Frequently Asked Questions

During the 2015 village-wide revaluation, the assessor's office had an opportunity to talk to many property owners regarding the assessment process. The following are some of the more frequently asked questions.

What is an Assessment and what is its purpose?    An assessment is the value placed upon your property by the assessor. 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. 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 assessed value, but rather interprets what portion of the local property tax levy will be borne by your property.

What is Market Value?    The amount a typical, well-informed purchaser would be willing to pay for a property. For a sale to represent market value, 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 the type of property.

I recently purchased my property. Does my price determine my assessed value?    Wisconsin law and the courts place a great emphasis on a recent sale. However, the law also requires the assessor to complete the sale to other similar sold properties. If the other sales indicate your particular sale price to be above or below the norm, you sale will considered, but the final assessment may be somewhat above or below the exact selling price. The usefulness of any sale is also partially determined by how close it occurs to the effective assessment date of January 1st. 

Why does our Village have to update our assessed values?    As property values change in response to market forces, the accuracy, and more importantly, the uniformity of unadjusted assessments also changes. When assessments are periodically adjusted as these market changes occur, the assessments become inequitable causing unfair tax distributions. Wisconsin law recognizes this problem and requires municipalities to periodically update their assessments to maintain the fairness of tax distributions. 

What does the assessor use to value my property? The assessor analyzes recent sales within the municipality to determine what factors and characteristics affect value. These factors are then used to select sales of comparable properties. Adjustments are made for differences between your property and the sales and a value estimate is produced. Other approaches to value are also considered to verify the one produced by the sales approach.
 
See complete list of Assessment FAQs