History: 1973 c. 90
; 1975 c. 151
; 1977 c. 29
, 1647 (8)
; 1977 c. 273
; 1977 c. 300
; 1977 c. 414
; 1979 c. 34
, 2102 (46) (b)
; 1979 c. 95
; 1981 c. 20
; 1983 a. 192
; 1985 a. 39
; 1985 a. 120
, 3202 (46)
; 1985 a. 188
; 1987 a. 27
; 1989 a. 31
; 1991 a. 39
; 1993 a. 82
Judicial Council Note, 1981: References in subs. (13) and (16) (a) to "writs" of certiorari have been removed because that remedy is now available in an ordinary action. See s. 781.01, stats., and the note thereto. [Bill 613-A]
The board of review may deny taxpayer a hearing if he fails to state his objections on an approved form; the board does not have to accept the information supplied by taxpayer in a different style. On certiorari under this section review is limited to the action of the board. Bitters v. Newbold, 51 W (2d) 493, 187 NW (2d) 339.
Subsequent to the presentation of evidence by the taxpayer, board of review consideration of testimony by the village assessor at an executive session was contrary to the state open meeting law, s. 66.77, 1973 stats., [now 19.81-19.98] since although it was permissible for the board to convene a closed session for the purpose of deliberating after a quasi-judicial hearing, the proceedings did not constitute mere deliberations but were a continuation of the quasi-judicial hearing without the presence of or notice to the objecting taxpayer. Dolphin v. Board of Review, 70 W (2d) 403, 234 NW (2d) 277.
See note to s. 808.03, citing Steenberg v. Town of Oakfield, 157 W (2d) 674, 461 NW (2d) 148 (Ct. App. 1990).
On certiorari review of board of review decision only whether the board acted (a) within its jurisdiction, (b) according to law, (c) arbitrarily, oppressively or unreasonably or (d) without evidence to make the order or determination in question is considered. Metro. Holding v. Milwaukee Review Bd. 173 W (2d) 626, 495 NW (2d) 314 (1993).
Boards of review cannot rely on exemptions in s. 19.85 (1) to close any meeting in view of explicit requirements in s. 70.47 (2m). 65 Atty. Gen. 162.
Wisconsin's Property Tax Assessment Appeal System. Ardern. Wis. Law. March 1995.
Assessor to attend board of review.
The assessor or the assessor's authorized representative shall attend without order or subpoena all hearings before the board of review and under oath submit to examination and fully disclose to the board such information as the assessor may have touching the assessment and any other matters pertinent to the inquiry being made. All part-time assessors shall receive the same compensation for such attendance as is allowed to the members of the board but no county assessor or member of a county assessor's staff shall receive any compensation other than that person's regular salary for attendance at a board of review. The clerk shall make all corrections to the assessment roll ordered by the board of review, including all changes in the valuation of real property. When any valuation of real property is changed the clerk shall enter the valuation fixed by the board in red ink in the proper class above the figures of the assessor, and the figures of the assessor shall be crossed out with red ink. The clerk shall also enter upon the assessment roll, in the proper place, the names of all persons found liable to taxation on personal property by the board of review, setting opposite such names respectively the aggregate valuation of such property as determined by the assessor, after deducting exemptions and making such corrections as the board has ordered. All changes in valuation of personal property made by the board of review shall be made in the same manner as changes in real estate.
History: 1991 a. 316
Affidavit of assessor. 70.49(1)
Before the meeting of the board of review, the assessor shall attach to the completed assessment roll an affidavit in a form prescribed by the department of revenue.
The value of all real and personal property entered into the assessment roll to which such affidavit is attached by the assessor shall, in all actions and proceedings involving such values, be presumptive evidence that all such properties have been justly and equitably assessed in proper relationship to each other.
No assessor shall be allowed in any court or place by oath or testimony to contradict or impeach any affidavit or certificate made or signed by the assessor as assessor.
In this section "assessor" means an assessor or any person appointed or designated under s. 70.055
History: 1991 a. 316
; 1993 a. 307
Delivery of roll.
