A property's assessed value is based on fair market value but a property's assessed value is not necessarily equal to its fair market value. Assessors must base assessments of real property on the property's fair market value. However, as the plain language of the Property Assessment Manual makes clear, a property's fair market value is not synonymous with its assessed value. In most cases individual property assessments are different than the property's fair market value. Stupar River LLC v. Town of Linwood Board of Review, 2011 WI 82
, 336 Wis. 2d 562
, 800 N.W.2d 468
The taxpayer challenging an assessment and classification has the burden of proving at the board hearing that the assessment and classification of property are erroneous; that the taxpayer did not meet his burden of proof; and that the board's determination to maintain the assessment is supported by a reasonable view of the evidence. Sausen v. Town of Black Creek Board of Review, 2014 WI 9
, 352 Wis. 2d 576
, 843 N.W.2d 39
Except for sub. (2) (c) 3., every subdivision of sub. (2) (c) uses the verb “means" instead of “includes" when defining a property classification. “Means" clearly limits the classes of property defined in those subdivisions to the specific types of property described therein. If the legislature intended the residential class to be restricted to the type of property described in sub. (2) (c) 3., it would have used the verb “means" instead of “includes." Aside from the property specifically described in sub. (2) (c) 3., any other property included in the residential class must fall within the ordinary meaning of the term “residential." West Capitol, Inc. v. Village of Sister Bay, 2014 WI App 52
, 354 Wis. 2d 130
, 848 N.W.2d 875
Nothing in s. 70.10 requires a property to be classified based on its actual use or prevents an assessor from considering a property's most likely use. An owner's subjective expression of intent is not dispositive of a property's most likely use. The Assessment Manual directs assessors to consider whether the property owner's actions are consistent with an intent for residential use, but that is only one of 7 factors the Manual directs assessors to consider. West Capitol, Inc. v. Village of Sister Bay, 2014 WI App 52
, 354 Wis. 2d 130
, 848 N.W.2d 875
A property need not be zoned residential in order to be classified as residential for property tax purposes, as long as residential use is likely to be allowed. West Capitol, Inc. v. Village of Sister Bay, 2014 WI App 52
, 354 Wis. 2d 130
, 848 N.W.2d 875
Under sub. (2) (c) 4., land is nonproductive when it is neither producing nor capable of productive use. Property that is capable of productive use is not nonproductive and not entitled to the 50-percent assessment reduction under sub. (4). West Capitol, Inc. v. Village of Sister Bay, 2014 WI App 52
, 354 Wis. 2d 130
, 848 N.W.2d 875
An appraiser must not value federally regulated housing as if it were market-rate property. Doing so causes the assessor to pretend that the subject property is not hindered by federal restrictions. The restrictions and underlying agreements implicit in federally regulated housing will affect the property's value. Regency West Apartments LLC v. City of Racine, 2016 WI 99
, 372 Wis. 2d 282
, 888 N.W.2d 611
Because of the difficulty in appraising subsidized properties under other appraisal methods, the income approach may be the best determiner of value. The property assessment manual does not preclude appraisers from relying solely on the income approach when valuing subsidized properties. Metropolitan Holding, 173 Wis. 2d 626
, unambiguously requires assessors to use income and expenses for the subject property when valuing subsidized housing under the income approach. Regency West Apartments LLC v. City of Racine, 2016 WI 99
, 372 Wis. 2d 282
, 888 N.W.2d 611
Sub. (1) requires assessors to value property based on “the best information that the assessor can practicably obtain." In this case, projected expenses and income for this newly opened property were available to the assessor. When an assessor calculated the net operating income for an income-based valuation through mass appraisal techniques that were not particularized to the assessed property, the assessment did not comply with sub. (1) because it did not use the “best information” that was available. Regency West Apartments LLC v. City of Racine, 2016 WI 99
, 372 Wis. 2d 282
, 888 N.W.2d 611
