Assessments

Tax bills sent in December 2022 will be based on the assessment data collected, used and supported by the current Town Assessor.

Town residents will undergo the assessments and Board of Review process with the current Town assessor in spring and summer 2022. Those assessments will be used for 2022 tax bills. The only increase to the tax bill for Town residents in 2022 will be related to the change in mill rate. The mill rate information is not available until December 2022. However, historic mill rates are available for comparison pdf  to provide an idea of the difference.

The City of Madison Assessor will revalue all property in the Town beginning in 2023. A revaluation includes an individual review of each property. As a result, property value may change but the specific amount of change will not be determined until 2023 and beyond. The first assessment notices to include revaluation data will be sent in April 2023.

Find information and more resources on the City of Madison Assessor's page.

Property Tax Assistance for Seniors Mortgage Loan Program

Brush, Trash & Recycling

The Streets Division leads the City of Madison brush, refuse, recycling and urban forestry efforts. 

Trash Collection

Residents will receive one tan trash collection cart. Residents should put trash inside the cart. Trash is collected once a week.

Place the cart out for by 6:30 a.m. on the assigned trash pickup day.  Place the cart on the grassy area between the sidewalk and the curb, or your driveway apron, or the edge of the street. Avoid placing carts in the street for collection.

By resolution, the Streets Division cannot provide trash and recycling collection from multi-family buildings of eight units or more. Those that have fewer than eight units can be part of the City of Madison curbside services.

Most businesses or commercial entities are likely to be best served by a private waste hauling contractor. Businesses can receive City collection, however they must use the same curbside carts as residences and they will be picked up with the same frequency as residents. Businesses must follow all cart usage rules.

Recycling Collection

Residents will receive one green recycling collection cart. Recyclables must be placed inside the cart. They are emptied once every other week.

Have your cart out and ready for emptying by 6:30 a.m. on the scheduled pickup date. Place the carts on the grassy area between the sidewalk and the curb, or the driveway apron, or the edge of the street.

Recycling is required in the City of Madison by ordinance and property owners must provide adequate recycling facilities to their residents.

Using and Storing the Collection Carts

City of Madison ordinance requires that collection carts are not placed out for pickup more than 12 hours before the day of collection.

Large Item Collection

Madison residents receive regular collection of bulky items that are too big for the collection cart. To schedule a large item collection, fill out the online form on the Streets Division’s website or call the office.

Electronics Recycling

Electronics items, like televisions, computers, and printers, can be recycled at the Streets Division drop-off sites. Do not place them at the curb for collection.

Drop-off Sites

The Streets Division operates three drop-off sites that are available only to City of Madison residents. The sites are located at 1501 W. Badger Rd; 4602 Sycamore Ave; and 402 South Point Rd.

Hours and accepted material vary by location. 

Brush Collection
Brush is woody material that has been trimmed from a tree, bush, or shrub. Brush must be between 18 inches and 8 feet in length, and less than 6 inches in diameter. Brush is collected from the curb from April until the start of fall leaf collection.

Yard Waste Collection
Yard waste is plant material like leaves, weeds, grass clippings, vines, corn stalks, black walnuts, crabapples, and similar plant debris. Twigs smaller than 18 inches are also considered yard waste. Yard waste is collected in the spring and the fall. There is no curbside yard waste collection in the winter or summer.

Urban Forestry Resources

There will be an Urban Forestry Special Charge included on the Municipal Services bill, however those charges will likely first appear on billings in early 2023.

Business & Development

Permits

Building Inspection took over building permits and inspection services on Nov. 1, 2020.  Building Inspection issues building, electrical, plumbing, and HVAC permits. Our office is at 215 Martin Luther King Jr Blvd LL-017. The plan review counter is open by appointment only. Visit the Building Inspection website to learn more about permits or to schedule a visit to the counter.

Please note: After October of 2022, some properties will attach to the City of Fitchburg. These properties will need to contact Fitchburg for services.

