The owners of taxable property in any taxation district, other than an assessment district within the corporate limits of any 1st class city, whose property has an aggregate assessed valuation of not less than 5 percent of the assessed valuation of all of the property in the district according to the assessment sought to be corrected, may submit to the department of revenue a written petition concerning the assessed valuation of their property. Subject to subd. 2.
and sub. (1m)
, if the department finds that the assessment of property in the taxation district is not in substantial compliance with the law and that the interest of the public will be promoted by a reassessment, the department may order a reassessment of all or of any part of the taxable property in the district to be made by one or more persons appointed for that purpose by the department.
The department may dismiss any petition for reassessment if, prior to the entry of a reassessment order under subd. 1.
, the taxation district involved determines under s. 70.055
that employing expert help to aid in assessing property would be in the public interest and if, after receiving departmental approval, the taxation district does employ expert help for either of the 2 years following the assessment year complained of.
If the department performs the reassessment or special supervision under sub. (3)
, the department shall designate the person responsible for the reassessment. If the department appoints a corporation for the reassessment or special supervision under sub. (3)
, the corporation shall designate the person responsible for the reassessment. The corporate or departmental designee shall file the official oath under s. 19.01
If a petition under subd. 1.
is filed in the office of the department the department shall, under the powers conferred by s. 73.03 (1)
, review the assessment complained of. If the department finds the assessment is not in substantial compliance with law and that public interest will be promoted by a reassessment, it shall correct such assessment by a reassessment as provided in this section. The department's duty to reassess is not impaired by any action, subsequent to such filing, of any taxpayer represented in the application.
As a part of its investigation of the assessment complained of, the department shall hold a hearing at some convenient place within or near the taxation district which is sought to be reassessed. At such hearing testimony may be offered as to the inequality or equality of the assessment, whether or not the public interest will be promoted by a reassessment and as to such other matters as may be desired by the department. Notice of the hearing specifying the time and place of the hearing shall be mailed to the clerk of the taxation district and the first signer of the application for reassessment, not less than 8 days before the time fixed for the hearing.
The department shall keep on file its order directing such reassessment and naming the persons appointed to make the reassessment. In addition, the department shall transmit a copy of the order to the clerk of the taxation district, to the supervisor of equalization of the county in which the district is located and to each of the persons appointed to make such reassessment and serve on the board for the review of the reassessment. Service of a copy of the order is legal notice to these people of their appointment. No person may be authorized by the department to make a reassessment or to provide special supervision instead of reassessment unless the person is willing and able to use the assessment manual.
All assessment personnel appointed under this section in 1974 and thereafter shall have passed an examination and have been certified by the department of revenue as qualified for performing the functions of the office to which appointed. Any person appointed under par. (a)
or sub. (3)
shall be certified as an expert appraiser as provided in s. 70.055 (1)
(1m) Additional requirements.
The department may not proceed under sub. (1) (a)
with respect to a petition filed by a property owner who owns more than 5 percent of the assessed valuation of all the property in a taxation district if within the 3 years preceding the date of the petition that person petitioned for reassessment and the department of revenue did not order a reassessment under sub. (1)
or special supervision under sub. (3)
unless, in addition to that property owner, an owner or owners of an additional 5 percent of the assessed valuation of the taxation district join in the petition. If a petition is denied under this subsection, the property owner who petitioned twice within a 3-year period shall pay 75 percent of the department of revenue's costs in respect to that petition. Payments under this subsection shall be made to the department of revenue for deposit in the appropriation under s. 20.566 (2) (h)
(2) Persons appointed to reassess, powers and duties.