In addition to calculating a net operating income (NOI) for the subject property, an income-based valuation requires determining the applicable capitalization rate. The capitalization rate expresses the rate of return an investor would expect to receive from an investment in the subject property. The value of a subject property is determined by dividing its NOI by the applicable capitalization rate. Capitalization rates from the marketplace are usually derived from the sale of market-rate projects. Such capitalization rates do not reflect the unique characteristics of subsidized housing. Regency West Apartments LLC v. City of Racine, 2016 WI 99
, 372 Wis. 2d 282
, 888 N.W.2d 611
If there are no reasonably comparable properties, the comparable sales approach cannot be used. The property assessment manual explicitly states that when subsidized properties are reasonably comparable, properties being compared must have restrictions similar to the subject property. To determine if properties have similar restrictions, an appraiser must examine the specific restrictions that apply to each property, as well as the differences between these restrictions. Regency West Apartments LLC v. City of Racine, 2016 WI 99
, 372 Wis. 2d 282
, 888 N.W.2d 611
Sub. (1) explicitly directs that property be assessed in the manner specified “in the Wisconsin property assessment manual . . .from actual view or from the best information that the assessor can practicably obtain." The manual provides that “commercial property can be valued by either single property or mass appraisal techniques." The manual makes clear that mass appraisal is accepted at the initial assessment stage and sets forth when a single property appraisal is necessary after the initial mass appraisal has been challenged by the taxpayer or if the property being valued is a special-purpose property that does not lend itself well to mass appraisal. The express language of the manual indicates that mass appraisal is a proper method of valuation in all other circumstances. Metropolitan Associates v. City of Milwaukee, 2018 WI 4
, 379 Wis. 2d 141
, 905 N.W.2d 784
Under the inextricably intertwined test, the income-generating capability of the oil terminals was inextricably intertwined with the land and was thus transferable to future purchasers of the land. Therefore, that income was included in the land's assessment because it appertained to the land. Marathon Petroleum Company LP v. City of Milwaukee, 2018 WI App 22
, 381 Wis. 2d 180
, 912 N.W.2d 117
To qualify for the agricultural classification, it is sufficient that land is devoted primarily to growing qualifying crops, whether or not those crops are grown for a business purpose. The plain language of “agricultural use" under sub. (2) (c) 1i. and Department of Revenue rules refers to growing crops—not marketing, selling, or profiting from them. Peter Ogden Family Trust of 2008 v. Board of Review for Town of Delafield, 2018 WI App 26
, 381 Wis. 2d 180
, 912 N.W.2d 117
Classification of real property for tax purposes is based on the actual use of the property. Although an injunction, contract, or ordinance may be presented to argue how the property is supposed to be used, none can be the decisive factor for tax assessment purposes. Thoma v. Village of Slinger, 2018 WI 45
, 381 Wis. 2d 311
, 912 N.W.2d 56
Using a property only for maintaining ground cover does not fall within the statutory definition of agricultural use. When the property owner adamantly denied any farming took place at all on the land and insisted that he was maintaining ground cover only, the property owner failed to present any evidence that his use qualified as agricultural for tax assessment purposes. Thoma v. Village of Slinger, 2018 WI 45
, 381 Wis. 2d 311
, 912 N.W.2d 56
Taxation of undeveloped real property in Wisconsin. Hack, Sullivan, 1974 WBB No. 1.
Assessment of divided parcel. 70.323(1)(a)(a)
If a parcel of real property is divided, the owner of a divided parcel may request a valuation of the divided parcels. A request shall be in writing and submitted to the treasurer of the taxation district in which the property is located. If the taxation district treasurer is in possession of the tax roll, the treasurer shall make the requested valuation. If the tax roll has been returned under s. 74.43
, the taxation district treasurer shall forward the request to the county treasurer, who shall make the requested valuation.
The appropriate treasurer shall, with the assistance of the assessor of the taxation district, attribute to each new parcel its value for the year of division. The value of each new parcel shall represent a reasonable apportionment of the valuation of the original undivided parcel, and the total of the new valuations shall equal the valuation of the original undivided parcel on January 1 of that year. The value of a new parcel as determined under this subsection is the value of that property for purposes of s. 70.32
for the year of division.