For businesses with weights and measures (W&M) devices, our W&M Unit licenses and inspects the devices. Licenses are valid for the calendar year. We mail renewals to businesses each November. We conduct inspections during business hours, though these are not scheduled.

For businesses that want to install solar panels, the City requires a permit. The City also partners with the MadiSUN Solar Energy Program.

Resources for businesses

Town businesses will be eligible for the City's programs after Oct. 31, 2022.

City Hall

The City of Madison has a Mayor and 20 Alders that represent specific areas of the city.  Aldermanic district boundaries will be reconfigured in 2021 through redistricting associated with the national decennial census. In October 2022, Town areas will be added to adjacent aldermanic districts in the City, therefore determining your specific Alder.  Contact the Common Council Office for more information. 

Records

Town records that exist on Oct. 31, 2022 will be retained by the Cities and become subject to applicable records retention schedules.  Prior to Final Attachment, the Town may dispose of certain Town records pursuant to State and Town data retention schedules. If residents are interested in a particular record, they should contact the Town before Final Attachment as the Town will be in a better position to find it.  Once the records are transferred to the Cities, it may take additional time and effort to locate records. View a full list of City of Madison Boards, Commission and Committees

View a full list of permits and licenses

Civil Rights

The Department of Civil Rights is responsible for management, development and implementation of Chapter 39 of the Madison General Ordinances. The Department of Civil Rights is responsible for ensuring that the rights of all people are respected and that all persons are given the equal opportunities to succeed based upon their personal merits.

The Department of Civil Rights is created to vigorously pursue the policies and principles embodied in Chapter 39 both within the City as an employer and within the City as a community of people who respect the rights and the contributions of every community member.

Specifically in Chapter 39.03 says we are to; Enables individuals to live and work free of discrimination, Provide remedies of discrimination complaints brought forth by the public and offer community education and technical assistance.  

Understand until 2022 during this transition, the City of Madison does not have jurisdiction outside of the confirmed city limits. If the address of the organization you wish to file a formal complaint against is not within the city limits, it is under the jurisdiction of the State of WI – Equal Rights Division (ERD).

The City of Madison can start the complaint process for you, open the case and then transfer the case to the state ERD for review. We now have several community partners that can assist you filling out your complaint.  View our map and list of certified community partners.

Call the DCR Office if you need help connecting with a community partner. Wherever you decide to open your complaint, we are here for you.

Department of Civil Rights Resources

Closed Landfill Sites

The City of Madison Engineering Division is responsible for the ongoing monitoring and maintenance of five closed landfills to protect both public health and the environment.

Landfill remediation charges are billed on the Madison Municipal Service bill. The average annual user charge in 2020 was $8.40. View rate information.

Community Programs

Town residents and property owners will be eligible for City services and programs after official attachment Oct. 31, 2022.

Elections & Voting

You can verify your registration, polling place, sample ballot and absentee ballot status at My Vote Wisconsin. Because the attachment happens close to the General Election, there will be more information posted on this website and shared closer to the date to make sure residents know what options they have.

November 2022 Election

Your vote will be counted in the Town of Madison for all 2022 elections, except the November 2022 General Election.  Votes cast in the November Election would be administered and counted in the City of Madison.  There will be no need to re-register.  The voter’s registration will be transferred from the Town to the City as soon as ballots are printed for the November Election.

If you're a Town of Madison resident, becoming a City of Madison resident within the attachment process, and have not moved and are a registered voter, there is no need to re-register once they are a City of Madison resident.
 

Additional information about voting can be found on the City of Madison Clerk's Office Website.

Metro Transit

Metro service within the Town of Madison will not immediately change. However, service could be altered in the future based on ridership and available City of Madison budget. Changes would be made as part of a public hearing and approval process in front of the City of Madison Transportation Commission.

There are not any changes currently being proposed. Any possible future service change proposals and public hearing(s) would not be expected to take place until at least the end of 2021 or early 2022.