Except in counties that have a county assessment system under s. 70.99
and in cities of the 1st class and in 2nd class cities that have a board of assessors under s. 70.075
the assessor shall, on or before the first Monday in May, deliver the completed assessment roll and all the sworn statements and valuations of personal property to the clerk of the town, city or village, who shall file and preserve them in the clerk's office. On or before the first Monday in April, a county assessor under s. 70.99
shall deliver the completed assessment roll and all sworn statements and valuations of personal property to the clerks of the towns, cities and villages in the county, who shall file and preserve them in the clerk's office.
Fraudulent valuations by assessor.
Any assessor, or person appointed or designated under s. 70.055
, who intentionally fixes the value of any property assessed by that person at less or more than the true value thereof prescribed by law for the valuation of the same, or intentionally omits from assessment any property liable to taxation in the assessment district, or otherwise intentionally violates or fails to perform any duty imposed upon that person by law relating to the assessment of property for taxation, shall forfeit to the state not less than $50 nor more than $250.
History: 1991 a. 316
Fraud by member of board of review.
Any member of the board of review of any assessment district who shall intentionally fix the value of any property assessed in such district, or shall intentionally agree with any other member of such board to fix the value of any of such property at less or more than the true value thereof prescribed by law for the valuation of the same, or shall intentionally omit or agree to omit from assessment, any property liable to taxation in such assessment district, or shall otherwise intentionally violate or fail to perform any duty imposed upon the member by law relating to the assessment of property for taxation, shall forfeit to the state not less than $50 nor more than $250.
History: 1991 a. 316
Civil liability of assessor or member of board of review.
If any assessor, or person appointed or designated under s. 70.055
, or any member of the board of review of any assessment district is guilty of any violation or omission of duty as specified in ss. 70.501
, such persons shall be liable in damages to any person who may sustain loss or injury thereby, to the amount of such loss or injury; and any person sustaining such loss or injury shall be entitled to all the remedies given by law in actions for damages for tortious or wrongful acts. This section does not apply to the department of revenue or its employes when appointed or designated under s. 70.055
History: 1977 c. 29
Assessment review and tax roll in first class cities. 70.51(1)(1)
The board of review in all 1st class cities, after they have examined, corrected and completed the assessment roll of said city and not later than the first Monday in November, shall deliver the same to the commissioner of assessments, who shall thereupon reexamine and perfect the same and make out therefrom a complete tax roll in the manner and form provided by law. All laws applicable to any such city relating to the making of such tax rolls shall apply to the making of the tax roll by said commissioner of assessments, except that the work of making said rolls shall be performed by the assessors and such other employes in the commissioner of assessments' office as the commissioner of assessments shall designate. After the completion of said tax roll in the manner provided by law, the commissioner of assessments shall deliver the tax roll to the city treasurer of such city on the 3rd Monday of December in each year.
If the board of review has not completed its work within the time limited by the first Monday in November, it shall nevertheless deliver the assessment roll to the commissioner of assessments as therein required, and the commissioner of assessments shall thereupon perfect the same as though the board of review had fully completed its work thereon. In any case wherein the board of review alters the assessment after the first Monday of November and before the treasurer is required to make the return of delinquent taxes, the assessment roll and the tax roll may be corrected accordingly in the manner provided in s. 74.05
, except that the consent of the treasurer shall not be required.
The county clerk of any county having a population of 500,000 or more and containing a city of the 1st class shall deliver the county clerk's certificates of apportionment of taxes to the commissioner of assessments instead of the city clerk of such city.
Delayed action of reviewing authority. 70.511(1)(1)
Value to be used in setting tax rate.
If the reviewing authority has not completed its work prior to the time set by a municipality for establishing its current tax rate, the municipality shall use the total value, including contested values, shown in the assessment roll in setting its tax rate.
If the reviewing authority has not made a determination prior to the time of the tax levy with respect to a particular objection to the amount, valuation or taxability of property, the tax levy on the property or person shall be based on the contested assessed value of the property. A tax bill shall be sent to, and paid by, the person subject to the tax levy as though there had been no objection filed, except that the payment shall be considered to be made under protest. The entire tax bill shall be paid when due under s. 74.11
even though the reviewing authority has reduced the assessment prior to the time for full payment of the tax billed.