A determination under sub. (1)
may be appealed by bringing an action in circuit court within 60 days after the determination is made. The court shall determine whether the value determined under sub. (1)
represents a reasonable apportionment of the valuation of the original undivided parcel on January 1 of that year. If the court determines that the value does not represent a reasonable apportionment, the court shall redetermine the parcels' values, the total of which shall equal the valuation of the original undivided parcel on January 1 of that year.
(3) Lien extinguished.
Payment of all real estate taxes based on the value determined under sub. (1)
extinguishes the lien against the parcel created under s. 70.01
(4) Cooperation of assessor.
The assessor of the taxation district shall assist the treasurer of the taxation district or of the county under sub. (1)
(5) Not applicable where written agreement.
This section does not apply if there is a written agreement providing for the payment of real property taxes on the divided parcels in the year of division.
History: 1987 a. 378
Valuation and assessment of property with contaminated wells.
In determining the market value of real property with a contaminated well or water system, the assessor shall take into consideration the time and expense necessary to repair or replace the well or private water system in calculating the diminution of the market value of real property attributable to the contamination.
History: 1983 a. 410
; 1995 a. 378
Tax exemption reports. 70.337(1)(1)
By March 31 of each even-numbered year, the owner of each parcel of property that is exempt under s. 70.11
shall file with the clerk of the taxation district in which the property is located a form containing the following information:
The name and address of the owner of the property and, if applicable, the type of organization that owns the property.
The legal description and parcel number of the property as shown on the assessment roll.
A description of any improvements on the land.
A statement indicating whether or not any portion of the property was leased to another person during the preceding 2 years. If the property was leased, the statement shall identify the portion of the property that was leased, identify the lessee and describe the ways in which the lease payments were used by the owner of the property.
The owner's estimate of the fair market value of the property on January 1 of the even-numbered year. The owner shall provide this estimate by marking one of a number of value ranges provided on the form prepared under sub. (2)
. The assessor for the taxation district within which the property is located may review the owner's estimate of the fair market value of the property and adjust it if necessary to reflect the correct fair market value.
By July 1 of each even-numbered year, the clerk of each taxation district shall complete and deliver to the department of revenue a form on which the clerk estimates the value of tax-exempt property, classified by type of owner, within the taxation district.
The department of revenue shall prescribe the contents of the form for reporting the information required under sub. (1)
, including the categories of value of property that the department of revenue determines will result in the best estimate of the value of tax-exempt property in this state. The department of revenue shall also prescribe the contents of the form under sub. (2)
. The form under sub. (2)
shall provide for estimates of the value of tax-exempt property in the taxation district that is owned by various categories of owners, including property that is owned by the benevolent and educational associations; fraternal and labor organizations; nonprofit hospitals; private colleges; and churches and religious associations. The forms under subs. (1)
shall be prepared and distributed under s. 70.09 (3)
The department of revenue shall tabulate data from the forms received under sub. (2)
and prepare an estimate of the value of tax-exempt property in this state by category of owner. The department shall include this information in the summary of tax exemption devices prepared under s. 16.425 (3)
Each person that is required to file a report under sub. (1)
shall pay a reasonable fee that is sufficient to defray the costs to the taxation district of distributing and reviewing the forms under sub. (1)
and of preparing the form for the department of revenue under sub. (2)
. The amount of the fee shall be established by the governing body of the taxation district. This subsection does not apply to a church that is required to file a report under sub. (1)
If the form under sub. (1)
is not received by March 31 of the even-numbered year, the taxation district clerk shall send the owner of the property a notice, by certified mail, stating that the property for which the form is required will be appraised at the owner's expense if a completed form is not received by the taxation district clerk within 30 days after the notice is sent. If the completed form is not received by the taxation district clerk within 30 days after the notice is sent, the property shall be appraised either by the taxation district assessor or by a person hired by the taxation district to conduct the appraisal.