The person or persons appointed under sub. (1)
to make a reassessment, without delay, shall severally take and subscribe an oath or affirmation to support the constitution of the United States and of the state of Wisconsin and to faithfully perform the duties imposed upon that person in respect to the reassessment to the best of that person's ability, and shall file the same with the department of revenue. Thereupon the person or persons appointed to make the reassessment shall proceed with diligence to make a reassessment of all the taxable property in the affected district. For that purpose the person or persons appointed to make the reassessment shall have all the power and authority given by law to assessors in the district and shall perform all the duties and be subject to all restrictions and penalties imposed by law upon assessors in the district. The person or persons appointed to make the reassessment shall have access to all public records and files which may be necessary or useful in the performance of the reassessment, and while engaged therein shall be entitled to have custody and possession of the roll containing the original assessment in the district and all property and other statements and memoranda relating thereto. A blank assessment roll and all property statements and other blank forms necessary for the purposes of the reassessment shall be furnished by the county clerk at the expense of the county upon the application of the department of revenue.
(3) Special supervision instead of reassessment.
Whenever the department determines, after the hearing provided for in sub. (1)
or in the determination under s. 70.05 (5) (d)
, that the assessment complained of was not made in substantial compliance with law but that the interests of all the taxpayers of such district will best be promoted by special supervision of succeeding assessments to the end that the assessment of such district shall thereafter be lawfully made, it may proceed as follows: It may designate one or more employees of the department or appoint one or more other qualified persons to assist the local assessor in making the assessments to be thereafter made in such district. Any person so appointed may give all or such part of that person's time to such supervision as, in the judgment of the department, is necessary to complete such assessment in substantial compliance with the law, and in performing such task shall have all the powers given by law to any person designated to make a reassessment and together with the assessor shall constitute an assessment board as defined in s. 70.055
Except as provided in sub. (1m)
, all costs of the department of revenue in connection with reassessment or special supervision under this section shall be borne by the taxation district. These receipts shall be credited to the appropriation under s. 20.566 (2) (h)
. Past due accounts shall be certified on or before the 4th Monday of August of each year and included in the next apportionment of state special charges to local units of government.
In this section, for those taxation districts that are under a county assessor system, the terms “local assessor" and “board of review" include the county assessor and the county board of review, respectively.
Board of correction. 70.76(1)(a)(a)
In the order for reassessment the department of revenue shall designate 3 persons to serve as a board for the correction and review of the reassessment. As soon as practicable the person making the reassessment shall inform the clerk of the district of the date on which the reassessment will be ready for the consideration of the board. The information shall be given in time to enable the clerk to give the notice required in this subsection.
The clerk shall give notice that the board will meet on the date at the place provided by law for the meeting of the regular board of review of the district, specifying the place. The clerk shall record the notice in the record book of proceedings of the board of review of the district after first recording the order for reassessment. The clerk shall post the notice in 3 conspicuous public places in the district and shall also serve a copy of the notice upon each of the persons named to act as the board and upon the department of revenue if the reassessment is not made by the department. The posting and service shall be at least one week before the day designated for the meeting.
In case of the failure or refusal of the clerk to give and serve the notice in the manner prescribed within 5 days after being requested to do so by the person making the reassessment, the department of revenue may give and serve the notice with the same force and effect as if given and served by the clerk. The service may be by personal delivery to the person to be served or by leaving the copy at the person's usual place of abode or by mailing it in a sealed envelope postpaid and directed to the person at the person's post-office address.
A memorandum stating the time and place of posting and the time and manner of service shall be entered by the clerk in the record. The memorandum, authenticated by the signature of the clerk, is presumptive evidence of the facts stated. The fact, time and manner of posting and service may be proved by any person having knowledge of the facts even though no entry of a memorandum is made.
The persons designated to serve as a board to review the reassessment shall attend at the time and place specified in the notice. A majority of them constitutes a quorum. Before proceeding in the review they shall be sworn by the clerk or by some other person authorized by law to administer oaths, to faithfully and impartially perform their duties in respect to the reassessment. The clerk of the district shall attend and serve as the clerk of the board at all its sessions and shall perform all the duties required of clerks at meetings of the regular board of review of the district, except that the clerk shall have no voice in the determinations of the board.
The person making the reassessment shall attend the meeting, shall present before the board the roll containing the reassessment of property made by the person and all property statements, affidavits, and other memoranda in relation to it, shall furnish the board all information in the person's possession which may be useful in the work of the board, and may give testimony of any facts within the person's knowledge pertinent to any matter under the consideration of the board.
