The Village of Mukwonago contracts with Associated Appraisal Consultants, Inc. to provide assessment services. There are no office hours at the Village Hall. Associated Appraisal is also in possession of all assessment files. If you wish to find out the age, square footage, and other basic information on the assessment of a property, please click on the property search link on the right or call (800) 721-4157, Monday through Friday, from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Open Book and Board of Review is typically scheduled in the late Spring/early Summer at the Mukwonago Municipal Building, 440 River Crest Court. For more on procedures of appearing before the Board of Review, click here.
What is a reassessment/revaluation?
Reassessment is the revaluation of all properties in a given area for the purpose of establishing a new tax base. Tax bills are the product of the assessed valuation of the property and the cost of municipal, county and school district services. Reassessment does not change this. During a Village of Mukwonago revaluation all assessed values are examined and adjustments are made where necessary to guarantee that all property is assessed at market value. This is done to assure that taxes are distributed equitably and uniformly. Wisconsin Law requires all municipalities including Mukwonago to assess property at full market value at least once every five years.
How is property assessed?
Wisconsin Law requires that property assessed values be based on market value. Estimating the market value of your property in Mukwonago is a matter of determining the price a typical buyer would pay for it in its present condition. Some factors the assessor considers are: what similar properties are selling for, what it would cost to replace your property, the rent it may earn, and any other factors that affect value. It is important to remember that the assessor does not create this value, but rather interprets what is happening in the market place through real estate sales.
What is Market Value?
Market value is defined as the amount a typical, well-informed purchaser would be willing to pay for a property. The seller and buyer must be unrelated, the seller must be willing, but not under pressure to sell, and the buyer must be willing, but not under any obligation to buy. The property must be on the market for a reasonable length of time, the payment must be in cash or its equivalent, and the financing must be typical for that type of property. If all of these conditions are present, this would be a market value, arm’s-length sale.
What can I do to ensure a fair and reasonable assessed value for my property?
Even with the best of care and intentions, mistakes are possible. Inform the assessor of any problems that might affect market value. There will be an opportunity to discuss your assessment with the assessor at the Open Book. Should you feel your assessment is in error, bring to the Open Book any documentation that supports your opinion of value. Property owners will be notified of their new assessment when the project is completed. If the discussion with the assessor does not resolve your concerns, a Board of Review will be held where you can again present sales or other market value evidence that shows the assessment to be in error.
Why do you need to inspect the interior of my home?
There is no question that a reassessment inspection is an inconvenience. For that, we apologize. However, building size, age, features, quality, and condition, along with many other factors affect the market value of your property. The only way to ensure a fair market value is to collect current exterior and interior data for each property. We are not concerned with your housekeeping nor personal belongings. This information will not be recorded and will be kept confidential.
What if I refuse to allow the assessor into my home?
The Wisconsin Legislature recognizes the conflict between the right of privacy and the need for accurate information when establishing assessments. If an owner refuses entry into the property, the assessor sends a certified letter requesting a reasonable time for viewing the home. If no response is received, or entry is refused, the assessor is required, by law, to estimate the value of the home based on the best available information. The property owner maintains his right of privacy, but loses all rights of appeal to the Board of Review. Notice of Assessor’s Authority to Enter Land: The trespass law in Wisconsin entitles the assessor to enter a property once during an assessment cycle unless the property owner has notified the assessor in advance to deny entry. Additional visits may be authorized by the property owner. Assessors are restricted to the following conditions when entering property:
- The reason for the entry must be to make an assessment on behalf of the state or a political subdivision.
- The entry must be on a weekday during daylight hours, or at another time as agreed upon with the property owner.
- The assessor’s visit must not be more than one hour.
- The assessor must not open doors, enter through open doors, or look into windows of structures.
- If the property owner or occupant is not present, the assessor must leave a notice on the principal building providing the owner with information on how to contact them.
- The assessor may not enter the premises if they have received a notice from the property owner or occupant denying them entry.
- The assessor must leave if the property owner or occupant asks them to leave.