This section does not apply to property that is exempt under s. 70.11 (1)
, property that is exempt under s. 70.11 (18)
if a payment in lieu of taxes is made for that property, lake beds owned by the state, state forests under s. 28.03
, county forests under s. 28.10
, property acquired by the department of transportation under s. 85.08
or highways, as defined in s. 340.01 (22)
Reporting requirements. 70.339(1)(1)
By March 15 each person that owns property that is exempt under s. 70.11
, except s. 70.11 (1)
, and that was used in the most recently ended taxable year in a trade or business for which the owner of the property was subject to taxation under sections 511
of the internal revenue code, as defined in s. 71.22 (4m)
, shall file with the clerk of the taxation district in which the property is located a statement containing the following information:
The name, address and telephone number of the owner of the property.
The name, address and telephone number of a person who can be contacted concerning the use of the property in a trade or business.
A general description of the activities engaged in to conduct the trade or business.
The location and a description of the property that is used in the trade or business including, if applicable, the specific portion of a building that is used to conduct the trade or business.
The format and distribution of statements under this section shall be governed by s. 70.09 (3)
If the statement required under this section is not received by the due date, the taxation district clerk shall send the owner of the property a notice, by certified mail, stating that failure to file a statement is subject to the penalties under sub. (4)
A person who fails to file a statement within 30 days after notification under sub. (3)
shall forfeit $10 for each succeeding day on which the form is not received by the taxation district clerk, but not more than $500.
History: 1991 a. 39
All articles of personal property shall, as far as practicable, be valued by the assessor upon actual view at their true cash value; and after arriving at the total valuation of all articles of personal property which the assessor shall be able to discover as belonging to any person, if the assessor has reason to believe that such person has other personal property or any other thing of value liable to taxation, the assessor shall add to such aggregate valuation of personal property an amount which, in the assessor's judgment, will render such aggregate valuation a just and equitable valuation of all the personal property liable to taxation belonging to such person. In carrying out the duties imposed on the assessor by this section, the assessor shall act in the manner specified in the Wisconsin property assessment manual provided under s. 73.03 (2a)
History: 1973 c. 90
; 1991 a. 316
“True cash value" is not a figure that can be determined by bargaining with the taxpayer, and such an agreement would be void. The unsupported statement of the taxpayer has no probative value. Berg Equipment Corp. v. Spencer Board of Review 53 Wis. 2d 233
, 191 N.W.2d 892
When there are no actual sales, cost, depreciation, replacement value, income, industrial conditions, location and occupancy, sales of like property, book value, insurance carried, value asserted in a prospectus, and appraisals are all relevant to determination of market value for assessment purposes. Mitchell Aero, Inc. v. Milwaukee Board of Review, 74 Wis. 2d 268
, 246 N.W.2d 521
A market data or sales approach was proper when 94 percent of machines were leased and only 6 percent were sold. An income capitalization approach has been used only when no sales exist. Xerox Corp. v. Department of Revenue, 114 Wis. 2d 522
, 339 N.W.2d 357
(Ct. App. 1983).
Legislative intent; department of revenue to supply information.
The assessor shall exercise particular care so that personal property as a class on the assessment rolls bears the same relation to statutory value as real property as a class. To assist the assessor in determining the true relationship between real estate and personal property the department of revenue shall make available to local assessors information including figures indicating the relationship between personal property and real property on the last assessment rolls.
Taxpayer examined under oath or to submit return. 70.35(1)(1)
To determine the amount and value of any personal property for which any person, firm, or corporation should be assessed, any assessor may examine such person or the managing agent or officer of any firm or corporation under oath as to all such items of personal property, the taxable value thereof as defined in s. 70.34
if the property is taxable. In the alternative the assessor may require such person, firm, or corporation to submit a return of such personal property and of the taxable value thereof. There shall be annexed to such return the declaration of such person or of the managing agent or officer of such firm or corporation that the statements therein contained are true.
