Revaluation: The municipality is required to keep properties in compliance of full value at least once in every 5−year period. The municipality is conducting a revaluation for the 2017 assessment roll. As such, we will be periodically conducting inspections on properties until such time that we have completed our assessment roll.
The trespass law in Wisconsin entitles the assessor to enter a property once during an assessment cycle unless the property owner has notified the assessor in advance to deny entry. Additional visits may be authorized by the property owner. Assessors are restricted to the following conditions when entering property:
1) The reason for the entry must be to make an assessment on behalf of the state or a political subdivision.
2) The entry must be on a weekday during daylight hours, or at another time as agreed upon with the property owner.
3) The assessor’s visit must not be more than one hour.
4) The assessor must not open doors, enter through open doors, or look into windows of structures.
5) If the property owner or occupant is not present, the assessor must leave a notice on the principal building providing the owner with information on how to contact them.
6) The assessor may not enter the premises if they have received a notice from the property owner or occupant denying them entry.
7) The assessor must leave if the property owner or occupant asks them to leave.
In 2009, Wisconsin Act 68 was enacted to amend Section 70.05(5)(b) Wis. Stats. and to create Section 70.05 (4m), 895, 488, 943.13 (4m)(d) and 943.15(1m) of the statutes; relating to: partially exempting an assessor and an assessor’s staff from liability for trespassing, creating immunity from civil liability, and changing the notice requirements relating to the revaluation of property by an assessor. Copies of the applicable statutes can be obtained at public depositories throughout the State of Wisconsin, and from the State of Wisconsin Legislative Reference Bureau website (www.legis.state.wi.us/rsb/stats.html)
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 the property in the present condition.
Some factors the assessor considers are: what similar properties are selling for, what it would cost to replace your property, what rent it may earn as well as any other factors that affect its value.
It is important to remember that the assessor does not create this value, but rather interprets what is happening in the real estate market.
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:
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.
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 older homes in the same area may be rising in value more slowly than new 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, age, condition, size, quality, number of bathrooms, basement finishes and garages.
Just as in many other fields, computers are also useful in the assessment process. Assessors are trained to look for associations or relationships between property characteristics and market value. By analyzing these characteristics, and studying sale prices, assessors can begin to predict or 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 judgment are always required to verify our assessments. We ask the assessors most familiar with the neighborhoods and properties to review all computer-generated values.
When an interior inspection is not allowed, the assessor will attempt to update our 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.
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. Assessment information is available in our office and open to the public for review during regular office hours.
Talk with the assessor during Open Book. During this informal session, you can learn how your assessment was made, what factors were considered and what type of records we keep about your property.
The next step is to file an Objection with the Board of Review. The property owner must provide the Village Clerk with a written or oral notice of intent to file an objection at least 48 hours before the Board's first scheduled meeting. The Board can waive the 48 hour notice requirement if the property owner shows good cause for failing to meet the requirement or provides evidence of extraordinary circumstances. Objections must be in writing and should be filed with the Vilage Clerk within the first two hours of the Board's first scheduled meeting. The Board of Review usually requires an objection to be filed on standard forms which are available from the Village Clerk or the Assessor's office.
The Board of Review in the Village of Williams Bay includes the Village Council, Village Manager and the Village Clerk/Treasurer. The basic function of the Board is to listen to evidence presented by both the property owner and assessor and then determine if the assessed value of the property is correct.
All sessions of the Board of Review are held in the Council Chambers. By State Statute, the first session of the Board of Review must be within the thirty day period beginning on the second Monday in May. If there are not many appeals, the Board will usually complete its business during their first session. Once the Board has heard all appeals and adjourned, no further assessment objections can be considered until the following year. When you receive your tax statement in December, it is too late to file an objection for the current assessment.
Paying your taxes under protest does not constitute a formal assessment objection.
Keep in mind that your evidence must be strong enough to provide that the assessor's value is incorrect. STATING THAT PROPERTY TAXES ARE TOO HIGH IS NOT RELEVANT TESTIMONY. You should establish in your own mind what you think your property is worth.
The best evidence for this would be a recent sale price of your property. The next best evidence would be recent sale prices of properties that are similar to yours. The closer in proximity and similarity the comparative property is, the better the evidence. Another type of evidence is oral testimony from a witness who has made a recent appraisal of your property.
If you don't agree with the Board of Review decision, the next step is an appeal to either the Wisconsin Department of Revenue or the Circuit Court.
Wisconsin law provides for a written appeal of the Board's decision to the Department of Revenue within 20 days after receipt of the decision or within 30 days of the Clerk's affidavit. A $100.00 filing fee is required. The fair market value of the items or parcels being appealed cannot exceed $1 million. The Department may revalue the property anytime before November 1st of the assessment year or within 60 days after receiving the appeal, whichever is later. If adjusted, the value is substituted for the original value and taxes paid accordingly. Appeal of the Department's decision is to the Circuit 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.
In 2017, Williams Bay will be experiencing a revaluation of all properties. Check back in February/March for specific dates and timelines for Open Book and Board of Review. Open Book and Board of Review may not be held until late Summer or early Fall.
**The following schedule is a typical non-revaluation year.
January 1st: Assessment Date - all property is assessed as it existed on this date.
January 31st: The first installment of personal and real estate taxes are due. Property owners may pay the entire amount in full. This payment is made to the Village of Williams Bay Treasurer, 101 N. Main Street Williams Bay WI 53538. Payments are accepted as cash, check, money order or by credit card by visiting www.officialpayments.com. (A fee for credit card payments will apply)
March 1st: Last day to file the Statement of Personal Property to the assessment office.
End of April: Assessment change notices are typically mailed during the period from the end of April through the end of May.
April/May: Open Book appointments with the Assessor to review and answer questions related to property assessments. Appointments can be made by calling the Assessor's office 1-800-721-4157.
May/June: Board of Review meets to hear appeals by property owners. Appointments can be made by calling the Clerk's Office, (920) 563-7760.
July 31st: The second tax installment of personal and real estate taxes are due. This payment is made to the Walworth County Treasurer, P.O. Box 1001, Elkhorn, WI 53121
December 15th: Real Estate and Personal Property tax statements are mailed to property owners, not to mortgage companies.