2021 Revaluation

Greetings Pleasant Valley Residents - On this webpage you will have the opportunity to learn perhaps more than you ever wanted about property revaluation. We are publishing this to help all of us better understand the process and to hopefully put to rest some awful impressions of the way a revaluation impacts taxes.

Learning that the assessor is coming has historically caused folks to jump to the conclusion that the Town is trying to tax them more. That is simply not true. Our decision to revalue your property is governed by Wisconsin Department of Revenue, and the intent is to simply ensure every property owner pays his or her FAIR share.

Taxation is controlled through spending restraint and levy limits governed by Wisconsin State Statutes. If the budget and associated levy amount adopted does not rise substantially, your tax bills will not either. If your property has appreciated in value a great deal, then, yes, your tax bill probably will go up based on the fair market and current value of your property. Conversely, if your property has not appreciated much, you may very well see a slight dip in your tax bill.

Please feel free to call on the assessor’s office or your elected officials if you have questions or concerns. We are all in this together. So, when Bowmar Appraisal, Inc., the contracted assessor, conducts their exterior review, please be understanding and helpful – they really are not the enemy! Thanks for your anticipated cooperation in this Town-wide effort.

Within the coming months, all real and personal property within the Town of Pleasant Valley will be revalued with the assistance of Bowmar Appraisal, Inc. The Town of Pleasant Valley’s assessment ratio is not in compliance with State Statutes, requiring a revaluation to be performed. The law requires each municipality to be within 10% of the Market Value once every 5 years. The Town’s assessment ratio fell out of compliance in 2017.

The revaluation will be conducted in accordance with the standards development by the Wisconsin Department of Revenue (DOR). The revaluation program has but one aim: to equalize the tax base for all real and personal property on the basis of fair market value as of January 1, 2021. The aim is not to raise your tax bill but rather to be sure each property owner pays his/her fair share using the facts obtained during the revaluation.

All property owners and tenants are urged to cooperate with the authorized field appraisers. The field work is a full exterior revaluation. This means the assessor will review recent sales, existing property records and view each exterior of the property to calculate the assessments. In most cases, an appraiser will not need to view the interior of your home. If they do need to view the interior, you will receive a letter.

This webpage is designed to answer some of the questions you may have prior to and during the revaluation process. You, as a taxpayer, are entitled to know the facts about revaluation and how it is expected to affect you or your tenants.

The following list of questions are the most common raised during a revaluation and they help to explain the process, its necessity, and the result of a community wide revaluation.

Here is a link to an informative revaluation video:
 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9in7hvxVoLM

Q1. What does revaluation really mean?

A1. It means that the Town of Pleasant Valley will make a present day, full market assessment of your property. In other words, if your property would sell for $100,000 at the present time, this amount would approximate your new assessment.

Q2. Why is this revaluation necessary?

A2. State Statutes require municipalities to be within 10% of full market value at least once within a five-year period. The Town has been outside that range and out of compliance for 4 years. A revaluation is done to bring assessments closer to 100% of full market value. The last time there was a Town-wide revaluation was in 2009.

Q3. Will this revaluation automatically increase my taxes?

A3. Not necessarily. Only the property owners who are not presently paying their fair share of the tax burden will pay more taxes. Property owners paying more than their full share of taxes at this time will pay less.

Q4. Do all assessments change at the same rate?

A4. No. Several factors can affect the rate of change such as location, style of property, age, condition, etc.

Q5. If the new assessments are made at full value, won’t this raise taxes?

A5. No, this will not raise the total amount of taxes levied on property in the Town of Pleasant Valley. With the total of all the assessments in the Town increasing, the tax rate will be reduced by the same percentage to generate the same tax dollars.

Q6. What process is being used to arrive at a fair assessment?

A6. The revaluation program is based on the sales approach. The value of properties in the community are compared to actual sale prices supplied to the Town of Pleasant Valley by the Wisconsin Department of Revenue. These are actual property sales, and they are then compared to the assessed value of like properties using a computer model.