If the reviewing authority reduces the value of the property in question, or determines that manufacturing property is exempt, the taxpayer may file a claim for refund of taxes resulting from the reduction in value or determination that the property is exempt. If claim for refund is filed with the clerk of the municipality on or before the November 1 following the decision of the reviewing authority, the claim shall be payable to the taxpayer from the municipality no later than January 31 of the succeeding year. A claim filed after November 1 shall be paid to the taxpayer by the municipality no later than the 2nd January 31 after the claim is filed. Interest on the claim at the rate of 0.8% per month shall be paid to the taxpayer when the claim is paid. If the taxpayer requests a postponement of proceedings before the reviewing authority, interest on the claim shall permanently stop accruing at the date of the request. If the hearing is postponed at the request of the taxpayer, the reviewing authority shall hold a hearing on the appeal within 30 days after the postponement is requested unless the taxpayer agrees to a longer delay. If the reviewing authority postpones the hearing without a request by the taxpayer, interest on the claim shall continue to accrue. No interest may be paid if the reviewing authority determines under s. 70.995 (8) (a)
that the value of the property was reduced because the taxpayer supplied false or incomplete information. If taxes are refunded, the municipality may proceed under s. 74.41
If the reviewing authority increases the value of the property in question, the increase in value shall in the case of manufacturing property assessed by the department of revenue under s. 70.995
be assessed as omitted property as prescribed under s. 70.995 (12)
. In the case of all other property s. 70.44
Clerks to examine and correct rolls.
Upon receiving such assessment roll the said clerk shall carefully examine it. The clerk shall correct all double assessments, imperfect descriptions and other errors apparent upon the face of the roll, and strike off all parcels of real property not liable to taxation. The clerk shall add to the roll any parcel of real or personal property omitted by the assessors and immediately notify them thereof; and such assessors shall forthwith view and value the same and certify such valuation to said clerk, who shall enter it upon the roll, and such valuation shall be final. To enable such clerk to properly correct defective descriptions the clerk may request aid, when necessary, from the county surveyor, whose fees for the services rendered shall be paid by the town, city or village.
History: 1977 c. 29
Statement of assessment and exemptions.
Upon the correction of the assessment roll as provided in s. 70.52
, the clerks shall prepare and, on or before the 2nd Monday in June, transmit to the department of revenue a detailed statement of the aggregate of each of the several items of taxable property specified in s. 70.30
, a detailed statement of each of the several classes of taxable real estate, entering land and improvements separately, as prescribed in s. 70.32 (2)
, the aggregate of all taxable property by elementary and high school district and by technical college district, and a detailed statement of the aggregate of each of the several items of exempt real property as specified by the department of revenue, entering land and improvements separately, and shall make available to the department of revenue at its request a copy of the corrected assessment roll from which the detailed statement is prepared. Failure to comply subjects the taxation district to the penalty provisions under s. 73.03 (6)
. The department of revenue shall review and correct the statement. Every county clerk shall, at the expense of the county, annually procure and furnish to each town, city and village clerk blanks for such statements, the form of which shall be prescribed by the department of revenue.
Whenever any town, city or village clerk shall have failed to transmit any such statement within the time fixed as aforesaid, the county treasurer or the department of revenue shall send a messenger therefor, who shall be paid and the expenses charged back as provided in s. 69.67
or 73.03 (6)
, respectively; and whenever any county treasurer shall have failed to transmit any such statement, within the time fixed as aforesaid, the department of revenue may send a messenger therefor, who shall be paid and the expenses therefor charged back to the county.
History: 1975 c. 295
; 1991 a. 39
The directions herein given for the assessing of lands and personal property and levying and collecting taxes shall be deemed directory only, and no error or informality in the proceedings of any of the officers entrusted with the same, not affecting the substantial justice of the tax, shall vitiate or in anywise affect the validity of such tax or assessment.
