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Thursday, 12 April 2018 09:04

Property assessment touches all residents

Written by  Staff Writer

To the editor,
Each year Wisconsin law requires property assessors throughout the state to estimate the value of taxable property. The estimates, called assessments, are used in property tax calculations. Unlike many local government services, there is nothing heroic or exciting about the property assessment process. It is, however, an important service that touches all residents, property owners and visitors to our community.

Janesville has more than 24,000 real estate parcels and roughly 2,000 business personal property accounts worth approximately $4 billion. Value estimates are made using Mass Appraisal that considers 30 or more characteristics for each property. Detailed, accurate information is needed on items such as lot size, building age and square feet and the number of bedrooms and bathrooms. The law requires that assessors collect that data by actually inspecting properties.

Each year we ask to inspect more than 2,000 properties and mail 1,900-plus businesses self-reporting personal property forms. Surprisingly, each year roughly 20 percent of property owners choose not to allow inspections or self-report their equipment value. In those cases state law requires assessors to do the best job they can based on best information available.

Notices are anticipated to be mailed mid-April to approximately 3,600 property owners who will experience a change in their assessment for 2018. Notices should arrive in seven to 10 days. Notices include information on the open book and board of review appeal processes. Owners of property in Janesville can find information on their property and the appeals process on the city website at www.ci.janesville.wi.us.

Michelle Laube
Janesville city assessor

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