What if I don't agree with my assessment?
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.
After this review, if I still think the assessment is incorrect, what can I do?
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 from the City Clerk or the Assessor's office.
What is the Board of Review? When do they meet?
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 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.
What evidence do I need to present to the Board of Review?
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.
Does the Board of Review have the final say?
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.
How do I appeal my assessment to the Department of Revenue?
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.
How do I appeal my assessment 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.