The City of Madison is also beginning a comprehensive Transit Network Redesign, which will review Metro’s entire service area to find ways to make buses operate more quickly, efficiently, and incorporate into a future bus rapid transit system. Updates to Town of Madison service could be recommended as part of this process. All proposed changes through the Transit Network Redesign would also go through a public hearing process.

If you have questions or concerns, please call 608-266-4466 or email mymetrobus@cityofmadison.comSign up for email and text alerts. Complete information is available at mymetrobus.com.

Parks

On the date of the attachment, the City of Madison Parks Division will begin maintaining the assigned Town of Madison parks.

As the Parks Division assesses the needs and improvements of the assigned parks, look for updates on the Parks Projects page. Based on the budget timing and the annual approval process, you may begin to see park improvements as early as 2023. 

Please submit questions to parks@cityofmadison.com or call (608) 266-4711. Will do our best to assist you. 

Parking

On Street Moving and Storage Containers

If possible, storage containers, pods, and detached moving trailers (referred to here as containers) should be located off-street in private driveways, private parking lots, or other private property. 

If this is not possible you should apply for a Street Occupancy Permit to place the container on the street. 

Temporary No Parking signs can be issued for areas where there are no parking meters:

  • to accommodate storage containers and detached trailers (permit required)
  • large moving trucks and trailers that remain attached to the tow vehicle
  • to facilitate terrace work and construction on property adjacent to the street
  • to accommodate weddings or funerals
  • to prohibit parking for block parties, races, or parades

For additional information on City of Madison Parking Division services, visit the website.

Public Safety

An agreement between the Town of Madison and City of Madison transferred all fire and EMS services within the Town of Madison to the City of Madison as of Nov. 1, 2020.  The Town of Madison Police remains in the Town until further notification.

Calls for any emergency service, including ambulance, fire or police should continue to be made to 9-1-1.

Snow Removal

Snow plowing operations are complex. For a full accounting of what the Streets Division does for winter services visit www.cityofmadison.com/winter.

Operations during Active Snowfalls & Snow Accumulations of Less Than Three Inches

Nearly half of all Madison traffic lanes make up the salt route network. These are the critical streets, such as Madison Metro Bus routes, roads around schools, hospitals, police and fire stations.

Every time snow begins to accumulate on the roads, the salt route network will be plowed and salted. The Streets Division assigns 32 trucks to the salt routes. They loop through their routes again and again the entire time it is snowing and accumulating on the roads. 

Due to plowing, salting, and traffic, these roads are often clear from snow once the active snowfall ends and the salt has had time to work.

The residential streets of Madison that make up the other 50 percent of Madison traffic lanes are not plowed or salted every time snow accumulates on the road.

These roads will be snow-covered. A hard pack of snow and ice will form as cars travel on them. The Streets Division will spread a sand mix onto these streets where needed to provide traction.

Operations during Snow Accumulations of More Than 3 Inches on the Roads

When there are three or more inches of snow accumulated on the roads, and the storm is at or near its end, a citywide plowing operations will be underway in most circumstances.

A Snow Emergency is also often declared in prior to citywide plowing to trigger parking restrictions to assist plowing.

When the citywide plowing begins, 150 pieces of equipment are deployed to plow every street in Madison. This number includes the trucks assigned to the salt routes.  The equipment comes from the Streets Division, Parks, Engineering, and several heavy equipment contractors.

The city is divided into over 60 areas.  Plowing equipment is assigned to each of these areas at the start of the plowing shift, and crews all begin their plowing duties at the same time. No neighborhood is assigned to be last.

Plowing all of the traffic lanes, from thoroughfares to cul-de-sacs, takes between 12 and 16 hours, depending on the severity of the storm.

Following the citywide plowing, salt routes are often clear due to the salt they received and the amount of traffic on the roads.

Sewer Utility

The Madison Sewer Utility is a public utility owned and operated by the City of Madison to provide sanitary sewer service for Madison residents and businesses.  The Engineering Division operates and maintains the public sewer system and is responsible for its design, construction, maintenance, and repair.  

