TO IDENTIFY THE BODY?
A:Probably not. In a majority of cases, visual identification is not required. Should it become necessary for you to come in or bring other records or x-rays, you will be contacted.
 
Q:IS VIEWING ALLOWED?
A:The Medical Examiner’s facility is not designed to hold the remains or to accommodate viewing. Arrangements can be made at the funeral home for viewing.
 
Q:HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE BEFORE MY RELATIVE/FRIEND IS RELEASED FROM YOUR CUSTODY?
A:Generally it takes no more than two to three days. Your Funeral Director will coordinate the release on your behalf.
 
Q:WILL I BE CHARGED FOR OTHER CORONER SERVICES?
A:Transportation, body bags and autopsy services (if necessary) are provided at no charge to the family. If there are any special circumstances that require extra charges (clean-up, etc), you may be billed by the county or directly by the service provider.
 
Q:WHERE CAN I OBTAIN A DEATH CERTIFICATE?
A:Death certificates are filed with the County Register of Deeds by the Funeral Director. Should you require certified copies, they can be ordered through the funeral home or they may be purchased from the Racine County Register of Deeds Office, telephone number 262-636-3208, 730 Wisconsin Ave, Racine WI 53403 OR via the internet at www.racineco.com/registerofdeeds.
 
Q:WILL AN AUTOPSY BE PERFORMED?
A:The M.E. or Deputy Medical Examiner (D.M.E.) will decide if an autopsy is necessary to establish the cause and circumstances of death. We may not perform an autopsy if the cause of death can be determined to be from “natural causes” and the deceased has been under the care of a physician who knows the medical history and will furnish the M.E. with information relative to the probable cause of death.
 
Q:WHAT ABOUT TISSUE/ORGAN DONATION?
A:In conjunction with the Wisconsin Eye Bank and American Tissue Services Foundation, we will make an effort to provide information to you about tissue donation. With your consent, many types of tissues may be donated and thereby help others. If you are unable to be contacted within a reasonable time, or there is objection to donation known, the M.E. will not proceed with any donation.
 
Q:WILL AUTOPSY REPORTS BE AVAILABLE?
A:Yes. You may obtain a copy by calling the Medical Examiner’s office, Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to noon and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. At that time, you will be informed of the costs of this service and how this document or any other M.E. records can be obtained.
 
Q:MY RELATIVE/FRIEND WAS IN THE MILITARY, WHO CAN I CONTACT FOR INFORMATION?
A:Persons who served in the Armed Forces, were honorably discharged, and meet other service requirements are entitled to a Veteran’s burial. For information about this or other military or veterans’ benefits, contact the Racine County Veterans Service Office, 262-638-6702, 1717 Taylor Avenue, Racine WI 53403. Your funeral director also has information about these benefits and Social Security benefits.
 
Q:WHAT SHOULD I DO NOW?
A:As soon as possible, select a funeral home and inform the funeral director that the death is being handled by the M.E.’s office. Ask them to please notify us. Our office does not select funeral homes nor does it make funeral arrangements. In the event someone is making the arrangements for the family, the M.E. must be provided with written authorization to release the deceased, signed by the legal next of kin. Should the next of kin reside at a distant location, he/she may send a FAX directly to our office. The following format should be used. MEDICAL EXAMINER, RACINE COUNTY, WISCONSIN, RELEASE THE REMAINS OF MY (relationship and name of decedent) CASE #-- , TO (name of funeral director selected).

SIGNED: (name)
RELATIONSHIP:
M.E. FAX NUMBER: 262-636-3728

If a body is to be shipped to a mortuary outside the County, the local mortuary, as well as the distant mortuary, must be identified in the FAX.

 
Q:WHY IS THE MEDICAL EXAMINER INVOLVED?
A:State law requires the Medical Examiner (M.E.) to inquire into and determine the circumstances, manner, and cause of all sudden, violent, or unusual deaths and those deaths where the decedent has not been seen by a physician within 20 days prior to death. The deceased will be taken to one of three places as needed: 1) The funeral home chosen by the family or, if the body is unclaimed, the one chosen by the M.E.; 2) Either Wheaton Franciscan/St. Mary’s Medical Center or Memorial Hospital of Burlington if necessary to complete our examination, or 3) The Waukesha County Medical Examiner’s Office if a forensic autopsy is needed. A death certificate is issued after the examination is completed. Occasionally, more extensive testing is required, in which case an interim death certificate is issued which will allow the family to make funeral arrangements. A final death certificate will be issued following completion of special testing.
 
Q:THERE ARE NO FUNDS FOR BURIAL, WHAT CAN I DO?
A:If the deceased or the legal next of kin do not have sufficient funds for burial, the alternative may be County disposition. In that case, the next of kin should contact the M.E. If County disposition is authorized, there may be substantial delays in receiving death certificates and, as a consequence, certain benefits.
 
Q:HOW AND WHEN CAN PERSONAL POSSESSIONS BE CLAIMED?
A:

Any personal possessions in the custody of the M.E. may be claimed by the legal next of kin. Governmental documents (driver’s licenses, passports, and military identification cards) will not be released to the next of kin. These documents will be returned to the issuing agency for disposition. To avoid any inconvenience to you, call the M.E.’s office before coming into the office. The Personal Property Clerk will advise you if any documents will be needed and of any other requirements.

Sometimes personal possessions are taken into custody by other law enforcement agencies at their request. You will need to deal with those agencies to recover personal possession in their custody.

Clothing is not usually considered property. Unless there is a need to hold clothing as evidence, it is released to the mortuary recovering the deceased. Clothing that presents a health hazard may be disposed of for the safety of all persons involved.

 
Q:I NEED TO ENTER MY RELATIVE/FRIEND’S RESIDENCE, BUT IT IS SEALED. WHAT CAN I DO?
A:In order to enter you need to obtain permission from the agency listed on the seal. Most of the time this will be the police agency involved.
 
Q:No common questions posted.
A:Thank you.
 
Q:Is there a fee for an E-check done through Official Payments?
A:Yes, there is a flat fee of $2.75 per transaction.
 
Q:Why does Racine County charge a fee for the maintenance requirement for POWTS?
A:The Development Services office was delegated the responsibility of creating an inventory of each POWTS that may exist within the County, setting up data bases to enter the information, sending out maintenance notices (postage, envelopes, copy costs), collecting and electronically recording the resulting maintenance dates, updating ownership, tracking for maintenance compliance, collecting and depositing fees, and enforcing violations (notices of violation, citations, court cases). The County must have the computers, software, employees, legal counsel, desks, phones, storage area, etc. to run the program, maintain records, and respond to inquiries. In addition, there are audits by the State, and the County must provide the staff time to facilitate this as well. Ultimately, the County Board approved a nominal fee to help cover the costs to run the program. More information about the $10 fee can be found in the FAQ entitled,“Does Racine County have a maintenance requirement for POWTS?” The fee is charged to owners of properties served by a POWTS, while people served by public sewer get separate utility fees that are not imposed on properties outside of the service area. It is a user-based type fee to help recover costs for the time, effort and expense to run the State-mandated program. There are double or triple fees assessed if the proof of maintenance/fee is overdue.(rev2012)