History: 1983 a. 275
; 1985 a. 135
Such board shall carefully examine and consider such reassessment roll and all statements and other information accompanying the same or given in relation thereto. They shall review and correct such reassessment in like manner as the regular board of review of such district is required to review assessments therein and for that purpose they may adjourn from time to time and shall otherwise have and exercise all the power and authority given by law to boards of review and shall be subject to all the rules and restrictions imposed upon such boards. Any owner of taxable property in such district shall have the right to examine such reassessment and shall have all the rights and privileges before such board in respect to such reassessment that are given by law in respect to any assessment of property in such district.
History: 1999 a. 83
Upon the completion of the work of such board and the incorporation in such reassessment roll of any corrections and changes ordered by such board, the person or persons making such reassessment shall make and annex to such roll an affidavit conforming as nearly as may be to the affidavit required by law to be annexed to assessment rolls in such district. Such reassessment roll when completed shall be filed in the office of the clerk of such district and shall take the place of the original assessment made in such district for said year for all purposes and shall be prima facie evidence of the facts therein stated and of the regularity of all the proceedings culminating therein.
Power of supervisor of equalization.
If the reassessment is made by a person other than the supervisor of equalization of the county in which the district is located the supervisor of equalization has the same authority as in other assessments in the county and shall render assistance to the person making the reassessment and to the reviewing board and shall attend the meeting of the reviewing board. The district attorney of the county in which the reassessment is made shall give legal assistance in relation to the reassessment or the review upon the request of the supervisor of equalization.
History: 1983 a. 275
s. 15 (3)
; 1983 a. 538
The person or persons making such reassessment and the persons serving upon the board for review thereof shall receive such compensation for their services and expenses as may be designated by the department of revenue in the order directing such reassessment. Any witness directed to be summoned by such board shall be entitled to fees for travel and attendance at the rates allowed by law to witnesses in the circuit court, but shall not be entitled to such fees prior to attendance and the giving of testimony. Supervisors of equalization may be appointed to make reassessments, but in no case shall a supervisor of equalization be appointed to reassess a district when the complaint was made or the proceedings instituted by that supervisor of equalization.
Statement of expenses.
Upon completion of the review of such reassessment, each person entitled to compensation for services in respect thereto as provided in s. 70.80
shall make out a statement of the person's claim therefor against the state of Wisconsin and execute a voucher for the payment thereof upon blank forms to be furnished by the department of revenue. Such statement shall show the number of days for which compensation is claimed, the rate per day, the character of the service, the total amount claimed, the address of the claimant, and, in case of witnesses, the number of miles traveled, which statement shall be verified by the affidavit of the claimant or of some person having knowledge of the facts. Each such claim shall be approved, if correct, by a member of such board and by the supervisor of equalization. A memorandum of all such claims, showing the number of days and character of service and amount due to each person, shall be entered at the foot of the record of the proceedings of such board.
History: 1983 a. 275
s. 15 (3)
; 1991 a. 316
Review of claims; payment.
The statements and vouchers mentioned in s. 70.81
shall be promptly transmitted by the supervisor of equalization to the department of revenue, which shall have authority to review the statements and vouchers and determine the number of days to be allowed. After such review and determination and after procuring any needed corrections therein said department shall endorse their approval of such statements and file the same and such vouchers in the office of the department of administration. Such claims shall thereupon be audited by the department of administration and paid out of the state treasury in like manner that other claims against the state are audited and paid. The amount so paid shall constitute an indebtedness of the district in which such reassessment was made to the state of Wisconsin, and such indebtedness with interest thereon at 6 percent per year shall be a special charge upon such district to be certified to and collected from such district in the then next levy and certification of state taxes and special charges, in like manner that other indebtedness of cities, towns, and villages to the state are certified and collected.
Deputies; neglect; reassessment.