The City of Madison’s public sanitary sewer system consists of 785 miles of sanitary sewer main, 19,000+ access structures, and 30 lift stations. Maintaining this system in good operating conditions is essential to the health of our citizens and environment. Everyday this system transports 30 million gallons of wastewater from Madison homes and businesses to the Nine Springs Wastewater Treatment Plant, which is owned and operated by the Madison Metropolitan Sewerage District (MMSD).

Funding & User Charges

The City of Madison operates its sewer system as an enterprise activity based on full cost recovery through user charges. No property taxes are allocated to the sewer system. Rather, funding for sewer system operations and capital investment needs come from user rates, borrowing, impact fees, and other user related charges. More than 60% of the Sewer Utility’s annual operating budget is paid directly to Madison Metropolitan Sewerage District for wastewater treatment.

Sewer user charges are billed on the Madison Municipal Service bill. The average monthly bill for residential customers in 2020 was $30.13. View rate information.

Private Home Owner Responsibility

Homeowners are responsible for the maintenance and repair of the private sanitary sewer lateral, which extends from within the home to the point where it connects to the public sanitary sewer main.

More info on your responsibilities can be found in the City’s Sewer Maintenance brochure.

Sewer Back Ups

The City of Madison has a very aggressive preventive maintenance program and as a result experiences a very low incidence of sewer backups in the public system.

If you experience a sewer back up call Engineering Operations at 608-266-4430. If the public main is blocked the crew will remove the obstruction to restore service. The crew will notify the property owner or resident when service is restored. If the public main is operating normally, indications are that your private building sewer is the cause of the sewer backup. The emergency crew will immediately notify the property owner or resident of this fact. If a blockage in the private building sewer is the cause of the sewer backup, it is the responsibility of the property owner to clear the blockage. View additional information on sewer backups.

Regularly scheduled crews are available Monday through Friday 7:30 a.m.-11 p.m. and on weekends from 9 a.m.-11 p.m. Additionally, an Engineering supervisor is on-call 24/7. This includes City-observed holidays.  

Stormwater Utility

The Madison Stormwater Utility is a public utility owned and operated by the City of Madison to reduce flooding and improve the water quality of our rivers, lakes, and streams.  The Engineering Division operates and manages the City’s Stormwater Utility and is responsible for its design, construction, maintenance, and repair.  

The City’s stormwater system consists of more than 500 miles of storm sewer pipes, 38,000+ structures, and 1,463 acres of stormwater greenways and ponds. Maintenance of this system is an increasingly important and costly component of this service as the average age of the system increases and rehabilitation of parts of the system becomes necessary.

Flood Mitigation

In recent years, the City of Madison and surrounding areas have experienced a large number of extreme storm events. These events have resulted in flash flooding in the areas directly affected by the storm and elevated lake levels resulting in flooding of the low-lying areas in and adjacent to the Isthmus area. To address these issues, the City is conducting large watershed studies to identify existing problems, develop solutions, and prioritize improvements. Learn more about flood mitigation projects and ways you can be a watershed steward.

Water Quality

The City's WPDES discharge permit requires the system to reduce non-point source pollution to area lakes and streams. This is done using an expanded system of more than greenways and wet ponds and other best management practices.  

Funding & User Charges

The City of Madison operates its stormwater system as an enterprise activity based on full cost recovery through user charges. No property taxes are allocated to the sewer system. Rather, funding for sewer system operations and capital investment needs come from user rates, system development charges and other user related charges. Stormwater user charges are billed on the Madison Municipal Service bill. The average annual user charge in 2020 was $120.26. Rate information is available here.

Private Property Drainage Issues

City Engineering provides City residents access to professional review of drainage problems, which occur on or adjacent to their property. Engineering staff review the existing conditions, act as a mediator for multiple party problems and provide possible solutions. If you are having a drainage problem on your property call 608-266-4751 to speak with a stormwater engineer.

