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 real and personal property in the city, in a uniform manner. The assessor is not involved in the collection of property taxes.
What are my rights as a property owner?
You have the right to refuse entry into your residence pursuant to section 70.05 (4m) of the Wisconsin Statues. Entry to view your property is prohibited unless voluntarily authorized by you. Pursuant to section 70.05 (4m) of the Wisconsin statutes, you have the right to refuse a visual inspection of the interior of your residence and your refusal to allow an interior inspection of your residence will not be used as the sole reason for increasing your property tax assessment. Refusing entry to your residence also does not prohibit you from objecting to your assessment pursuant to section 70.47 (7) of the Wisconsin statues.
It is your responsibility to contact the assessor’s office if you wish to refuse a visual inspection of the interior of your residence.
What is the difference between real and personal property?
For property tax purposes, “real property” refers to land and buildings, improvements, fixtures, and the rights and privileges connected with the land, while “personal property” is all goods, wares, merchandise, chattels and effects of any nature or description having any marketable value and not included in the real property.
How does the assessor value property?
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 it would 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 THIS VALUE, BUT RATHER INTERPRETS WHAT IS HAPPENING IN THE MARKET PLACE.
What is fair market value?
Fair market value is the amount the property will sell for in an arms-length transaction on the open market between a willing seller not obliged to sell the property and a willing buyer not obliged to purchase it.
Fair Market Value is calculated by dividing the Total Assessed Value by the Average Assessment Ratio. Property taxes are levied on the Total Assessed Value, not the Total Estimated Fair Market Value.
Can the assessment on my property change even if the assessor has not been inside my building?
To make a proper assessment of a dwelling or other building, it is desirable for the assessor to see the inside and the outside of the property. The law requires that property be valued from actual view or the best information available. The assessor’s office has a vast amount of historical records on the physical characteristics of each property in the municipality. Even though the assessor may have been unable to go through your property, the assessment will still be reviewed, based on the existing records and the sales of similar properties.
Will I be penalized if I don't let the assessor in when an inspection is requested?
No. You have the right to refuse entry into your residence pursuant to section 70.05 (4m) of the Wisconsin Statues and a refusal of entry will not be used as the sole reason for increasing your property tax assessment. When an interior inspection is unavailable or not allowed, the assessor will attempt to update the 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.
What will happen to my assessment if I improve my property?
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 or garages
- Updating old windows and siding
- Substantial modernization of kitchens or baths
- Central air conditioning
- Adding Fireplaces, Decks, Porches, Sheds, etc.
- Extensive remodeling or updating, etc.
Why does the City have to conduct revaluations?
The City of Neenah Assessor’s Office revalues all property on a quasi-cyclical nature to keep pace with changes in the market, as dictated by Wisconsin Statutes Chapter 70. The City must maintain its assessed values within 10% of true full market value within a specified time period. During a revaluation year, all assessments are examined and adjustments are made where necessary to guarantee that all properties are assessed at market value. This is done to assure that taxes are distributed equitably and uniformly.
Do all assessments change at the same rate?
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 possibly 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 vice-versa. 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 that will cause the values to differ. Some of the factors that can affect value are location, condition, size, quality, number of baths, basement finish, garages, and many others.
Will I be notified if there is a change in my assessment?
Wisconsin law requires that whenever an assessment is changed the owner must be notified. However, failure to receive a notice does not affect the validity of the changed assessment.
How do I know if my assessment is fair?
To make a sound decision, you first must decide for yourself what your property is worth. Purchase price is usually the best evidence of market value if you have recently purchased the property and the sale is arm’s length. Sale price of other property comparable to yours is the next best evidence of market value. A recent professionally prepared appraisal is also a reasonable estimate of market value.
Sales and assessment information is available on our website. Additional questions and information can be reviewed in the Wisconsin Department of Revenue publication Guide for Property Owners.
What is the Dark Store Loophole campaign all about?
With so much going on in the news right now about Dark Stores, there is a need to understand what a dark store is and how this impacts property owners. To find out more, you may view this whiteboard video.