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What You Should Know About Assessments and Property Owner Rights

As a property owner in Wisconsin, you have several rights related to property assessments. You have a right to receive notice before an assessor comes to inspect the interior of your residence during a revaluation year, as well as the right to say “no” to an interior inspection. You also have the right to appeal a property assessment.  

Associated Appraisal Consultants (AAC) is the largest mass appraisal firm in Wisconsin. Hundreds of municipalities hire us to perform assessment services every year on their behalf. We’re the largest firm in the state because of our reputation for quality results and for taking the time to answer questions from property owners like you.  

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Annual maintenance and revaluation

There are two types of mass assessments – annual maintenance and revaluation. Regardless of the type of evaluation being completed, you don’t have to allow assessors onto or into your property, but it’s usually to your advantage to ensure the best quality assessment. Allowing the assessor to view your property will ensure that the assessor is using current and complete information when making a valuation of your property.

Interior inspections

If your municipality has requested an interior inspection and you don’t allow access, the assessor will base your valuation on the next best information available, like existing property records, building permits, etc. Wisconsin law requires that property assessments be based on fair market value, which is the price a typical buyer would pay for the property in its present condition.

An assessor is on my property or has requested to enter my property. What should I do?

Safety is a concern we take seriously. 

If you’re concerned about safety during an inspection, please know that AAC takes several precautions before entering your home.  

AAC sends a written notice to property owners if an interior inspection is desired by your municipality during a revaluation year. 

The AAC logo is clearly shown on our vehicles, the apparel our team wears and their name tags. 

Team members will identify themselves as working on your municipality’s assessments when they arrive at your door. They will also carry written identification from your municipality.  

A person in a hard hat holding a tablet and standing next to a home with gray siding and windows.
A two-story log cabin house in the summer with two adults and a child in front.

I received a red or green tag. What do I have to do?

Your municipality has hired AAC to perform a mass assessment to help ensure fair and equitable tax distribution across your community.

You don’t have to speak with us or allow assessors onto or into your property, but it’s usually to your advantage to ensure the most complete assessment. We also try to make it as easy as possible with convenient options.  

A red tag means we would like you to contact us at your earliest convenience to confirm a few details about the interior of your property. You can find more details here.

A green tag means we need to meet with you to discuss your property. You can find more details here. Otherwise, please schedule an appointment at your earliest convenience.  

I received a notice of assessment. What does it mean and can I appeal it?

State law requires that a property owner receive notification when an assessor changes the total assessment of a property by any amount.

Your property was recently assessed because it may have had significant changes in the past year or your municipality requested a revaluation of all property values. As a property owner, you also have the right to appeal your assessment.

Municipalities hire AAC to perform mass appraisal or mass assessment services on their behalf. The advantage of the mass appraisal process is that it produces uniform and consistent appraisal values, which helps to ensure fair and equitable tax distribution. 

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You can request a review of your property value at any time of the year.  

If you think that your property assessment is over or under stated, we would be happy to review your value for the upcoming assessment year.

  • Step 1: Please complete the Request for Review Form and return it to us, along with any other documentation that you think would support your opinion of value. Tip: Download the form onto your computer, enter the requested information and save a filled copy. 
  • Step 2: A member of our staff may contact you to schedule an appointment to inspect your property. Then, an assessor will review your assessment.  
  • Step 3: You will receive a notice of any change in assessed value before your municipality’s Open Book meeting. 
  • Step 4: If you disagree with the assessment, you can appeal it at Open Book and Board of Review meetings as outlined below.  

You may find helpful information in the  Guide for Property Owners published by the Wisconsin Department of Revenue. 

You can appeal a changed property tax assessment through Open Book and Board of Review meetings.

While exact dates vary each year, assessments generally follow the process below.  

Top view of tablet showing graph of houses with “Property Value” on it, next to
hand marking on paper graph with pencil.

Assessment Notices

Assessment notices are sent to property owners whose assessed value has changed. Property owners can attend Open Book and Board of Review meetings for your community to appeal a change in the assessment.

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Open Book Meetings

You’ll have an opportunity to discuss your assessment, including presenting any relevant information. You’ll also learn what factors were considered to determine the newly assessed value. If the assessor believes an adjustment is warranted, you’ll receive a notice with the new assessed value. 

Side view of beige building with “City Hall” on the side.

Board of Review Meetings

If you want to appeal the assessment further, the Board of Review is a panel of local officials or citizens who hears evidence presented by property owners and assessors. The board doesn’t decide property valuation but decides the validity of the facts presented. Deliberations are done in an open session and the board votes on each appeal. 

Property owners in Wisconsin have several rights related to assessments. If you still have questions or need help, we are available.