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The sales tax rate in Wisconsin is 5 percent of the sales price. Retailers must collect sales tax and pay it to the Wisconsin Department of Revenue. If you buy a $10,000 car, for instance, you will pay an additional $500 in sales tax. Nonresidents and part-year residents are not exempt from paying sales tax on cars bought in Wisconsin.
Local Sales Taxes
As of 2011, 62 counties in Wisconsin collect a county sales tax of 0.5 percent. Add this 0.5 percent to the state sales tax if you buy the car in one of these counties. For example, if you buy a $10,000 car, you will pay $500 in state tax and $50 in county sales tax.
Wheel tax is another name for the annual municipal or county vehicle registration fee certain Wisconsin cities and counties charge. Wisconsin legislation allows local governments to charge a wheel tax, but does not determine its amount. However, local governments must use all revenue from the wheel tax toward transportation-related costs. As of 2011, the cities of Beloit, Maybille and Milwaukee as well as the county of St. Croix charge a wheel tax.
Although title fees are not, strictly speaking, taxes, they are an added cost to buying a car that must be paid to the Department of Transportation of Wisconsin. These fees include license plate fees, counter service fees, a disabled parking ID card fee and an online registration renewal fee.