In 2009, Wisconsin Act 68 was enacted to amend Section 70.05(5)(b) Wis. Stats. and to create Section 70.05 (4m), 895, 488, 943.13 (4m)(d) and 943.15(1m) of the statutes; relating to: partially exempting an assessor and an assessor’s staff from liability for trespassing, creating immunity from civil liability, and changing the notice requirements relating to the revaluation of property by an assessor. Copies of the applicable statutes can be obtained at public depositories throughout the State of Wisconsin, and from the State of Wisconsin Legislative Reference Bureau website (www.legis.state.wi.us/rsb/stats.html)
Can the assessment on my property be changed even if the assessor has not been inside my property?
Associated Appraisal Consultants, Inc. has a permanent record card for each property located at their office in Appleton. This card contains a listing of all of the physical characteristics of the property and other pertinent data. They are continually analyzing and updating the accuracy of this information and has concluded that the existing data is sufficient for the setting of market value property assessments.
I recently built a new home. How will I be assessed?
Assessments are based on what was on the property as of January 1. If your home was partially built as of January 1, that is the amount you will be assessed. Your construction cost is an historical figure, which may or may not reflect the current market value of your property. It is only one element that will be considered.
What will happen to my assessment if I improve my property?
Generally speaking, improvements that increase the market value of a property will increase the assessed value. The following are typical items that will increase the assessed value of your property in Mukwonago: added rooms or garages, aluminum or vinyl siding, substantial modernization of kitchens or baths, central air conditioning, fireplaces, or extensive remodeling.
Will my assessment go up if I repair my property?
Good maintenance will help retain the market value of your property. Generally, your assessment will not be increased in Mukwonago for individual minor repairs such as those that follow, however, a combination of several of these items could result in an increased assessment. These include repairing concrete walks and driveways, replacing gutters and downspouts, replacing hot water heater, repairing or replacing roof, repairing porches and steps, repairing original siding, patching or repairing interior walls or ceilings, exterior painting, replacing electrical fixtures, replacing furnace, exterior awnings and shutters, replacing screens, storm windows and doors, or exterior landscaping including lawns, shrubbery, trees, flowers and driveways of any kind.
How can the assessment change when I have not done anything to my property?
General economic conditions such as interest rates, inflation rates, and changes in the tax laws, will influence the value of real estate. As property values change in the market place here in Mukwonago, those changes must be reflected on the assessment roll.
Do all assessments change at the same rate?
No, not necessarily. There are differences between individual properties and between neighborhoods. In one area, the sales may indicate a substantial decrease in value in a given year. Yet in another neighborhood for example, there may be no change in value, or even an increase in property values. Different types of properties within the same neighborhood may also show different value changes. For example, one-story houses may be more in demand than two-story houses, or vice versa. Older homes in the same area may be declining in value more slowly than newer homes. There are numerous factors to be considered in each property, which will cause the values to differ. Some of the factors which can affect value are: location, condition, size, quality, number of baths, number of bedrooms, finished basement, garages, overall condition as well as many others.
What is the bottom line?
Revaluations are periodically required by state law and are designed to keep assessments current with prevailing market conditions. The real issue is whether your property is assessed at market value. After the revaluation, you should look at your final assessment. If it appears to be an accurate value when compared to sales of similar property, then it probably is a fair assessment. If, in your opinion, it does not reflect the market value of your property when compared to sales of similar properties, you should talk to our assessment staff. We may be able to provide information or take further actions to resolve your concerns.
Will I be notified if there is a change in my assessment?
Wisconsin law requires that whenever an assessment is increased by $300 or more, the owner must be notified. However, the Village of Mukwonago will always notify any property owners that have a change in their assessment in the spring or summer of the year prior to the annual Board of Review.
You should first attempt to decide for yourself what your property is worth. This can be done by looking at area sales, contacting appraisers, and comparing assessments of similar homes. Sales and assessment information is available in our office and open to the public for review during regular office hours. There will be more hours available during Open Book.
What if I do not agree with my assessment?
Talk with a member of the assessment staff prior to the Board of Review. By scheduling an appointment with a member of the Assessor’s staff, you can learn how your assessment was made, what factors were considered, and what type of records are kept regarding your property.
After this review, if I still think the assessment is incorrect, what can I do?
Board of Review is typically scheduled in the late Spring/early Summer at the Mukwonago Municipal Building, 440 River Crest Court. For more on procedures of appearing before the Board of Review, click here.