Whenever the assessment roll of any assessment district shall be lost or destroyed before the second Monday of October in any year and before the tax roll therefrom has been completed the assessor of such district shall immediately prepare a new roll and as soon thereafter as practicable make a new assessment of the property in the assessor's district. If the board of review for such district shall have adjourned without day before such new assessment is completed such board shall again meet at a time fixed by the clerk of the town, city or village, not later than the fourth Monday in October, and like proceedings shall be had, as near as may be, in reference to such new assessment and assessment roll as in case of other assessments, and such clerk shall give notice of the time and place of such meeting of the board of review as is provided in s. 70.47 (2)
. Such new assessment and assessment roll shall be deemed the assessment and assessment roll of such assessment district to all intents and purposes. In case the assessor shall fail to make such new assessment or the board of review shall fail to meet and review the same, or any assessment roll is lost or destroyed after the second Monday in October in any year and before the tax roll therefrom is completed, or both the assessment roll and tax roll are lost or destroyed, then the county clerk shall make out and deliver a tax roll in the manner and with like effect as provided in s. 70.71
Whenever a tax roll in any town, city or village shall be lost or destroyed before it has been returned by the treasurer or sheriff holding the same, a new roll shall be prepared in like manner as the first, and delivered to such treasurer or sheriff, who shall complete the collection of the taxes and return such new tax roll in the manner provided for the original tax roll.
Assessment of counties and taxation districts by department. 70.57(1)(a)(a)
The department of revenue before August 15 of each year shall complete the valuation of the property of each county and taxation district of the state. From all the sources of information accessible to it the department shall determine and assess by class the value of all property subject to general property taxation in each county and taxation district. If the department is satisfied that the assessment by a county assessor under s. 70.99
is at full value, it may adopt that value as the state's full value.
The department shall set down a list of all the counties and taxation districts and opposite to the name of each county and taxation district the valuation determined by the department, which shall be the full value according to its best judgment.
There shall also be prepared a list of all the counties of the state with the valuation determined for each county listed opposite the name of the county. The list shall be certified by the secretary of revenue as the assessment of the counties of the state made by the department and be delivered to the department of administration.
In any case where the department, through mistake or inadvertence, has assessed to any county or taxation district, in the current year or in the previous year, a greater or less valuation for any year than should have been assessed, it shall correct the error. The department shall add or subtract, as the case may be, from the valuation of the county or taxation district, as determined by the department at the assessment in the year after the error is discovered, the amount omitted from or added to the true valuation of the county in the former assessment in consequence of the error. The result shall be taken as the full value of the county for the latter year and a final correction of the error.
On August 15 the department of revenue shall notify each county and taxation district of its equalized value. The department of revenue shall make available to each taxation district a list of sales within the taxation district and shall indicate whether or not those sales were used or rejected in establishing equalized value. If insufficient residential and agricultural sales in a taxation district require the department to use sales information from other taxation districts in establishing equalized value, the department shall so notify the affected taxation district and, upon written request from that taxation district, shall make available to the taxation district the sales information from other taxation districts and other information used to establish the equalized value. Upon resolution by the governing body of a county or taxation district, the department shall review the equalized value established for the county or taxation district.
If the state board of assessors, the tax appeals commission or a court makes a final redetermination on the assessment of property subject to taxation under s. 70.995
that is higher or lower than the previous assessment, the department of revenue shall recertify the equalized value of the school district in which the property subject to taxation under s. 70.995
In determining the value of agricultural land under sub. (1)
, the department shall fulfill the requirements under s. 70.32 (2r)
History: 1973 c. 90
; 1977 c. 29
, 1647 (12)
; 1977 c. 300
; 1981 c. 20
; 1983 a. 372
; 1985 a. 29
; 1991 a. 39
; 1995 a. 27
Municipalities are not authorized by s. 70.57 (2), 1975 stats., to appeal for redetermination of tax assessment. Village of Silver Lake v. Department of Revenue, 87 W (2d) 463, 275 NW (2d) 119 (Ct. App. 1978).
Phrase in sub. (2), "taxation under s. 70.995", means "assessment under s. 70.995". 73 Atty. Gen. 119
State assessment, time.
The department, not later than August 15 in each year, shall total the assessments of counties made by the department of revenue under s. 70.57
, and the total shall be known as the state assessment and shall be the full market value of all general property of the state liable to state, county and local taxes in the then present year. The department shall enter upon its records such state assessment.
History: 1977 c. 29
, 1647 (17)
; 1977 c. 300
Forestation state tax.
There is levied an annual tax of two-tenths of one mill for each dollar of the assessed valuation of the property of the state as determined by the department of revenue under s. 70.57
, for the purpose of acquiring, preserving and developing the forests of the state and for the purpose of forest crop law and county forest law administration and aid payments, and for the acquisition, purchase and development of forests described under s. 25.29 (7) (a)
, the proceeds of the tax to be paid into the conservation fund. The tax shall not be levied in any year in which general funds are appropriated for the purposes specified in this section, equal to or in excess of the amount which the tax would produce.