If any person appointed or required to perform any duty under ss. 70.75
shall be unable or neglect to do so, that person's place may be filled by appointment by said department. If any person required to perform any duty under ss. 70.75
shall willfully neglect or refuse to do so, that person shall forfeit to the state not less than $50 nor more than $250. In the appointment of persons to perform services under ss. 70.75
the department of revenue shall not be required to select any of such persons from the residents of the district in which the reassessment is to be made. It shall not be necessary for the said department to wait until the assessment in any district is completed before making an order for reassessment therein under ss. 70.75
; but it shall be entitled to make such order whenever it shall be satisfied from the work already done upon such assessment that when completed it will not be in substantial compliance with law.
History: 1991 a. 316
Inequalities may be corrected in subsequent year.
If any such reassessment cannot be completed in time to take the place of the original assessment made in such district for said year, the clerk of the district shall levy and apportion the taxes for that year upon the basis of the original assessment roll, and when the reassessment is completed the inequalities in the taxes levied under the original assessment shall be remedied and compensated in the levy and apportionment of taxes in such district next following the completion of said reassessment in the following manner: Each tract of real estate, and, as to personal property, each taxpayer, whose tax shall be determined by such reassessment to have been relatively too high, shall be credited a sum equal to the amount of taxes charged on the original assessment in excess of the amount which would have been charged had such reassessment been made in time; and each tract of real estate, and, as to personal property, each taxpayer, whose tax shall be determined by such reassessment to have been relatively too low, shall be charged, in addition to all other taxes, a sum equal to the difference between the amount of taxes charged upon such unequal original assessment and the amount which would have been charged had such reassessment been made in time. The department of revenue, or its authorized agent, shall at any time have access to all assessment and tax rolls herein referred to for the purpose of assisting the local clerk and in order that the results of the reassessment may be carried into effect.
Review of assessment by department of revenue. 70.85(1)(1)
A taxpayer may file a written complaint with the department of revenue alleging that the assessment of one or more items or parcels of property in the taxation district the value of which, as determined under s. 70.47
, does not exceed $1,000,000 is radically out of proportion to the general level of assessment of all other property in the district.
(2) Board of review; timing.
A complaint under this section may be filed only if the taxpayer has contested the assessment of the property for that year under s. 70.47
. The complaint shall be filed with the department of revenue within 20 days after receipt of the board of review's determination or within 30 days after the date specified on the affidavit under s. 70.47 (12)
if there is no return receipt.
A taxpayer filing a complaint under this section shall pay a filing fee of $100 to the department of revenue, which shall be credited to the appropriation under s. 20.566 (2) (h)
In this subsection, “the property" means the items or parcels of property which are the subject of the written complaint filed under sub. (1)
The department of revenue may revalue the property and adjust the assessment of the property to the assessment ratio of other property within the taxation district, if the department of revenue determines that:
The assessment of the property is not within 10 percent of the general level of assessment of all other property in the taxation district.
The revaluation of the property can be satisfactorily completed without a reassessment of all property within the taxation district.
The revaluation can be accomplished before November 1 of the year in which the assessment is made or within 60 days of the receipt of the written complaint, whichever is later.
Appeal of the determination of the department of revenue shall be by an action for certiorari in the circuit court of the county in which the property is located.
(5) Other property.
In determining whether to revalue property under sub. (4)
, the department of revenue may examine the valuation of other property in the taxation district which is owned by the person filing the complaint.
(6) Tax computed on revalued amount.
The valuation fixed by the department of revenue under this section shall be substituted for the assessed value of the property shown on the tax roll, and the tax shall be computed on the amount of the valuation determined by the department of revenue.
If the department of revenue has not completed the revaluation prior to the time established by a taxation district for fixing its tax rate, the taxation district shall base its tax rate on the total value of property contained in the assessment roll, including property whose valuation is contested under this section.
If the department of revenue has not completed the revaluation prior to the time of the tax levy, the tax upon property with respect to which the revaluation has not been completed shall be computed on the basis of the contested value of the property. The taxpayer shall pay in full the tax based upon the contested valuation. If the department of revenue reduces the valuation of the property, the taxpayer may file a claim under s. 70.511 (2) (b)
for a refund of taxes resulting from the reduction in value.