Note: Objection forms, or a letter stating your intent to file an objection form, pertaining to the assessment are due to the Clerk’s Office no later than 48 hours prior to Board of Review. Forms/letters may be hand delivered to the Village Clerk’s Office (440 River Crest Court), e-mailed to the Village Clerk at firstname.lastname@example.org, or faxed to 262-363-6425. You should arrange to appear at the Board of Review. The Village Clerk’s Office will provide you with an Objection Form for Real Property Assessment that you must complete. You will then be scheduled for a hearing at the Board of Review. The annual Village of Mukwonago Board of Review must meet sometime during the 30 day period beginning the second Monday in May. Another Board of Review Meeting will then be scheduled, at which time you will appear. When you receive your tax bill in December, it is too late to file an objection. Paying your taxes under protest does not constitute an assessment objection unless you have first filed an appeal with the Board of Review.
What is the Board of Review?
The Board of Review is made up of the Village Clerk, Village President, and three Village Board members appointed by the Village President and confirmed by the Village Board. It is the Board’s duty to hear evidence by the property owner and the assessor and to decide if the assessment is correct.
What evidence do I need to present to the Village of Mukwonago Board of Review?
State law puts the burden of proof on the property owner to show that the assessment is incorrect. Keep in mind that your evidence must be strong enough to prove that the assessor’s value is incorrect. Only relevant testimony given at the hearing will be considered by the Board. Stating that property taxes are too high is not considered relevant testimony. You should establish in your own mind what you think your property is worth. The best evidence for this would be recent sales prices for properties similar to yours. The closer in proximity and similarity, the better the evidence. Another type of evidence is oral testimony from a witness who has made a recent appraisal of your property.
What happens after the Board of Review makes its decision?
The Board will either give or mail you a notice of its decision. If you do not agree with the Board of Review’s determination, the notice will contain information on how you may appeal the Board’s decision.
Some of my neighbors have told me the only reason for the reassessment is to raise taxes. Is this true?
No. The reassessment has no impact on the total amount of taxes collected. However, it may change your property’s percentage share of total taxes collected.
How will my taxes change as a result of the new assessment?
Though the value of your property affects your share of taxes, the actual amount you pay is determined by the budget needs of Mukwonago (Mukwonago or East Troy School Districts, Village of Mukwonago, Waukesha or Walworth Counties, Phantom Lakes Management District, Waukesha County or Gateway Technical Colleges, and State of Wisconsin reforestation). All of these taxing units decide what services they will provide in the coming year and how much money they will need to provide those services. Once these decisions are made, a tax rate is determined for Mukwonago that will generate the needed dollars for all taxing bodies. Your property taxes are then calculated by multiplying the tax rate by your assessment. Tax Rate Divided by 1000 Times Assessed Value = Taxes
Glossary of Terms
Assessed Value: An estimate of value assigned to taxable property by the assessor for purposes of taxation.
Assessment Ratio: The assessment ratio is the ratio of assessed value to market value. The assessment ratio is determined by Wisconsin State Department of Revenue on an annual basis. If your home is assessed at $200,000, and the assessment ratio for a given year is 90%, then the estimated fair market value of your property would be roughly $222,200. Click here to see what the current Assessment Ratio is for the Village of Mukwonago.
Market Value: The amount a typical, well-informed purchaser would be willing to pay for a property. The property must be exposed on the market for a reasonable length of time, the payment must be in cash or its equivalent, the parties may not be related, and the financing must be typical for that type of property.
Tax Base: The total assessed value of all assessments in the Village of Mukwonago. Click here to see what the current Tax Base is for the Village of Mukwonago.
Tax Levy: The total amount of property tax money that a taxing unit (such as the schools, village, county, etc.) needs to raise to provide services. Click here to see what the current Tax Levy is for the Village of Mukwonago.
Tax Rate (Mill Rate): The tax levy divided by the tax base. It is often expressed in terms of dollars per thousand. The tax rate is multiplied by the assessed value to determine the amount of tax that each property must pay. Click here to see what the current Mill Rate is for the Village of Mukwonago.
Basic Assessment Questions
8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Associated Appraisal Consultants, Inc.
1314 W. College Ave.
PO Box 2111
Appleton, WI 54912
(920) 731-4158 Fax
2016 Open Book
2016 Board of Review
Thursday, July 21, 2016