Frequently Asked Questions on Assessments
2022 REVALUATION FAQ's
UNDERSTANDING VILLAGE OF GREENDALE’S REVALUATION AND YOUR ASSESSMENT
Answers to the most frequently asked questions
What is a revaluation?
A revaluation is a review of all assessments. During a revaluation, all assessments are updated using information gathered from recently sold properties. The last Village-wide revaluation occurred in 2018 and was based on sales that occurred in 2016 and 2017. Since the 2018 revaluation, the general level of assessment, also known as assessment ratio, fell to 86% of market value and without conducting the 2022 revaluation that level would have fallen to around 77%. Wisconsin Statutes require a jurisdiction to assess within 10% of market value at least once in a five year period.
The 2022 revaluation used sales that occurred between November 2020 and December 2022 to arrive at an estimated fair market value of each property as of January 1, 2022. The goal of the revaluation is to assure that taxes are distributed equitably and uniformly, as well as to comply with State Statutes.
How does the assessor value property?
Wisconsin Law requires that property assessments be based on fair market value. Estimating the market value of your property is a matter of determining the price a typical buyer would pay for it in its present condition. The assessor used 1 to 5 comparable properties that sold between November 1, 2020 and December 31, 2021 to arrive at the 2022 assessed value. The comparable sales used to arrive at the 2022 assessment of your property are available at the assessor’s office upon request.
What is market value?
Market value is defined as the amount a typical, well-informed purchaser would be willing to pay for a property. The seller and buyer must be unrelated, the seller must be willing, but not under pressure to sell, and the buyer must be willing, but not under any obligation to buy.
Can the assessment on my property be changed even if the assessor has not been inside my property?
The assessor keeps records on the physical characteristics of each property in the municipality. The assessment will be based on the existing records and the sales of similar properties.
How can my assessment change when I haven’t done anything to my property?
General economic conditions such as interest rates, inflation rates, and changes in the tax laws, will influence the value of real estate. As property values change in the marketplace, those changes must be reflected on the assessment roll.
Do all assessments change at the same rate?
There are differences between individual properties and between neighborhoods. In one area for a certain type of property, the sales may indicate a substantial increase in value in a given year. In another, there may be no change in value, or even a decrease in property values.
How do I know if my assessment is correct?
You should first attempt to decide for yourself what your property is worth. This can be done by looking at area sales, contacting appraisers, and comparing assessments of similar homes. Understand that some homes may appear similar but may be different in the amount of living area and may or may not be in the same condition as your property.
Am I required to meet with the assessor?
You are not required to meet with the assessor before appealing to the Board of Review, although it is highly recommended. Minor errors and misunderstandings can often be corrected by meeting with the assessor without initiating a formal appeal.
What should I expect if I meet with the assessor to informally discuss my assessment?
You should ask questions that will help you understand the assessment process and how your assessment was determined. An informal discussion with the assessor can often resolve a problem prior to a formal hearing before the Board of Review. Ask the assessor to show you the records for your property and to explain how your assessment was determined. Ask any questions that will help you understand the assessment process.
What evidence do I need to present to the Board of Review?
State law puts the burden of proof on the property owner to show that the assessment is incorrect. Keep in mind that your evidence must be strong enough to prove that the assessor’s value is incorrect. Only relevant testimony given at the hearing will be considered by the Board.
The best evidence for this would be recent sale of your property. If you have not recently purchased your property, the best evidence of values is sales prices for properties similar to yours. The closer in proximity and similarity to your property, the better the evidence.
What happens after the Board of Review makes its decision?
The Board will either give or mail you a notice of its decision. If you do not agree with the Board’s determination, the notice will contain information on how you may appeal the Board’s decision.
Does everybody’s tax go up because of revaluations?
No. Revaluation redistributes the existing property tax burden so that all property owners pay their fair share based on the market value of their property. If the total tax levy remains the same, only those properties which are not presently paying their fair share of the tax burden will pay more tax because of the revaluation. Property owners currently paying more than their fair share would actually pay less after the revaluation. The total amount of taxes levied is completely independent of the overall assessment.
How can I determine what impact this revaluation will have on my property taxes?
The exact amount of your property tax bill will not be known until December, based upon the tax levies established by the Village as well as the other taxing jurisdictions (Greendale School District, MATC, Milwaukee County, and MMSD).
FAQ's on Assessors
What is the Assessor's role?
The Assessor is a State certified individual whose duties are to discover, list, and place a value on all taxable real and personal property in the Village, in a uniform manner. The Assessor is not involved in the billing or collection of property taxes.
What is the difference between real and personal property?
For property tax purposes, "real property" refers to land and buildings, while "personal property" is the furniture and equipment owned or used by businesses.
How does the Assessor value property?
Wisconsin Law requires property assessments to be based on fair market value. Estimating the market value of your property is a matter of determining the price a typical buyer would pay for it in its present condition. Some factors the Assessor considers are: what similar properties are selling for, what it would cost to replace your property, the rent it may earn, and any other factors that affect value. It is important to remember that the Assessor does not create this value, but rather interprets what is happening in the market place.
What is market value?