If the department of revenue determines that no change in the assessment of the property is required, the costs related to the department's determination shall be paid by the department. If the department of revenue changes the property assessment, costs related to the department's determination that the assessment of that property should be changed, but not more than $300, shall be paid by the taxation district and shall be credited to the appropriation under s. 20.566 (2) (h)
. Past due accounts for costs shall be certified by the department of revenue on or before the 4th Monday of August of each year and included in the next apportionment of state special charges to local units of government.
(9) County assessor system.
In this section, for those taxation districts that are under a county assessor system, the term “local assessor" includes the county assessor and the term “board of review" includes the county board of review.
This section and ss. 70.47 (13) and 74.37 provide the exclusive methods to challenge a municipality's bases for assessment of individual parcels. All require appeal to the board of review prior to court action. There is no alternative procedure to challenge an assessment's compliance with the uniformity clause. Hermann v. Town of Delavan, 215 Wis. 2d 370
, 572 N.W.2d 855
Wisconsin's Property Tax Assessment Appeal System. Ardern. Wis. Law. Mar. 1996.
Over Assessed? Appealing Home Tax Assessments. McAdams. Wis. Law. July 2011.
State assessment of commercial property. 70.855(1)(1)
The department of revenue shall assess real and personal property assessed as commercial property under s. 70.32 (2) (a) 2.
if all of the following apply:
The property owner and the governing body of the municipality where the property is located submit a written request to the department on or before March 1 of the year of the assessment to have the department assess the property owner's real and personal commercial property located in the municipality.
The written request submitted under par. (a)
specifies the items of personal property and parcels of real property for the department's assessment.
The assessed value of the property owner's commercial property in the municipality in the previous year, as specified under par. (b)
, is at least $24,000,000.
The assessed value of the property owner's commercial property in the municipality in the previous year, as specified under par. (b)
, represents at least 9 percent of the total assessed value of all property in the municipality.
The property is located in a 4th class city.
The department of revenue shall determine the full market value of the property subject to the request under sub. (1)
. The department may request from the property owner or the municipality where the property is located any information that the department considers necessary to perform its duties under this section. Failure to submit the requested information to the department shall result in denial of any right of redetermination by the tax appeals commission by the party failing to provide the requested information.
The department shall determine the value of the property subject to the request under sub. (1)
no later than June 1 and shall provide written notice to the property owner and the governing body of the municipality of its findings and the value it has determined for the affected property.
Appeal of the determination of the department under this subsection shall be made to the tax appeals commission.
(3) Assessor duty.
The assessor of the municipality where the property is located shall use the department's valuation of the property under sub. (2)
for determining the property's value on the assessment roll, adjusted, to the best of the assessor's ability, to reflect the assessment ratio of other property located in the municipality.
The department of revenue shall impose a fee on each municipality in which commercial property is assessed under this section equal to the cost of the department's assessment of that property under this section. Except as provided in par. (b)
, each municipality that is assessed a fee under this paragraph shall collect the amount of the fee as a special charge against the taxable property located in the municipality, except that no municipality may apply the special charge disproportionately to owners of commercial property relative to owners of other property.
If the department of revenue does not receive the fee imposed on a municipality under par. (a)
by March 31 of the year following the department's determination under sub. (2) (b)
, the department shall reduce the distribution made to the municipality under s. 79.02 (1)
by the amount of the fee and shall transfer that amount to the appropriation under s. 20.566 (2) (ga)
History: 2013 a. 20
; 2021 a. 1
Descriptions, simplified system.
