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Assessment Practices in Wisconsin
Any municipal assessor has three major duties; to discover, list and estimate the value of all taxable property within a municipality, such as the Village of Pleasant Prairie.
To insure that all property is treated fairly and uniformly, the procedures used by the assessor's office must conform to Wisconsin laws dealing with property valuation as well as to commonly accepted appraisal practices.
The assessor's office maintains accurate records identifying and describing each parcel of land in the Village, as well as all of the buildings located on each parcel of land. So there are no omissions, great care is taken to insure that these records are kept up-to-date. The assessor's office coordinates with other Village offices to keep informed of any new building activity that has an impact on a property's value.
To ensure that one property is not confused with another, the assessor's office establishes a property record that details each property's land and building characteristics that is associated with a unique parcel identification number. This property record describes each property in detail and is used for valuation purposes.
When values are estimated and listed on the annual assessment roll, they must be classified as residential, mercantile, manufacturing, or agricultural. This information is listed on the assessment roll and is open to public inspection.
Estimating the market value of each property is a matter of determining the price most people would pay for it in its present condition.
However, the assessor's office has the task of valuing all of the houses, farms, retail buildings, office buildings, apartment complexes, and distribution facilities in Pleasant Prairie. This includes estimating the value of all of the commercial furniture, equipment, and machinery.
Every two years the assessor's office has to do the whole thing over again because the market value of almost everything changes from one year to the next. As we all know, a number of properties are sold each year. It is the relationship between the sales price and the current assessment that gives the assessor's office, the Wisconsin Department of Revenue, and the public an indication of the growth of property values over time. For instance, if a particular property has an assessed value of $100,000 as of January 1, 2004, but is sold for $125,000 during December, 2006, the assessed value needs to be adjusted upwards by $25,000 or 25% in this instance, for the new 2006 assessment to reflect market value.
Property revaluations, or market value updates, are performed every two years so that the costs of education, fire and police protection, county services, and municipal services can be distributed over all taxable property in the Village. Your share of the cost of these services is based upon the value of your property relative to the total value of all property in the Village. The value of your property, as determined by the assessor's office, is called the "assessed value." In the year of a revaluation, the assessed value is referred to as fair market value.