Q7. What information does the assessor use to determine assessments?

A7. 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 (ie. zoning ordinances); • General economic changes in the community

Q8. Will my home or apartment be inspected?

A8. This is a full exterior revaluation. This means the Assessor will review recent sales, existing property records and view each property exterior to calculate assessments. An appraiser will not need to view the interior of your home in most cases. If they do need to view the interior, you will receive a letter from Bowmar Appraisal, Inc.

Q9. How will I know if an appraiser was at my house?

A9. The appraiser will leave a door tag indicating they were there and whether they have any additional questions for the property owner.

Q10. Will the person that comes to my door be able to tell me what my assessment will be?

A10. No, the field representative gathers data only. The actual assessment will be calculated at a later date.

Q11. Can I refuse to let the appraiser enter my home?

A11. Yes, you may refuse information and entry to your home or business.

Q12. Will I have the right to appeal this assessment if I refuse entry in my home or on my property?

A12. Yes and No, if you refuse entry to your home you still have the right to appeal. State law allows a property owner to refuse entry into the home and does not prohibit the owner from objecting to their assessment under Section 70.05 (4m) State Statues. If you refuse entry on your property for an exterior view, after written request from assessor, you are not allowed to appeal under Section 70.47 (7)(aa) State Statutes.

Q13. How soon after the field inspection will I know what my new assessment will be?

A13. Each property owner will be mailed a notice of their property’s assessment, called the Notice of Assessment. The notice will list your current property value and your new property value. The Notice of Assessment will be sent as soon as the figures are available.

Q14. Will I have a chance to discuss this new assessment with someone if I feel that it is too high?

A14. Yes, on the same notice you receive informing you of your new assessment, a date and time will be indicated when you will be able to appear at an informal hearing (Open Book) to discuss whatever questions you may have regarding your property.

Q15. At the Open Book, will I be able to discuss my property with someone in private?

A15. Yes, all conferences will be in private.

Q16. Will I be able to compare my property with similar types?

A16. Yes, we encourage this comparison. It is one of the basic criteria used to arrive at a fair assessment. The assessment roll is always open for inspection.

Q17. What if, after Open Book, I am still dissatisfied with my assessment?

A17. The formal Board of Review will be held shortly after these conferences. After filing a written petition of objection with the Municipal Clerk at least 48 hours in advance of the Board of Review, you can appear before the Board of Review. In addition, you must complete the Objection to Real Property Assessment and file it with the Municipal Clerk prior to or within the first two hours of the Board of Review’s first scheduled hearing. At the Board of Review you will give testimony and have the Board decide whether or not your assessment is fair.

Q18. What if I am still not satisfied?

A18. You can then appeal the decision to the Circuit Court.

Q19. When will we be billed on the basis of the new assessment?

A19. The tax bill you receive in December 2021 will be based on the new assessment.

Q20. What will happen if I decide to build a new home while the reassessment is in process?

A20. Nothing out of the ordinary will happen as your new home will be appraised as of January 1, 2021. If the new home is started after January 1, 2021, it will not be assessed until January 1, 2022. If it is partially complete on January 1, 2021, it will receive a partial assessment as of that date.

Additional Q and A

Why did the Revaluation occur?

Wisconsin Law requires market value assessment of all property.  During a reassessment, all assessments are examined, and adjustments are made where necessary to guarantee that all property is assessed at market value.  This is done to assure that taxes are distributed equitably and uniformly.  The Town of Pleasant Valley fell out of compliance in 2017 and needed to conduct the revaluation to comply with State Law.

How will reassessment affect my taxes?
By itself, a reassessment does not increase or decrease tax revenue; it merely redistributes the total tax burden more fairly. Some owners will see increases while others will see decreases. The amount of total taxes collected will remain the same unless budgets are changed. Reassessment itself is revenue neutral.
The revaluation does not change the total amount of taxes collected by the town but increases the total assessed value of the town (tax base) of which the tax levy is divided into which typically cause a reduction of the mill rate.

I have not changed anything at my property, why has my value changed?

