Annual Process of Collecting and Verifying Property Information

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Notice of Annual Property Valuation 2020

The City of Janesville Assessor’s office has started its annual process of collecting and verifying property information for the 2020 assessment year. Information is gathered during brief property visits completed by appraisers. Information collected this year will be used to make value estimates for the 2020 assessments. Property visits are necessary in order to accurately and uniformly assess properties. Your property may be added to a list for a visit for one of the following reasons:

  • It requires a follow up inspection from the prior year.
  • It is new construction.
  • Building permits were issued for activities that could impact property value (+ or -).
  • It was the subject of a 2019 property transfer (sale).
  • A follow-up inspection from a 2019 Open Book meeting.
  • You have requested a property inspection.

Wisconsin Statute 70.32 outlines that assessments shall be completed “from actual view” of the property to be valued.  Annually the Assessment Staff must complete 1000 - 2000 property visits in a 3 - 4 month period.  Property visits generally take 10-20 minutes.  Letters are sent in advance asking that you call to schedule an appointment for inspection.  If you do not call to schedule a property inspection, an appraiser will complete a cold call visit and request an opportunity to complete an inspection at that time.

 Annual Assessment Cycle Calendar

July - February Complete property inspections and other data collection/processing tasks
February - April Complete valuation process
April - May Prepare preliminary assessment roll and mail notices of assessment change
May - July Open Book and Board of Review

Helpful Documents

Click on the following links to open the documents.

Common Questions Regarding Property Visits & Inspections

What happens when someone visits my home?

Assessment staff visiting your home will introduce themselves and present you with a photo identification card listing them as a city employee.  They will present you with a copy of the existing data on your property and ask that you allow them to briefly enter your property in order to verify that the information is accurate by completing the following:

  • Physically viewing the exterior of the buildings and land to verify data on site improvements and the condition of the exterior of the structure
  • Physically viewing the interior of the structure including all rooms, the attic (if accessible), basement and garage
  • Verifying the number of bathrooms, additional plumbing fixtures and other features
  • Measuring and confirming the quality and condition of the structural improvements such as building additions and decks
  • They do not note or comment on the decorating or furnishings of a home or business

 Note:  The inspection process is intended only to allow the verification of data.  The person inspecting your property is not establishing its value at that time, nor do they typically have value information with them.  Valuation takes place later in the assessment process.

What can I do to assist the inspection process?

The inspection process will be efficient and safe if you help by turning on lights in dark rooms, identifying any potential safety hazards, responding to any questions regarding the property, and securing or controlling pets.

 What if I don’t allow a city employee to view the inside of my property?

The law requires that property be valued from actual view or the best information available.  The Assessor keeps records on the physical characteristics of each property in the municipality.  Even though the Assessor may have been unable to go through your property, the assessment will still be reviewed, based on what can be seen by public view, the existing records and other available sources of information including comparison to similar properties.

Am I penalized for improving my property?

Wisconsin Law requires a property to be assessed based on fair market value. Generally, 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.

  • Added rooms, garages, sheds, decks and in-ground pools
  • Substantial modernization of kitchens or baths
  • Adding central air conditioning
  • Extensive remodeling

Am I penalized for repairing or maintaining my home?

Although good maintenance will help retain the market value of your property, generally, your assessment will not be increased for individual minor repairs and maintenance such as:

  • Repairing/replacing roofing, gutters and downspouts
  • Repairing/replacing porches, steps, decks, driveways, landscaping and sidewalks
  • Exterior painting and interior redecorating such as paint, wallpaper and re-carpeting




2020 Revaluation

Pursuant to 2009 Wisconsin Act 68 (Effective 11-25-2009)
Pursuant to 2015 Wisconsin Act 23 (Effective 6-24-2015)

The City of Janesville anticipates conducting a city wide revaluation for the 2020 Assessment Roll, if that level of service is funded during preparation of the 2020 City Budget. If a revaluation is not funded, we will proceed with a Maintenance assessment. At this time, the type of assessment to be performed is unknown. As such, we will be periodically conducting exterior and interior inspections on properties throughout the City of Janesville until such time that we have completed our 2020 Assessment Roll (estimated to be completed by mid-year 2020). Please also notice that the Assessor has certain statutory authority to enter land as described in state law (Secs. 943.13 and 943.15, Wis. Stats.).

The ability to enter land is subject to several qualifications and limitations, some of which are described within the foregoing Statutes and also partly described below. Copies of the applicable statutes may be obtained at public depositories throughout the State of Wisconsin, on the Wisconsin State Legislature website or a copy may be obtained from the municipal clerk upon payment of applicable copying charges.

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 no 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.


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