The governing body of any city, village or town may at its option adopt a simplified system of describing real property in either the assessment roll or the tax roll or in both the assessment roll and tax roll of such city, village or town, and may from time to time amend or change such simplified system. Descriptions in property tax bills shall be as provided under s. 74.09 (3) (a)
History: 1987 a. 378
; 1993 a. 246
County assessor. 70.99(1)(1)
A county assessor system may be established for any county by passage of a resolution or ordinance adopting such a system by an approving vote of 60 percent of the entire membership of the county board. After passage of this enabling resolution or ordinance by the county board, the county executive, or the county administrator, or the chairperson of the county board with the approval of the county board, shall appoint a county assessor from a list of candidates provided by the department of revenue who have passed an examination and have been certified by the department of revenue as qualified for performing the functions of the office. Certification shall be granted to all persons demonstrating proficiency by passing an examination administered by the department. The persons selected for listing shall first have been given a comprehensive examination, approved by the department of revenue, relating to the work of county assessor. A person appointed as county assessor shall thereafter have permanent tenure, after successfully serving the probationary period in effect in the county, and may be removed or suspended only for the reasons named in s. 17.14 (1)
or for such cause as would sustain the suspension or removal of a state employee under state civil service rules. If employees of a county are under a county civil service program, the county assessor may, and any person appointed as a member of his or her staff shall, be incorporated into the county civil service program but tenure is dependent on the foregoing provision.
Upon request of a county that is considering the creation of an assessment system under this section, the department of revenue may study the feasibility of that creation. The county shall reimburse the department for the costs of the study.
The division of personnel management in the department of administration shall recommend a reasonable salary range for the county assessor for each county based upon pay for comparable work or qualifications in that county. If, by contractual agreement under s. 66.0301
, 2 or more counties join to employ one county assessor with the approval of the secretary of revenue, the division of personnel management shall recommend a reasonable salary range for the county assessor under the agreement. The department of revenue shall assist the county in establishing the budget for the county assessor's offices, including the number of personnel and their qualifications, based on the anticipated workload.
The department of revenue shall establish levels of proficiency for all appraisal personnel to be employed in offices of county assessors.
The county assessor and the county assessor's staff shall be supplied suitable quarters, equipment and supplies by the county.
In respect of any assessment made by a county assessor, the county assessor shall perform all the functions and acts theretofore required to be performed by the local assessor of the taxation district and shall have the same authority, responsibility and status, privileges and obligations of the assessor the county assessor displaces, except as clearly inconsistent with this section.
The county assessor may designate one member of the county assessor's staff as deputy county assessor who shall have full power to act for the county assessor in the event of the inability of the county assessor to act through absence, incapacity, resignation or otherwise.
Each city, town and village assessor duly appointed or elected and qualified to make the assessment for a city, town or village shall continue in office for all purposes of completing the functions of assessor with respect to such current year's assessment, but is divested of all authority in respect to the January 1 assessment that comes under the jurisdiction of the county assessor.
In making the first assessment of any city, town or village the county assessor shall equalize the assessment of property within each taxation district. Thereafter, the county assessor shall revalue each year as many taxation districts under the county assessor's jurisdiction within the county as the county assessor's available staff will permit so as to bring and maintain each such taxation district at a full value assessment. The county assessor shall proceed with such work so as to complete the revaluation of all taxation districts under the county assessor's jurisdiction within 4 years. Such revaluation shall be made according to the procedures and manuals established by the department of revenue for the use of assessors.
There shall be one board of review for each county under the county assessor system. The board of review in any county having a county executive shall be appointed by the county executive from the cities or villages or towns under the county assessor. The board of review of all other counties shall be appointed by the chairperson of the county board from the tax districts under the county assessor. County board of review appointments in all counties shall be subject to approval by the county board. The board of review shall have 5 to 9 members, no more than 2 of whom may reside in the same city, town or village, and shall hold office as members of said board for staggered 5-year terms and until their successors are appointed and qualified. In counties other than Milwaukee County at least one member shall be from a town. The compensation and reimbursement of expenses of members of the board of review shall be fixed by the county board and shall be borne by the county. Each such board of review shall appoint one of its members present at the hearing as clerk and such clerk shall keep an accurate record of its proceedings. The provisions of s. 70.47
, not in conflict with this section, shall be applicable to procedure for review of assessments by county boards of review and to appeals from determinations of county boards of review.