Apportionment of state tax. 70.60(1)
The department of administration shall compute the state tax chargeable against each county basing such computation upon the valuation of the taxable property of the county as determined by the department of revenue pursuant to s. 70.57
. On or before the 4th Monday of August in each year the department of administration shall certify to the county clerk of each county the amount of the taxes apportioned to and levied upon the county, and all special charges which the county clerk is required by law to make in any year to any such county to be collected with the state tax. The county clerk shall then charge to each county the whole amount of such taxes and charges, and the same shall be paid into the state treasury as provided by law.
History: 1977 c. 29
s. 1647 (14)
; 1977 c. 273
County tax rate. 70.62(1)(1)
County board to determine.
The county board shall also, at such meeting, determine by resolution the amount of taxes to be levied in their county for the year.
(3) Omitted tax.
Whenever the county board of any county shall fail to apportion against any town, city or village thereof in any year any state, county or school tax or any part thereof properly chargeable thereto, such county board shall, in any succeeding year, apportion such taxes against such town, city or village and add the proper amount thereof to the amount of the current annual tax then apportioned thereto.
History: 1973 c. 90
; 1975 c. 39
; 1977 c. 113
; 1977 c. 142
; 1977 c. 418
, 929 (42)
; 1979 c. 34
; 1979 c. 175
; 1979 c. 346
; 1981 c. 20
; 1983 a. 27
; 1985 a. 29
See note to art. XI, sec. 3, citing 63 Atty. Gen. 465.
Apportionment of county taxes. 70.63(1)
By county clerk.
The county clerk shall apportion the county tax and the whole amount of state taxes and charges levied upon the county, as certified by the department of administration, among the towns, cities and villages of the county, according and in proportion to the valuation thereof as determined by the department of revenue. The county clerk shall carry out in the record book, opposite the name of each in separate columns, the amount of state taxes and charges and the amount of county taxes so apportioned thereto, and the amount of all other special taxes or charges apportioned or ordered, or which the clerk is required by law to make in any year to any town, city or village, to be collected with the annual taxes. The clerk shall certify to the clerk of and charge to each town, city and village, except in cities of the 1st class, the amount of all such taxes so apportioned to and levied upon it, and shall, at the same time, file with the county treasurer a certified copy of each apportionment.
(2) City of first class.
The county clerk shall certify in a similar manner to the commissioner of assessments of each city of the first class located within the limits of the county.
Review of equalized values. 70.64(1)
By tax appeals commission.
The assessment and determination of the relative value of taxable general property in any county or taxation district, made by the department of revenue under s. 70.57
, may be reviewed, and a redetermination of the value of such property may be made by the tax appeals commission, upon appeal by the county or taxation district. The filing of such appeal in the manner provided in this section by any county or taxation district shall impose upon the commission the duty, under the powers conferred upon it by s. 73.01 (4) (a)
, to review the assessment complained of. If, in its judgment based upon the testimony, evidence and record made on the preliminary hearing of such appeal, the commission finds such assessment to be unequal and discriminatory, it shall determine to correct such assessment to bring it into substantial compliance with law. Except as provided in this section, the appeal shall be taken and such review and redetermination shall be made as provided in ss. 73.01
and under the rules governing the procedure of the commission.
(2) Authorization of appeals.
To authorize such appeal an order or resolution directing the same to be taken shall be adopted by the governing body of the county or taxation district taking the appeal at a lawful meeting of the governing body. When an appeal shall have been authorized the prosecution of it shall be in charge of the chairperson of the county board or county administrator or of the chairperson, mayor or president of the taxation district taking the appeal unless otherwise directed by the governing body. The officers or committee in charge of the appeal may employ attorneys to conduct the appeal. After authorizing an appeal as provided in this subsection, any 2 or more taxation districts in the same county may join in taking and prosecuting an appeal.
(3) Form of appeal.
To accomplish an appeal there shall be filed with the tax appeals commission on or before October 15 an appeal in writing setting forth:
That the county or taxation district, naming the same, appeals to the tax appeals commission from the assessment made by the department of revenue under s. 70.57
, specifying the date of such assessment.
Whether the appeal is to obtain a review and redetermination of the assessment of all the taxation districts of the county or of particular districts only, therein specified.
