Why Annual Revaluations?
The City Assessor’s Office is responsible for estimating the market value of all locally assessable property in the City of Milwaukee and producing an annual assessment roll listing all taxable property as of January 1st of each year. The assessment roll describes the property, states the assessed value as of January 1st and lists the owner’s name and address.
The goal of a revaluation is to create uniform, equitable and fair assessments ensuring each property bears its fair share of the property tax burden. Revaluations ensure that the distribution of property taxes is impartial and based on market value standards. In 2002 the Mayor and Council City determined yearly revaluations are in the City of Milwaukee’s and taxpayers’ best interest. The Assessors’ Office has conducted annual revaluations since 2002. The frequency of revaluations is a local decision - state statutes provide timing guidance if municipalities do not perform annual revaluations.
Assessed values are set based upon sales and other relevant market data from the prior year. Milwaukee’s neighborhoods are very diverse and the real estate market is dynamic and ever-changing. By tracking sales, foreclosures, board-ups, permits, and other market information throughout the City, we are able to identify market influences on properties that need to be reflected in assessed values. The fairest and most uniform process for setting assessed values is to update assessments frequently. Annual revaluations gives the City of Milwaukee Assessor’s Office the ability to adjust for and reflect changes in the market each year.
Wisconsin Statutes require assessors to value property at “Full Value.” "Full Value" has been defined by the courts as being synonymous with market value. Market value is the most probable price, in cash or its equivalent, which a property would bring in a competitive and open market under all conditions requisite to a fair sale: the buyer and seller each acting prudently, knowledgeably, and without compulsion. Note that market value is neither the highest nor the lowest price paid, but the most probable price. Buyers and sellers, through their market transactions, reflect important factors and trends taking place in the market. It is the market value sales between willing buyers and sellers that ultimately are used in determining assessed values.
Many factors affect values and cause assessment changes to differ from one property to another. Real estate professionals will agree that location is the single most important consideration. However, type of property, design, condition, quality and many other factors also play a role in determining value.