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How do I know if my assessment is fair?
First, you should make sure that our permanent records describe your property accurately.
Secondly, you should compare the actual assessment of properties similar to your own. To know if your assessment is fair and equitable, you must first determine if your property is bearing its fair share of the tax burden. Make a list of properties like your own in your area, and check their assessments periodically to make sure that they are in line with each other.

The amount of money you pay on your property tax bill should be about the same as your neighbors with similar homes around the City. The local assessor’s job is to make sure that happens in order that the burden of tax is evenly spread out according to the relative value of each property.

According to the Wisconsin Legislature, for instance, if you’re comparing Milwaukee Bungalows, the one in the best neighborhood with the best condition should have the highest tax burden and the one in the least desirable neighborhood in the worst condition should pay the least. All the other Milwaukee Bungalows should be between these extremes in order of best to poorest. As long as your home seems to be in line, your share of the total tax levy should be fair.

Finally, you should make sure that your assessment is based on actual sales prices of similar properties at the time we performed our last “market-adjusted” Citywide Revaluation. This can be done by looking at sale prices of similar homes or buildings in comparable parts of the City. Sales and assessment information is available in our office and open to the public for review during regular office hours.

You may also choose to contact a private contract appraiser or real estate salesperson to estimate the probable selling price of your property if sold now. However, keep in mind that the job of the Assessor is not to determine what your house is worth today. It is instead to divide the burden of tax fairly and equitably between similar properties using historical sales trends as

Frequently Asked Assessor Questions

Show All Answers

1. What does an Assessor do?
2. How does the assessor value property?
3. What if I think my assessment might not be correct?
4. How do I know if my assessment is fair?
5. If after discussing my assessment with the Assessor's office staff I still think the assessment is not correct, what should I do?
6. What is the Board of Review
7. What happens after the Board of Review makes its decision?
8. What is a "Valid" or Market Sale?
9. Do the market values of all properties change at the same rate and over the same time frame?
10. Why do assessors avoid considering foreclosure or estate sales when calculating assessments.
11. What is a Revaluation?
12. Will I be notifieed if there is a change in my assessment?
13. How can my assessment change when I havn't done anything to my property.
14. Can my assessment change in the years between citywide revaluations?
15. What will happen to my assessment if I improve my property?
16. I have recently built a new home. Will cost to build my property be considered when my assessment is calculated?
17. I have a refinance appraisal- Will you change my assessment to the appraiser's value?