Whether review and redetermination is desired as to real estate, or personal property, or both.
That the appeal has been authorized by an order or resolution of the county board or governing body of the taxation district in whose behalf the appeal is taken.
A plain and concise statement, without unnecessary repetition, of the facts constituting the grievance sought to be remedied upon appeal, which shall specifically allege in what respects the assessment is in error.
The appeal shall be verified by a member of the governing body of the county or taxation district authorizing the appeal in the manner that pleadings in courts of record are verified. When 2 or more taxation districts join in taking such appeal the verification may be made by the proper officer of any one of them.
(4) Certified copies.
Upon the filing of such appeal, the clerk of the county or taxation district, without delay, shall prepare certified copies of it, together with certified copies of the value established by the department of revenue from which the appeal is taken and a complete list showing the clerk of each taxation district within the county and the post-office address of each. The clerk shall mail by certified mail 4 sets of certified copies to the tax appeals commission and one set of the copies to the department of revenue, the county clerk and the clerk of each taxation district within the county.
Not later than 30 days after the clerk of the county or taxation district has mailed the certified copies, unless the time is extended by order of the tax appeals commission, any county, town, city or village may cause an appearance to be entered in its behalf before the commission in support of the appeal and uniting with the appellant for the relief demanded; and by verified petition or statement showing grounds therefor may apply for other or further review and redetermination than that demanded in the appeal. Within the same time the county, town, city or village in the county may in the same manner have its appearance entered in opposition to the appeal and to the relief demanded. Such appearances shall be authorized in the manner for authorizing an appeal under sub. (2)
. When so authorized the interests of the county, town, city or village authorizing it shall be in the charge of the chairperson, mayor or president thereof unless otherwise directed by the body authorizing such appearance; and attorneys may be employed in that behalf. In such appearances any 2 or more of the towns, cities and villages of the county may join if united in support of or in opposition to the appeal. Four copies of each appearance, petition or statement mentioned in this subsection shall be filed in the offices of the tax appeals commission and a copy of each mailed by certified mail to the department of revenue, to the county clerk, and to the clerk of each town, city and village within the county, and a copy to the attorney authorized to appear on behalf of the county or any town, city or village within the county.
As soon as practicable, the commission shall set a time and place for preliminary hearing of such appeal. At least 10 days before the time set for such hearing, the commission shall cause notice thereof to be mailed by certified mail to the county clerk and to the attorney or the clerk of each town, city and village in whose behalf an appearance has been entered in the matter of such appeal, and to the clerk of each town, city or village which has not appeared, and mail a like notice to the clerk of the taxation district taking such appeal and to the department of revenue. The department of revenue shall be prepared to present to the commission at such time during the course of the hearings as the commission requires, the full value of all property subject to general property taxation in each town, village and city of the county, as determined by the department according to s. 70.57 (1)
or in the case of a complaint by a taxation district under a county assessor such information as the department has in its possession. Said hearing may be adjourned, in the discretion of the tax appeals commission, as often and to such times and places as may be necessary in order to determine the facts. If satisfied that no substantial injustice has been done in the taxation district assessment appealed from, the commission in its discretion may dismiss such appeal. If satisfied that substantial injustice has been done in the taxation district assessment, the commission shall determine to revalue any or all of the taxation districts in the county, which it deems necessary, in a manner which in its judgment is best calculated to secure substantial justice.
The commission shall then proceed to redetermine the value of the taxable general property in such of the taxation districts in the county as it deems necessary. It may include in such redetermination other taxation districts than first determined upon and may include all of the taxation districts in said county, if at any time during the progress of its investigations or revaluations it is satisfied that such course is necessary in order to accomplish substantial justice and to secure relative equality as between all the taxation districts in such county. It shall make careful investigation of the value of taxable general property in the several taxation districts to which such review and redetermination shall extend, in any manner which in its judgment is best calculated to obtain the fair, full value of such property. The commission may employ such experts and other assistants as may be necessary, and fix their compensation. In making such investigations the commission and all persons employed therein by the commission shall have all the authority possessed by assessors so far as applicable, including authority to administer oaths and to examine property owners and witnesses under oath as to the quantity and value of the property subject to assessment belonging to any person or within any taxation district to which the investigation shall extend.