All answers provided are supported by the Wisconsin Property Assessment Manual created by the Wisconsin Department of Revenue

  • What is a revaluation?

    A Full Revaluation is a process to revalue all parcels in the municipality to determine the full market value of a parcel. Full interior and exterior inspections are necessary to gather the most accurate information, creating equity between similar properties. This is necessary because of economic conditions that are constantly changing.

  • Why is the municipality doing a revaluation? Is it because they need more money?

    The value of municipalities are monitored by the Wisconsin Department of Revenue. Under state law, assessments must be based on the property's market value as of January 1. The law requires that each municipality is within 10 percent of market value once every five years. If/when a municipality is not within the 10 percent requirement a revaluation is needed or the state may step in and order a revaluation. However, if the municipality is within the guidelines over an extended period of time, the Department of Revenue recommends doing a revaluation because records may become outdated and inaccurate.

  • Why did my value change if I didn't do anything?

    Things change over time, some go up in value and some go down in value. A great example is a vehicle. The value of a car 20 years ago is not the same value in the current generation because things change. Also, a restored vehicle is more valuable than one that wasn't. Likewise, an old house that hasn't been maintained and updated is less valuable to one that has.

  • How do I calculate my taxes?

    Each year the governing bodies of different taxing agencies propose a budget annually. Once all have budgets have been completed, the municipality calculates the tax rate or the mill rate. The taxpayer is then able to estimate their own taxes by multiplying the mill rate by the total assessed value.

  • If I didn’t do anything to my property, will the assessed value still change?

    Just like the stock market, the real estate market is always changing because of different trends that occurring. Just because a taxpayer has not physically changed the property doesn’t mean the value has not changed. Other factors may include: local, county, state, or national changes.

  • Do all assessments change at the same rate?

    Not all properties are the same. In fact, most properties are unique in terms of location, size, and quality, so some may decrease, increase, or not change at all. It all also depends on the accuracy of the records. If records show more or less than what was previously listed, there may be more of a change.

  • How the does Assessor value Property?

    To find the value of a property, the assessor must first understand what similar properties are selling for, what it costs to replace it, how much to repair the property, what kind of rent it can produce, and any other factors that could affect the value of the property.

    Once gathering all of the facts about the property, the assessor has three ways to estimate the value: Sales comparison Approach, Cost Approach, and the Income Approach.

  • Why are aren’t Foreclosures always considered arms length sales?

    An arm’s length transaction refers to a deal where the buyer and the seller act independently without a party influencing one another.

    A foreclosure is where a property is owned by or goes back to the bank. Since a separate entity owns the property there is usually special arrangements or hidden terms which prevents it from being an arms-length transaction.

  • Why does the assessor need to see the inside of my home?

    To be able to fully understand and gather accurate facts about the property, the assessor does a full inspection. With only conducting an exterior view of the property information may be inaccurate which can skew the overall value.

  • What's the difference between the fair market value and the assessed value?

    The fair market value is the most probable price which a property should bring in a competitive and open market.

    The assessed value is a dollar value assigned to taxable property by the assessor for the purposes of taxation. The assessed value is estimated as of January 1 and will apply to the taxes levied at the end of the year. Accurate assessed value ensure fairness between properties within a taxing jurisdiction.

  • What is considered farmland?

    State law defines agricultural land as land, exclusive of buildings and improvements and the land necessary for their location and convenience, which is devoted primarily to agricultural

  • What is an Ag Conversion Fee?

    A person that owns land and that is classified as agriculture use under sec. 70.32(2r) converts the land so it can no longer be assessed as agricultural land. The owner shall pay a conversion fee to the county the land is located in. The conversion fee is calculated by the number of acres converted.

  • What is the Open book and Board of Review?

    Open Book conference is an informal meeting that is held to allow taxpayers to discuss the new assessment with the assessor. Learn and understand how the value was derived, and compare their assessments with others. At this time in the assessment process, the assessor may be able to resolve any issues or correct any errors that were discovered.

    The board of review (BOR) is the first step in the formal appeal process where the taxpayer has the right to appeal their assessment. The board consists of the town board members where they have the responsibility for raising or lowering any assessment that is proven incorrect. The process includes the taxpayer providing a testimony of evidence proving the assessed value is correct. Then the assessor explains how he came up with the assessment, and then the board decides if the assessment current assessment for the current year is incorrect or not.

    **The board has to stand with the assessor unless there is market value evidence proving the value to be incorrect. Saying that the taxes are too high is not relevant evidence.

  • What is the difference between an appraiser and an assessor?

    Both an appraiser and an assessor are in real estate and estimate the fair market value, but have very different duties. An appraiser usually estimates a value for a single property while an assessor, who works for the local government, estimates value for all the properties in the municipality. Usually an appraiser concentrates one a single type of real estate like residential or commercial. An assessor usually values all types of property except for manufacturing. Both maintain a database of sales in an appropriate area. Appraisers focus on sales. An Assessor also uses sales, but also looks at costs of construction and rents see the trends in supply and demand.