Market value is defined as the amount a typical, well-informed purchaser would be willing to pay for a property. The seller and buyer must be unrelated, the seller must be willing, but not under pressure to sell, and the buyer must be willing, but not under any obligation to buy. The property must be on the market for a reasonable length of time, the payment must be in cash or its equivalent, and the financing must be typical for that type of property. If all of these conditions were present, this would be a market value, arm's-length sale.
Are values developed by computer?
Yes. Just as in many other fields, computers are useful in the assessment process. Assessors are trained to look for relationships between property characteristics and market value. By coding these characteristics and studying sale prices, assessors can estimate value by developing formulas and models. Computers are much faster and are capable of advanced analysis in this area. But despite these capabilities, common sense and assessor judgement are always required to verify assessments.
Can the assessment on my property be changed even if the Assessor has not been inside my property?
To make a proper assessment on a building, it is desirable for the Assessor to see the inside and the outside of the property. The law requires that property be valued from actual view or the best information available. The Assessor keeps records on the physical characteristics of each property in the municipality. Even though the Assessor may have been unable to go through your property, the assessment will still be reviewed, based on the existing records and the sales of similar properties.
Will I be penalized if I don't let the Assessor in when an inspection is requested?
When an interior inspection is not allowed, the Assessor will attempt to update the records by looking at the property from the outside and using any other available information. To ensure an accurate assessment, it is to your advantage to allow the Assessor inside your property when an inspection is requested. By denying an inspection, you may lose the right to appeal your assessment to the Board of Review.
What will happen to my assessment if I improve my property?
Generally speaking, improvements that increase the market value of a property will increase the assessed value. The following are typical items that will increase the assessed value of your property:
- Added rooms or garages
- Replacing older siding with aluminum or vinyl siding
- Substantial modernization of kitchens or baths
- Central air conditioning
- Extensive remodeling
Will my assessment go up if I repair my property?
Good maintenance will help retain the market value of your property. Generally, your assessment will not be increased for individual minor repairs such as those that follow; however, a combination of several of these items could result in an increased assessment.
Repairing concrete walks and driveways
Repairing original siding
Replacing gutters and downspouts
Replacing hot water heater
Weather stripping, screens, storm windows, doors
Repairing porches and steps
Replacing electrical fixtures
Exterior awnings and shutters
Patching or repairing interior walls and ceilings
Repairing or replacing roof
- Exterior landscaping including lawns, shrubbery, trees, flowers
How can my assessment change when I haven't done anything to my property?
General economic conditions such as interest rates, inflation rates, supply and demand, and changes in tax laws, will influence the value of real estate. As property values change in the market place, those changes must be reflected on the assessment roll.
Do all assessments change at the same rate?
There are differences between individual properties and between neighborhoods. In one area the sales may indicate a substantial increase in value in a given year. In another neighborhood, there may be no change in value, or even a decrease in property values. Different types of properties within the same neighborhood may also show different value changes. For example, one-story houses may be more in demand than two-story houses, or vice-versa. Older homes in the same area may be rising in value more slowly than newer homes. There are numerous factors to be considered in each property, which will cause the values to differ. Some of the factors, which can affect value, are location, condition, size, quality, number of baths, basement finishing, garages, and many others.
Will I be notified if there is a change in my assessment?
Wisconsin law requires that whenever an assessment is changed either as an increase or decrease, the owner must be notified.
What if I don't agree with my assessment?
Talk with the Assessor. During this informal session you can learn how your assessment was made, what factors were considered, and what type of records are kept regarding your property.
After this review, if I still think the assessment is incorrect, what can I do?
The next step is to file an objection with the Board of Review. The Board of Review is held annually and is the formal appeal process. You must file a "Notice of Intent" to file an objection with the Village Clerk prior to the start of the Board of Review's first annual meeting and complete a written objection form. Contact the Assessor's Office to see when the Board of Review is scheduled to meet. When you receive your tax bill in December, it is too late to file an objection. Paying your taxes under protest does not constitute an assessment objection unless you have first filed an appeal with the Board of Review.
What is the Board of Review?
The Board of Review is a 3 member panel. It is the Board's duty to hear evidence by the taxpayer and the Assessor and to decide if the assessment is correct.
What evidence do I need to present to the Board of Review?
State law puts the burden of proof on the property owner to show that the assessment is incorrect. Keep in mind that your evidence must be strong enough to prove that the Assessor's value is incorrect. The Board will consider only relevant testimony given at the hearing. Stating that property taxes are too high is not relevant testimony. You should establish in your mind what you think your property is worth. The best evidence for this would be recent sales prices for properties similar to yours. The closer in proximity and similarity, the better the evidence. Another type of evidence is oral testimony from a witness who has made a recent appraisal of your property.
Does the Board of Review have the final say?
Appeals can be withdrawn or settled at any stage in the process. If you do not agree with the Board of Review decision, the next step is an appeal to the Circuit Court.
How do I appeal my assessment to court?
An appeal to the Circuit Court must be made within 90 days after adjournment of the Board of Review. The court will then make a decision based solely on the testimony that was presented to the Board of Review. When your case goes before the Circuit Court, the court will review the record that was created at your Board of Review hearing and make its decision.