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Property tax delinquencies up across state

More Wisconsinites are not paying their property taxes on time.

Some experts say developers and cash-strapped homeowners are choosing between paying the mortgage or the taxes.

By and large, they're choosing the mortgage, with the knowledge that counties must wait three years to seek foreclosure for delinquent taxes - and many hesitate to do it.

As a result, unpaid property taxes in Outagamie County rose by $1.1 million from the previous year. More than $6 million are now owed in that county alone.

Other counties say they've had delinquency increases of 15 percent.

Some treasurers say at least some homeowners have gotten squeezed by their rising adjustable rate mortgages and they've shoved their tax bills by the wayside.

County taxpayers must make up for those who don't pay.

But with 12 percent interest penalties and a threat of foreclosure, officials say most who get behind do manage to eventually pay up.