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 Nobody was in my home, so how could you reassess it?
The Assessor's Office maintains a complete record for each property in the City. Information is kept current through permit inspections, sales inspections, periodic re-inspections and exterior reviews. The records are available for your review.
 What is market value?
Market Value can be defined as the probable price that a careful, willing buyer would pay a willing seller for a property on the open market without restrictions or special considerations.
 How does the Assessor's Office determine market value?
Generally, the assessor compares your property value with sale prices of similar properties which sold recently in your neighborhood. "Similar" properties are those which compare in age, size, condition, number of dwelling units, location, and other features under guidelines established by State law. When there is no active market in a particular neighborhood, the assessor considers other factors, which also have a bearing on value of property. Such factors may include costs, depreciation, and income potential.
 Why did the percent change of my assessment vary from the City‑wide average?
The City-wide average represents an overall average for all classes and types of property throughout the City. The percent change for a specific property depends on individual characteristics of the property, the activity of the real estate market within the neighborhood, and the accuracy of the previous assessment. It is more important to focus on the final estimate and ask if the assessment accurately reflects the market value of your property as of January 1, 2008.
 The assessed value of my property has decreased and I'm concerned with this decline in market value. I feel my property is worth more. What does this mean for the future?
Your assessment changes to reflect changes in the market since the last revaluation in 2007. A decline does not necessarily mean your property or neighborhood will continue to decline. In comparing changes from previous years, we see many areas stabilizing or rebounding in value. Properties change, markets change. Buyers and sellers create the market, the assessor's job is to reflect those markets in the assessments.
 Will I be penalized if I don't allow the assessor to view the interior of my property?
No. A property owner may refuse to allow an interior inspection. However, by refusing to allow an inspection after a written request by the assessor, the property owner loses his/her right to contest the assessed value before the Board of Review.
 How will this assessment affect my taxes?
The purpose of a revaluation is not to raise taxes, but rather to provide for fair distribution of the property tax burden based on the market value of each property as of the assessment date -- January 1, 2008. The actual amount of tax depends on the budgets of the taxing units and the amount of State and federal support of local budgets.
 How is the tax rate determined?
The tax rate-- or the amount of taxes per $1,000 of assessed value -- determines your tax bill. Tax rates are dependent on the operating budgets of the units of government which levy property taxes and the level of support of those budgets by the State and federal governments. Those budgets are finalized during the summer and fall and the rate is set at the end of November. Tax bills are mailed by the Treasurer in mid-December. The taxing units are: State forestry levy, Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District, Milwaukee Public Schools, Milwaukee Area Technical College, County of Milwaukee and City of Milwaukee
 Can I appeal if I'm not satisfied with the assessed value?
Yes. First of all you should contact our office to discuss the assessment of your property. The assessor can explain the procedure used in arriving at the assessment. If, after discussing your assessment, you do not agree with our estimate of market value, you may file an objection. Forms for filing an objection are available in the Assessor's Office. The property owner's estimate of the market value of the property must be included on the form. It is too late to file an objection when you receive your tax bill in December.
 What happens when I file an objection?
Your objection will be assigned to an appraiser from our office who reports to the Board of Assessors. The appraiser will contact you for the purpose of inspecting the property, and to gather information relevant to your objection. After reviewing all factors, the appraiser will recommend a change, if one is indicated, or recommend sustaining the original assessment. You will receive notification from the Board of Assessors of its findings.
 What if I'm not satisfied?
You will have fifteen days to notify the Assessor's Office if you wish to pursue the matter before the Board of Review. This is another Statutory deadline which must be met. The Board of Review is a quasi‑judicial board made up of citizen members appointed by the Mayor. It can only act upon valuation evidence given in sworn oral testimony. An appearance before the Board of Review is a prerequisite to other avenues of appeal.
 When will I have a hearing before the Board of Review?
You will be notified of the time and date your objection will be heard. Generally, we attempt to give a 10 to 14 day notice of the hearing date, although only 48 hours notice is required by law.
 What do I have to do at the time of my hearing?
Taxpayer should be aware that:
  1. The assessor's value is presumed correct unless proved otherwise -- you must be able to prove what you believe to be the fair market value of your property.

  2. The Board of Review may only act upon sworn, oral evidence presented by the taxpayer or his or her representative -- you or a representative must be present to give evidence.

  3. The evidence must be factual in nature, not just a matter of opinion or hearsay -- again, you must have facts proving your estimate of value. Simply stating that the assessment is too high, or taxes are too high is not sufficient.

  4. A small percentage difference between the assessor's estimate and the taxpayer's estimate usually is not sufficient to warrant a change by the Board of Review.

  5. Finally, a property owner who previously had refused the assessor's written request to view the property is not eligible to protest the assessment.
 What recourse is there beyond the Board of Review?
A decision of the Board of Review may be appealed to Circuit Court. Such appeal must be filed within 90 days of notice of the Board of Review?