|City Assessor - contracted by City
|| Mailing Address:
PO Box 2111
Appleton, WI 54913-2111
The 2013 Open Book will be held Monday, May 13, 2013 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. in the Municipal Building. Please call the City Assessorís office at the number above to set up an appointment.
The 2013 Board of Review will be held Monday, June 10, 2013 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. in the Council Chambers of the Municipal Building. Please call the City Clerk/Treasurerís office at (920) 563-7760 to schedule an appointment. A provided form will need to be filled out and returned at least 48 hours prior to the meeting.
Associated Appraisal Consultants provides assessment of
real estate and personal property for all taxable properties
in the City. The primary function of assessing is to assure
fair and equitable assessments based on the estimated market
values as of January 1 each year.
If you have any questions about the assessed value of your
property, you may call Associate Appraisal Consultants.
They have all assessment records for the City of Fort Atkinson
in their office.
Assessment Information from Jefferson County Land Records
*Also see Assessment Calendar, Frequently
Asked Questions on Assessment and Glossary
of Assessing Terms.
|Assessment & Tax
Dates to Remember
||Assessment Date - All property is assessed as it existed
on this date
||Payment of personal and real estate taxes due OR if
paying in installments, due date of first half tax installment
payment. (Installment payment option is not generally
available for personal property taxes.) This payment
is made to the City of Fort Atkinson Treasurer, 101 N.
Main Street, Fort Atkinson, WI 53538.
||Last day to file personal property returns for the
|End of April:
||Assessment change notices are typically mailed during
the period from the end of April through the end of May.
|Monday, May 13, 2013 from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.:
||Open Book reviews with City Assessor at Municipal Building. Appointments for the Open Book reviews need to be made by calling the Assessor (Associated Appraisal) at 1-800-721-4157.
|Monday, June 10, 2013 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.:
||Board of Review meeting to hear appeals by property owners. Appointments must be made by contacting the City Clerkís Office and completing an appeals form.
||Second tax installment payment due date. The second
half installment is paid to the Jefferson County Treasurer
at 320 S. Main Street, Jefferson, WI 53549.
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|Frequently Asked Assessment Questions
The Assessing Process
Q. What is the role of the assessor?
A. The assessor is a state certified professional
whose duties are to discover, list, and place a value on
all taxable real and personal property in the city, in a
uniform manner. The assessor is not involved in the collection
of the property tax.
Q. How does the assessor value property?
A. 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
its 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.
Q. What will happen to my assessment if I improve
A. 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, garages, porches or decks
- Aluminum or vinyl siding
- Substantial modernization of kitchens or baths
- Central air conditioning
- Extensive remodeling
- Swimming pool
- Basement finish (family room, den, etc.)
Q. Will my assessment go up if I repair my property?
A. 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
- Replacing gutters and down spouts
- Replacing hot water heater
- Repairing or replacing roof
- Repairing porches and steps
- Repairing original siding
- Patching or repairing interior walls/ceilings
- Exterior painting
- Exterior awnings and shutters
- Replacing electrical fixtures
- Replacing furnace
- Weather stripping, screens, storm windows and doors
- Exterior landscaping including lawns, shrubbery, trees,
Q. How can my assessment change when I haven't done
anything to my property?
A. 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 market place, those changes
must be reflected on the assessment roll.
Q. Will I be notified if there is a change in my
A. Wisconsin law requires that whenever
an assessment is changed, the owner must be notified. Assessment
notices are generally mailed in late April. In the year
of a city-wide revaluation, assessment notices are mailed
to all property owners.
Q. Why don't all assessments change at the same
A. 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 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, age, condition, size,
quality, number of baths, basement finish, and garages.
Q. I've heard you develop values by computer. Is
A. 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 sales prices, assessors
can begin to predict or estimate value by developing formulas
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.
Q. Will I be penalized if I don't let the assessor
in when an inspection is requested?
A. 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.
Q. How do I know if my assessment is fair?
A. 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.
The Appeal Process
Q. What if I don't agree with my assessment?
A. Talk with our assessor. 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.
Q. After this review, if I still think the assessment
is incorrect, what can I do?
A. The next step is to file an objection with the Board
of Review. The property owner must provide the City 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 City 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
either from the City Clerk or the City Assessor's office.
Q. What is the Board of Review? When do they meet?
A. The Board of Review in the City of
Fort Atkinson includes the City Council, City Manager,
and the City 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 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
Q. What evidence do I need to present to the Board
A. Keep in mind that your evidence must
be strong enough to prove 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
sales 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.
Q. Does the Board of Review have the final say?
A. 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.
Q. How do I appeal my assessment to the Department
A. 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 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 1 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.
Q. How do I appeal my assessment to court?
A. 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.
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|Glossary of Assessing Terms
- Assessed Value
- An estimate of value assigned to taxable property by the
assessor for purposes of taxation.
- 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 that type of property.
- Reappraisal or Revaluation
- Placing new values on all taxable property for purposes
of a new assessment.
- Tax Base
- The total assessed value of all taxable property in the
- Tax Levy
- The total amount of property tax money that a taxing unit
(such as the schools, city, county, etc.) needs to raise
to provide services.
- Tax Rate
- The tax levy divided by the tax base. It is often expressed
in terms of dollars per hundred or dollars per thousand.
The tax rate is multiplied by the assessed value to determine
the amount of tax each property owner must pay.
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