Water Utility

Any water-related requirements will be mailed to you shortly after Oct. 31, 2022. The notice will outline the requirements and corresponding due date’s specific to your property. All properties in the City of Madison receive monthly municipal service bills, which are administered by the Madison Water Utility. The bill may include some or all of these categories of charges: water, sanitary sewer, urban forestry, landfill remediation, public fire protection, and storm water.

Connection to Service

If municipal water is available, you are required to connect to the public water system within 180 days of the attachment date [Madison General Ordinance (MGO) 13.07]. For the Town of Madison Attachment, connection must be made by April 30, 2023. The connection work must be completed by a licensed plumber who has been approved to do plumbing work in the City of Madison.

If you do not have access to municipal water, once municipal water is available, and the water main is extended, you will be required to connect to the public water system within 90 days of the water main extension. In the interim, your private well will continue to be the source of water for your home but you must obtain a well operation permit from the Madison Water Utility.

Members of the Lake Forest Water Cooperative may continue to receive water from the Cooperative and would not have to connect to the City’s public water system, if available, as long as the Cooperative’s well is permitted by the Madison Water Utility.

If after connecting you are interested in keeping your private well for outdoor use only, you may do so after completing the permitting process. Contact the Madison Water Utility at 608-266-4654 for more information on obtaining a well operation permit or 608-266-4647 for information related to connecting to municipal water if available.

A delayed connection also may be requested if the owner applies for and is granted a well operation permit. A delayed connection allows for the continued use of a legal and permitted well while arrangements are being made to connect to municipal water.

Well Operation Permits

All wells located in the City of Madison or on premises served by the Madison Water Utility must have a valid well operation permit. A well operation permit application must be submitted and include the $355 permit fee which covers the cost of a well inspection and required water quality tests. This fee includes up to four water samples, any additional sampling past this will cost an additional $95/sample.

A member of Madison Water Utility staff will coordinate with the owner of the property to conduct the required well inspection and water sampling. The following criteria must be satisfied before a well operation permit can be issued:

The well and pump installation must meet or be upgraded to meet the requirements of Chapter NR 812 of the Wisconsin Administrative Code. Any deficiencies that are identified during the inspection must be corrected at the well owner’s expense.

The well must produce bacteriologically safe water; as evidenced by at least two safe samples (free of coliform bacteria including E. coli.) taken at least two weeks apart.

The well must not be cross-connected to the municipal water system.

If the well fulfills all three of these criteria, permits are valid for 5 years and are renewable. During the permitted period the property owner is required to submit annual test results for total coliform and nitrate by October 1st of each year. Well permits are non-transferable; new owners must obtain a permit in their name.


Private Well Abandonment

If a private well does not meet the criteria outlined above [Madison General Ordinance (MGO) 13.21] and is unable to be permitted or your property is connected to municipal water and it will no longer be used, the well must be properly abandoned according to the requirements of Wisconsin Administrative Code, Chapter NR 812.  The abandonment must be completed by a licensed well driller or pump installer. The utility maintains a courtesy list of local contractors qualified to perform this work.

The term abandonment refers to the filling and sealing of a well with an approved, impermeable material such as bentonite chips, or neat cement. Properly abandoning a well is done in order to prevent groundwater contamination from unused, unsafe or non-complying wells.                     

The City of Madison may reimburse a property owner 50% of the cost, up to $1000, to abandon a well.  Details are available on our Private Wells web page or by contacting Madison Water Utility at (608) 266-4654. Financial assistance may also be available through the Department of Natural Resources (DNR).  The DNR offers a limited number of income-based grants to help offset the cost to abandon an unused private wells.

Learn more about connection to municipal water and/or the Madison Water Utility’s private well program or contact:

Private Wells: Water Quality Section, 608-266‐4654, water@madisonwater.org
Water Service & Assessments: Amy Jones, 608-266-4647, ajones@madisonwater.org
Sanitary Sewer: Mark Moder, 608-261‐9250, mmoder@cityofmadison.com
Septic Systems (POWTS): Public Health, 608-242‐6515, privatewellseptic@publichealthmdc.com