TAX ASSESSOR, OPEN BOOK, AND BOARD OF REVIEW
All privately owned real estate in the township is generally taxed each year. The amount is determined by a licensed assessor which is contracted by the township. Claude Riglemon (608-378-3003) performs this duty for the Town of Lenroot. Property values are based on current sales. Reevaluations are done upon the sale of a property, the recording of a building permit, or periodically when overall property values change significantly. Property owners can contest and evaluation at an open book session or if not satisfied can present their case in a Board of Review session
Each municipality in Wisconsin must hold an Open Book and Board of Review (BOR) session.
Open Book and Board of Review sessions generally take place late May to mid-June; however, some may occur later.
- Open Book – takes place first. During this session, the municipality’s assessment roll (which lists all the municipality’s properties) is open for examination. The property owner can informally discuss the property value with the local assessor. If the property value is changed at Open Book, the assessor corrects the assessment roll.
- Board of Review – if the property owner is not satisfied with the assessment after attending Open Book, the property owner can bring his/her appeal to the BOR. The Board schedules assessment appeals requiring property owners to provide evidence proving the assessment is incorrect. After review, if the Board agrees with the property owner’s evidence, it can change the assessment.
For more information go to: https://www.revenue.wi.gov/DOR%20Publications/pb060.pdf
- Open Book Attend the Open Book if you are unable to meet with your assessor – highly recommended • Open Book refers to a period of time (before BOR begins) when the completed assessment roll is open for examination • This period of time is an opportunity to discuss your property value with the assessor and provide reason for changing the value, if appropriate • Assessor must be present for at least two hours while the assessment roll is open • State law (sec. 70.45, Wis. Stats.), requires the municipal clerk (or commissioner of assessments in first class cities) to publish or post a notice specifying the open book date(s) at least 15 days (30 days in revaluation years when combining the Open Book and BOR notices) before the first day the assessment roll is open for examination • Instructional materials on appealing your assessment to the BOR should be available at the open book • At Open Book, the assessor is allowed to make any changes that are necessary to perfect the assessment roll • When Open Book ends, any changes to the assessment roll (your property value) requires formal process in front of the Board of Review or circuit court
- Requirements to appeal an assessment to the BOR • If you intend to file an objection, you must provide the BOR clerk with written or oral notice of intent to file an objection at least 48 hours before the first scheduled BOR meeting (or, for a late BOR, the first scheduled meeting after the roll is complete) under sec. 70.47(7)(a), Wis. Stats. There is no specific form for your notice. » BOR may waive the 48-hour notice deadline if it is shown good cause and you submit objection form (PA-115A or PA-115B) prior to or during the first two hours of the BOR’s first scheduled meeting, the BOR may waive the 48-hour notice requirement » You must file a completed written and signed Objection Form for Real Property Assessment (PA-115A) or Objection Form for Personal Property (PA-115B) with the BOR clerk prior to or during the first two hours of the BOR’s first scheduled meeting (or the first scheduled meeting after the roll is complete for late BORs) » You must object to the property’s total value » If an improved parcel, you cannot object to only the land value or only the improvement value » Objection forms are available from the local clerk or on DOR’s State Prescribed Forms web page • BOR may also waive the requirement up to the end of the fifth day of the BOR session if you submit proof of extraordinary circumstances for failing to appear during the first two hours of the first scheduled meeting. Sec. 70.47(3)(ak), Wis. Stats., allows the BOR to waive the notice of intent and objection form to the end of the fifth day BOR is responsible for raising and lowering any incorrect valuations and for correcting any errors in the roll. Note: BOR’s function is not one of valuation, but of deciding if the facts presented, under oath before the BOR, are valid. All deliberations must be done in open session and the BOR is required to decide each objection by a roll call vote. If the BOR votes to change an assessment, it must state on the record the amount of the correct assessment and that the correct assessment is reasonable in light of all relevant evidence received. A Notice of Board of Review Determination (PR-302) should be sent to property owners as the BOR completes its work. B. BOR members Generally, the BOR consists of municipal officials. In first-class cities and in all other towns, cities and villages who pass an ordinance to that effect, the BOR may consist of five to nine residents of the town, city or village. In most cases, the municipal clerk also functions as the BOR clerk. A BOR may not convene unless it includes at least one voting member who attended a BOR training session prior to the BOR’s first meeting. Note: Effective 2022, at least one BOR member must complete BOR training each year under sec. 70.46(4), Wis. Stats. Each year, the municipal clerk must provide an affidavit to DOR stating whether the member training requirement is fulfilled
- BOR details 1. BOR is required by law to meet Each year, during the 45-day period beginning with the fourth Monday in April, but no sooner than seven days after Open Book. In towns and villages, the BOR meets at the town or village hall, or some other place designated by the town or village board. If there is no hall, it meets at the clerk’s office. In towns, it meets in the location the last annual town meeting was held. In cities, it meets at the council chamber or some other place designated by the council. In Milwaukee it meets at a place designated by the tax commissioner. All BOR meetings and deliberations must be publicly held and open to all citizens at all times. If the assessment roll is not completed, the BOR will adjourn to some future date. At least 15 days (30 days in revaluation years) before the first meeting of the BOR, the BOR’s clerk must publish a class 1 notice; post a notice in at least three public places and place a notice on the door of the town, village or city hall announcing the time and place of the first meeting. These notices must also contain the requirements for objecting to an assessment under state law (sec. 70.47(7) (aa) and (ac) to (af), Wis. Stats.). 2. Holding a BOR The BOR operates like a court; it hears evidence from you and the assessor before making a decision. The BOR can act only on sworn evidence presented at the hearing. During the first two hours of the BOR’s first meeting, the assessment roll and other assessment data are open for examination. The BOR must establish a time for hearing each properly filed objection. At least a 48-hour notice of the hearing time must be given to the objector or the objector’s attorney, and to the municipal attorney and assessor. When all parties are present and waive the notice, the hearing may be held immediately. State law allows the BOR to waive the BOR hearing for the property owner to appeal directly to the circuit court. The BOR determines whether it will waive the BOR hearing. Contact the municipal clerk if you would like to appeal directly to the circuit court. State law requirements include: • Prohibiting a person scheduled to appear before the BOR from contacting or providing information to any BOR member about their objection • Providing a notice to the BOR’s clerk at least 48 hours before the first BOR meeting, stating whether the objector is asking for removal of a board member from hearing the appeal, identifying the person to be removed and estimating the length of time of the hearing • Requiring the objector, when appearing before the BOR, to specify (in writing) an estimate of the property’s land and improvement value and to specify the information used to arrive at that estimate • Prohibiting a person from appearing before the BOR if the person or the assessor valued the property using the income approach unless the owner supplies the assessor with all the income and expense information the assessor requests • State law (sec. 70.47(7)(aa), Wis. Stats.) provides that the BOR may deny a hearing to a property owner who does not allow the assessor to complete an exterior view. However, the Wisconsin Supreme Court expressed due process concerns regarding a similarly worded statute in Milewski v. Town of Dover, 2017 WI 79, 377 Wis. 2d 38, 899 N.W.2d 303. It is DOR’s recommendation to allow a BOR hearing even if the property owner denied an interior or exterior view. The lack of access to view, and the credibility of evidence offered can be managed as an evidentiary issue at a BOR hearing, rather than denying access to the BOR.