As property values change in the marketplace, those changes must be reflected on the assessment roll. Periodically, the Assessor reviews real estate market factors to determine if economic conditions are causing property to appreciate or depreciate, or if conditions are static. During revaluation years, the findings of such analysis may result in a change in property assessments regardless of any physical changes to a property.

How are full values determined?

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 would it 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 is happening in the marketplace through real estate sales.

Is my property assessment fair, accurate and equitable?

Revaluations are periodically required by state law and are designed to keep assessments current with prevailing market conditions. The real issue is whether your property is assessed at market value. After the revaluation, you should look at your final assessment. If it appears to be an accurate value when compared to sales of similar property, then it probably is a fair assessment. If, in your opinion, it does not reflect the market value of your property when compared to sales of similar properties, you should talk to our assessment staff.

 

 

From May 2021 Newsletter:

The Town of Pleasant Valley will be performing a revaluation in 2021.  The last revaluation was completed 12 years ago in 2009. Some common questions are answered below.

What is a Revaluation?
A revaluation is a process where the assessor reviews all property within the Town and modifies each of its current market value.  A periodic revaluation ensures equity amongst all property types while bringing
assessed property values in line with market rates a required by State Law.

Why is a revaluation being conducted?
The purpose of the revaluation is to ensure property assessments in Pleasant Valley are keeping pace with market changes and to avoid more drastic adjustments to property assessments in the future.  Pleasant
Valley ‘s property assessments are currently on average about 20% below fair market (equalized value).  Please review your tax bill and note the “assessed value” and the “estimated fair market value”, which is
determined by the Town’s level of assessment.  If assessments remain more than 10% below fair market value for too long, the State can mandate a costly “full revaluation” of the Town for non-compliance, which will also include interior inspections of all properties.

When will this new assessment go into effect?
The property tax bill you receive in December 2021 will be based on the new assessment value of your property.

Will my taxes go up?
A common misconception about revaluations is that an increase in a property assessment leads directly to an increase in property taxes.  A revaluation ensures that all property owners pay their fair share of taxes and the municipality complies with state law   For example, if the average assessment in the Town increases 15%, the owner of a property with an assessment increase of 15% would not see an increase in their share of taxes.  A revaluation also does not change the total amount of taxes that a Town levies (which is capped by State imposed levy limits).  Taxes could potentially increase if a referendum is passed by any of the
taxing districts.

How can my assessment change when I haven’t made changes to my property?
Economic conditions such as recent home sales in your neighborhood, sales of reasonable comparable buildings and market conditions will influence the value of your real estate.

Will the assessor visit my property?
The assessor will visit all taxable properties in the Town and do a walk around exterior inspection of every property.  If a property owner requests an interior inspection, the assessor will comply.  It the assessor feels entry is needed to a property, the assessor will take the legally required steps to attempt to gain entry.

Once the revaluation is completed, the assessor will send out letters to all property owners indicating the new assessed values.  At that time, the Open Book and Board of Review dates will be set and the
information will be included in your letter.  The dates will also be posted on our webpage and at the town hall once they are established.  This will most likely occur in early fall.

What is open book?
Open book is a conference, either face-to-face or over the phone, with an assessor to discuss the value of your property. You have until 48 hours before Board of Review to contact the assessor about your new
value. Face-to-face dates are not yet established.  The assessor can be reached at 715-835-1141.

What is Board of Review?
Board of Review functions like court and is required to evaluate evidence based on facts. You or your
representative must provide factual evidence that your property is inequitably assessed. The burden of proof is solely on the taxpayer. The assessor’s value is presumed correct by state law until proven
otherwise.

Please attend the Open Board prior to making an appointment for Board of Review. Once dates are
determined, you can set an appointment for the Board of Review by contacting Jen Meyer at 715-878-4645 or townofpleasantvalley@gmail.com.  All original signed paper Objection Forms must be submitted to the Clerk no later than 48 hours prior to Board of Review.

Here is a link to an informative revaluation video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9in7hvxVoLM