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City-Wide Revaluation Information Page

The City has contracted with Bowmar Appraisal to complete a city-wide revaluation of all residential and commercial properties beginning in October 2019.

Purpose of Revaluation:
City of Kaukauna’s assessment ratio is not in compliance with State Statutes requiring a revaluation to be performed.  The law requires each municipality be within 10% of the market value once every 5 years.  The City’s assessment ratio for 2018 was 89% and is expected to be about 85% for 2019. This will be the first year that the city is out of compliance which is the reason for the need to have a city-wide revaluation. The city now has 5 years to complete a revaluation.  We are expected to be completed with the revaluation within the next 2 years.

A revaluation is a process of revaluing property in a municipality for creating equitable assessments at market value.  The primary reasons for revaluation include:

  • Bringing current assessments within statutory guidelines.
  • Eliminating inequities that may exist in the assessments of property.
  • Fairness for taxation purposes.

Process of Revaluation:
The Assessors will be coming around to the neighborhoods in order of ward numbers, starting with Ward No. 1.  The revaluation on the commercial properties will start from the north side of the City and work south.  The Assessors will have a badge to identify themselves.  They will also have a letter from the Mayor confirming who they are.  Finally, they will be leaving a door hanger to confirm they have been on your property.

Timetable

TaskDate
Fieldwork Begins (Property Visits)October 2019
Fieldwork CompletionDecember 2020
Property Information UpdatesDecember 2020
Setting New Property ValuesMay 2021
New Notice of Assessment Letters Mailed to Property OwnersAugust 2021
New Assessment on tax bill appearingDecember 2021

City-wide Points of clarification

Frequently Asked Question about a City-Wide Revaluation

WHY DO WE NEED A REVALUATION?
The State Statutes require each municipality to assess property within 10% of the full market value at least once every 5 years. The City’s assessment ratio in 2018 was 89.76%.

What authority does the City have to conduct a revaluation?

    • Wisconsin Law requires market value assessments of all property. The City of Kaukauna Assessor’s Office is revaluing to keep pace with changes in the market. During a revaluation, all assessments are examined and adjustments are made when necessary to guarantee that all property is assessed at market value. This assures that taxes are distributed equitably and uniformly.

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 property in the City in a uniform manner. The Assessor is not involved in the collection of taxes.  Bowmar is currently the contracted Assessor company for the City of Kaukauna.

What information does your office use to determine assessments?

Assessors consider information from many sources to determine your assessment including:

    • Comparable property sales, including recent arm’s-length sale(s) of comparable properties.
      • Current construction costs.
      • Improvements to property.
      • Location.
      • Depreciation.
      • Legal restrictions (ex: zoning ordinances).
      • General economic changes in the community.

What is market value?

The most probable price which a property should bring in a competitive and open market under all conditions requisite to a fair sale, the buyer and seller each acting prudently and knowledgeably, and assuming the price is not affected by undue stimulus. Implicit in this definition is the consummation of a sale as of a specified date and the passing of title from seller to buyer under conditions whereby:

1.   Buyer and seller are typically motivated.
2.   Both parties are well informed or well advised and acting in what they consider their own best interests.
3.   A reasonable time is allowed for exposure in the open market
4.   Payment is made in terms of cash in U.S. dollars or in terms of financial arrangements comparable thereto
5.   The price represents the normal consideration for the property sold unaffected by special or creative financing

WILL THE ASSESSOR NEED TO VIEW THE INTERIOR OF MY HOME?
The 2021 revaluation is a full exterior. This means the Assessor will review recent sales, existing records and view each exterior of the property to calculate property assessments. The Assessor will not need to view the interior of your home in most cases. However, if the Assessor needs to view your home, you will receive a letter.

Can the assessment on my property be changed even if the Assessor has not been inside my property?
Yes. We have property records for each property. We update our records whenever permits are taken on your property. If there are no recent permits, we assume our records are still accurate. If you want to check what our records indicate, please contact our assessment staff to review your property record card.

WILL MY TAXES INCREASE AFTER THE REVALUATION?
The purpose of a revaluation is to equitably distribute the tax burden among the taxable properties in the city to better reflect actual market values, not to increase taxes. The revaluation does not change the total amount of tax dollars collected by the City.

HOW & WHEN WILL I FIND OUT MY NEW ASSESSMENT?
Each property owner will be mailed a notice of their property’s assessment called the Notice of Assessment. The notice will list your property’s previous value and your new property value.

Do all assessments change at the same rate?
No. Several factors can affect the rate of change such as:

    1. Location.
    2. Style of property.
    3. Age.
    4. Condition.
    5. Square footage.
    6. Number of bedrooms and bathrooms.

How do I know if my assessment is correct?
We strongly recommend that you first talk with the assessment staff. 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.

WHAT CAN I DO IF I HAVE QUESTIONS OR DISAGREE WITH MY NEW ASSESSMENT?
Contact the Assessor’s Office if you have any questions or disagree with the assessment of your property. Often times a conversation with the Assessor will resolve the matter. The Assessor will also hold an Open Book meeting to give property owners a chance to meet with the Assessor or view the assessment roll.

Open Book Dates:  To Be Determined
Open Book Location:City Administration Building
Council Chambers
144 W. Second Street, Kaukauna, WI
Open Book Time:To Be Determined

WHAT SHOULD I BRING TO MY OPEN BOOK APPOINTMENT?
At the Open Book meeting, you must state your estimate of your property’s Fair Market value as of
January 1, 2021, and provide supporting evidence. Such evidence may include:

  • Photographs of major adverse property conditions, damage, or deferred maintenance.
  • Estimates of the cost to repair any such conditions.
  • Commercial and/or rental properties – detailed income and expense information.
  • Recent loan appraisals based on Arm’s Length sales (not distressed sales).
  • Recent Arm’s Length sales of reasonably comparable properties.

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. 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 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.

What is the Board of Review?
The Board of Review is a citizen panel appointed by the Mayor. It is the Board’s duty to hear evidence by the taxpayer and the Assessor and to decide if the assessment is correct.

Does the Board of Review have the final say?
No. 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 IF I DISAGREE WITH THE OPEN BOOK RESULTS?
If you still wish to appeal your assessment after having a conversation with the Assessment Staff, the next step is to attend the Board of Review hearing. The Board of Review operates like a court. Its function is not to determine the value of the property but to decide the validity of facts presented orally before them. There is a formal application process and specific deadlines for appealing to the Board of Review which is done through the City Clerk’s Office. You will need to file written or oral intent to object with the Municipal Clerk at least 48 hours before the start of Board of Review. In addition, you must complete the Objection to Real Property Assessment and file it with the City Clerk prior to or within the first two hours of the Board of Review’s first scheduled hearing. The Clerk’s Office can be reached at 920-766-6300.

 

Additional Guides and Informational Links

Map of Assessment Wards

Guide for Property Owners

Department Info