2019 City of Janesville Revaluation Underway
The City of Janesville Assessor's Office is underway with the implementation of the City's next revaluation. A citywide residential and commercial revaluation has not been completed since 2011. Below, please find a list of tools and frequently asked questions to assist you in understanding the upcoming revaluation process. Should you have any questions, please call the Assessor's Office at 608-755-3045.
Informational videos, slides and documents:
- City Council 2019 Revaluation Presentation
- Revaluation Community Presentation The City Assessor Michelle Laube uses these slides when visiting various community groups. The slides provide a brief overview of the revaluation process. If you would like Michelle Laube to present to a specific community group please contact the Assessor’s Office at 608-755-3045.
- WI Taxpayer Alliance articles This is a PDF document titled "Revaluation Articles" from the non-partisan Wisconsin Taxpayer Alliance organization that provides information about the revaluation process.
- Property Assessment FAQs
- Assessment Process Informational Video
- Revaluation Income & Expense (I&E) Cover Letter Example
- 2019 Revaluation Income & Expense (I&E) Form-General Commercial
- 2019 Revaluation Income & Expense (I&E) Form-Multiple Family Residential
How will the revaluation affect my property?
Each property owner will be mailed a notice of their property's assessment called the Notice of Assessment Change. The notice will list what your property was previously valued at and what your new valuation is proposed to be. These notices are anticipated to be mailed in either June or July of 2019.
Why does the City have to do this?
Revaluations are used to equalize the tax base for all real and personal property on the basis of fair market value. Having all properties assessed at their current value ensures each property owner pays his or her fair share of taxes.
Will my taxes increase?
Not necessarily. Taxation is determined by the spending choices of the officials of several taxing jurisdictions. Although you pay your property tax bill to the City of Janesville, the funds from that payment are allocated to the State of Wisconsin, Rock County, Janesville or Milton School District, Blackhawk Technical College, and the City of Janesville. Once the jurisdictions decide how much funding needs to be obtained through taxes, each property owner's tax bill is developed using the assessed value of the property as the guide.
A popular tool used during the 2011 Revaluation was the “Estimated Tax Calculator”. This resource will be available on the City of Janesville website once the 2019 values have been determined and released.
Does the City consider foreclosures when determining my property's value?
The Assessor's Office only uses "arm’s length" sales when determining a property's value. "Arm’s length" transactions are only those sales that are voluntary and have independent sellers and buyers. Foreclosured properties (some of which are bank-owned) as well as sales to relatives do not generally fall under that category. In a high performing market like the one we are in today more foreclosure sales may represent “arm’s length”, but still not all of them will.
The economy has been performing well in the last few years and homes are selling quickly. Does this mean that my property will be worth more than the last time it was revalued in 2011?
Not necessarily. The chart below illustrates how the value of an average priced home in Janesville would have increased if the City had revalued property every year. However, each neighborhood has experienced different market changes since 2011. Some neighborhoods are performing better while some neighborhoods have stayed about the same.
Who should I contact if I have questions about the revaluation process or my assessment?You may call the City of Janesville Assessor's Office at 608-755-3045.
How do I appeal my assessment?
If you feel your assessment is unfair, the first step is to discuss it with your municipal assessor during the Open Book period. Open Book is when proposed assessments are first printed and made available for citizen review. During Open Book, assessment staff is available to meet with property owners to answer questions and exchange information in order to detect any errors or omissions in property data, which may or may not result in an assessment change. The details for scheduling an Open Book appointment will be on the front of your Notice of Assessment Change.
What should I bring to Open Book?
Prior to scheduling an Open Book appointment, you should attempt to determine if your assessment is a reasonable estimate of the Fair Market Value of your property by reviewing it using the following types of information:
- Best - you purchased your property through an Arm’s Length sale in 2018.
- Second Best - 2018 Arm’s Length sales of reasonably comparable properties. Comparable properties are those that are similar to yours in location, style, age, size, and other features. Value adjustments must be made for major property differences.
- Third Best - building plans and construction costs, income and expense information for rental property, listing prices, recent loan appraisals based on Arm’s Length sales (not distressed sales), and insurance estimates. Value adjustments must be made for major property differences.
If you determine your assessment might not be a reasonable estimate of your property's January 1, 2019 Fair Market Value, you should consider participating in the Open Book process. Please note that Open Book is not a negotiating session on property taxes or property tax relief. They are reviews of the estimated Fair Market Value of property. If you participate, you must state your opinion of what the specific estimate of the Fair Market Value of your property is and provide supporting evidence. Such evidence includes:
- Copies of information outlined in Items 1, 2 and 3 above.
- Copies of photographs of major adverse property conditions, damage or deferred maintenance.
- Copies of estimates of the cost to repair any such conditions.
- For commercial and rental properties, copies of detailed income and operating expenses.
