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The Coming of Winter in Wisconsin


 Wisconsin prepares for winter

Parents look after their children. As kids encounter new experiences, parents teach them what to expect and how to negotiate the inherent challenges. In a similar spirit, the Wisconsin Department of Revenue is looking after taxpayers. It's published guides to help them properly deal with sales tax in situations that are likely to arise in the coming months.

Fall farm events

It’s too late to scour pumpkin patches for the perfect jack-o-lantern-worthy gourd, but it’s not too late for many other fall farm events.

Wisconsin subjects to sales tax admissions charges to an amusement, athletic, entertainment or recreational event or places for access to or the use of an amusement, athletic, entertainment or recreational device or facility. These include but are not limited to:

  • The right to access land to hunt wild animals
  • The right to hunt on a game farm
  • The right to access horse riding trails
  • The right to use a campsite
  • Hayrides or sleigh rides

Most sales of tangible personal property are taxable. Sales of the following, however, are exempt:

  • Unprocessed farm produce for human consumption
  • Uncooked meats and poultry for human consumption
  • Other foods or food ingredients that are not candy, dietary supplements, prepared foods or soft drinks

More information.

Holiday tree sales

T’is the season of holiday trees, wreaths, boughs and garlands. Businesses are reminded that sales tax applies to them all, be they real or artificial, unless a specific exemption applies.

A sale may be exempt for several reasons. For example:

  • A person or entity in the business of tree farming may purchase seedlings for resale (properly completed exemption certificate required)
  • A sale to an exempt entity such as the State of Wisconsin
  • A sale may be made to another retailer, for resale
  • An occasional sale

More information.

Winterizing and dewinterizing cabins, RVs and vacation homes

Many of the services required to winterize (or dewinterize) a second home (including a manufactured home) are exempt from Wisconsin sales tax. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Draining water from a water heater
  • Opening water faucets to allow drainage
  • Blowing air through water lines and drain pipes
  • Putting antifreeze into water lines, drain pipes, and toilets
  • Installing temporary storm windows or plastic sheeting on windows
  • Cleaning gutters

However, when the above services are performed on RVs, they are subject to sales tax. This is because RVs are tangible personal property, not real property.

Certain types of winterizing/dewinterizing services are subject to sales tax. These include landscaping services such as raking leaves and trimming plants.

More information.

Get sales tax right in Wisconsin and other states. Learn more.


Sales tax rates, rules, and regulations change frequently. Although we hope you'll find this information helpful, this blog is for informational purposes only and does not provide legal or tax advice.
Gail Cole
Avalara Author
Gail Cole
Gail Cole
Avalara Author Gail Cole
Gail began researching and writing about sales tax in 2012 and has been fascinated with it ever since. She has a penchant for uncovering unusual tax facts, and endeavors to make complex sales tax laws more digestible for both experts and laypeople.