Please note, any information you submit will not be returned, so please come prepared with copies.
How do I appeal if I still do not agree with the results of my Open Book meeting?
Most property owners can resolve questions and concerns at an Open Book meeting; however, if you still wish to appeal your assessment, the next step is to attend the Board of Review hearing. The Board of Review operates like a court. Its function is not to determine the value of property, but to decide the validity of facts presented orally before them. You or your representative may testify concerning your assessment objection. You must prove that your property is inequitably assessed when compared to the general level of assessment within your tax district. There is a formal application process and specific deadlines for appealing to the Board of Review, which is done through the City Clerk's office. You will need to file a written or oral intent to object with the municipal clerk at least 48 hours before the start of Board of Review. In addition, you must also complete the Wisconsin Department of Revenue’s form PA-115A, Objection to Real Property Assessment and file it with the City Clerk’s office prior to or within the first two hours of the Board of Review’s first scheduled hearing. The Clerk's telephone number is 608-755-3070. The Board of Review hearing date will also be on the front of your Notice of Assessment Change.
Note: Not receiving a Notice of Assessment Change or attending an Open Book meeting does not prevent you from appealing your assessment to the Board of Review. If you desire to appeal your assessment in any year, your appearance at that year's Board of Review hearing is extremely important. Most subsequent appeals require that you first attend the Board of Review. Therefore, always verify your assessment annually prior to the Board of Review. The entire appeal process is fully explained in the Wisconsin Department of Revenue’s "Property Assessment Appeal Guide for Wisconsin Real Property Owners". Additional Property Tax information may be found on the Department of Revenue Website. If you would like to request a physical copy of this or any other property tax guide, you may mail a request to:
Wisconsin Department of Revenue, Bureau of Assessment Practices, Box 8971 Madison, WI 53708-8971
Pursuant to 2009 Wisconsin Act 68 (Effective 11-25-2009):
NOTICE OF ANNUAL PROPERTY VALUATION 2019
AUTHORITY OF JANESVILLE CITY ASSESSOR AND CITY ASSESSOR STAFF AND AGENTS TO ENTER UPON PROPERTY
2019 Annual Property Inspection and Valuation Process
The City of Janesville is conducting its annual property inspections and valuation procedures for the 2019 assessment roll. As part of that effort, we will be conducting exterior and interior inspections on a limited number of properties throughout the City of Janesville until such time that we have completed the 2019 assessment roll (estimated to be completed by mid-summer 2019). In accord with Wis. Stats., SS943.13 and 943.15, the Assessor and members of an Assessor's staff may enter land of another (other than a building, agricultural land or pasture or livestock confinement area) or construction sites without trespassing if the following apply:
- The assessor or assessor's staff enters the land in order to make an assessment on behalf of the state or a political subdivision.
- The assessor or assessor's staff enters the land on a weekday during daylight hours, or at another time as agreed upon with the land owner.
- The assessor or assessor's staff spends no more than one hour on the land.
- The assessor or assessor's staff does not open doors, enter through open doors, or look into windows of structures on the land.
- The assessor or assessor's staff leaves in a prominent place on the principal building on the land, or on the land if there is not a principal building, a notice informing the owner or occupant that the assessor or assessor's staff entered the land and giving information on how to contact the assessor.
- The assessor or assessor's staff has not personally received a notice from the owner or occupant, either orally or in writing, not to enter or remain on the premises.
An owner has the right to deny either orally or in writing the assessor or assessor's staff access to the property. Should that occur, Wis. Stat. SS 70.05(4m) requires that "Each taxation district assessor shall create and maintain a database identifying all such property owners in the taxation district."
Wisconsin Statute Section 70.32 outlines the value of real property shall be based on “actual view.” To ensure receiving a complete and accurate valuation, it benefits the homeowner to provide interior viewing access of their residence. If an assessor is not allowed access to view a property, property value is based on “the best information that the assessor can practicably obtain…” For the purposes of valuation, if access is denied, the assessor must estimate the property value using the information they have available to them. However, if facts exist that make an interior view necessary to complete an accurate valuation, per Wisconsin Statute Section 66.0119, the assessor may seek a Special Inspection Warrant to view the interior of the home.
Wisconsin Statute Section 70.05(4n) requires the following notice:
You have the right to refuse entry into your residence pursuant to section 70.05(4m) of the Wisconsin Statutes. Entry to view your property is prohibited unless voluntarily authorized by you. Pursuant to Wisconsin Statute Section 70.05(4m), you have the right to refuse a visual inspection of the interior of your residence and your refusal to allow an interior inspection of your residence will not be used as the sole reason for increasing your property tax assessment. Refusing entry to your residence also does not prohibit you from objecting to your assessment pursuant to Wisconsin Statute Section 70.47(7).