The return shall be made and all the information therein requested given by such person on a form prescribed by the assessor with the approval of the department of revenue which shall provide suitable schedules for such information bearing on value as the department deems necessary to enable the assessor to determine the true cash value of the taxable personal property that is owned or in the possession of such person on January 1 as provided in s. 70.10
. The return may contain methods of deriving assessable values from book values and for the conversion of book values to present values, and a statement as to the accounting method used. No person shall be required to take detailed physical inventory for the purpose of making the return required by this section.
Each return shall be filed with the assessor on or before March 1 of the year in which the assessment provided by s. 70.10
is made. The assessor, for good cause, may allow a reasonable extension of time for filing the return. All returns filed under this section shall be the confidential records of the assessor's office, except that the returns shall be available for use before the board of review as provided in this chapter. No return required under this section is controlling on the assessor in any respect in the assessment of any property.
Any person, firm or corporation who refuses to so testify or who fails, neglects or refuses to make and file the return of personal property required by this section shall be denied any right of abatement by the board of review on account of the assessment of such personal property unless such person, firm or corporation shall make such return to such board of review together with a statement of the reasons for the failure to make and file the return in the manner and form required by this section.
In the event that the assessor or the board of review should desire further evidence they may call upon other persons as witnesses to give evidence under oath as to the items and value of the personal property of any such person, firm or corporation.
The return required by this section shall not be demanded by the assessor from any farmer, or from any firm or corporation assessed under ch. 76
or from any person, firm or corporation whose personal property is not used for the production of income in industry, trade, commerce or professional practice.
This section shall not be applicable to farm products as defined by s. 93.01 (5)
when owned and possessed by the original producer.
See also s. Tax 12.10
, Wis. adm. code.
False statement; duty of district attorney. 70.36(1)(1)
Any person in this state owning or holding any personal property that is subject to assessment, individually or as agent, trustee, guardian, personal representative, assignee, or receiver or in some other representative capacity, who intentionally makes a false statement to the assessor of that person's assessment district or to the board of review of the assessment district with respect to the property, or who omits any property from any return required to be made under s. 70.35
, with the intent of avoiding the payment of the just and proportionate taxes on the property, shall forfeit the sum of $10 for every $100 or major fraction of $100 so withheld from the knowledge of the assessor or board of review.
It is hereby made the duty of the district attorney of any county, upon complaint made to the district attorney by the assessor or by a member of the board of review of the assessment district in which it is alleged that property has been so withheld from the knowledge of such assessor or board of review, or not included in any return required by s. 70.35
, to investigate the case forthwith and bring an action in the name of the state against the person, firm or corporation so complained of. All forfeitures collected under the provisions of this section shall be paid into the treasury of the taxation district in which such property had its situs for taxation.
The word assessor whenever used in ss. 70.35
shall, in 1st class cities, be deemed to refer also to the commissioner of assessments of any such city and, where applicable, shall be deemed also to refer to the department of revenue responsible for the manufacturing property assessment under s. 70.995
Notice of changed assessment.
When the assessor assesses any taxable real property, or any improvements taxed as personal property under s. 77.84 (1)
, and arrives at a different total than the assessment of it for the previous year, the assessor shall notify the person assessed if the address of the person is known to the assessor, otherwise the occupant of the property. However, the assessor is not required to provide notice under this section if land is classified as agricultural land, as defined in s. 70.32 (2) (c) 1g.
, for the current year and previous year and the difference between the assessments is $500 or less. If the assessor determines that land assessed under s. 70.32 (2r)
for the previous year is no longer eligible to be assessed under s. 70.32 (2r)
, and the current classification under s. 70.32 (2) (a)
is not undeveloped, agricultural forest, productive forest land, or other, the assessor shall notify the person assessed if the assessor knows the person's address, or otherwise the occupant of the property, that the person assessed may be subject to a conversion charge under s. 74.485
. Any notice issued under this section shall be in writing and shall be sent by ordinary mail at least 15 days before the meeting of the board of review or before the meeting of the board of assessors in 1st class cities and in 2nd class cities that have a board of assessors under s. 70.075
, except that, in any year in which the taxation district conducts a revaluation under s. 70.05
, the notice shall be sent at least 30 days before the meeting of the board of review or board of assessors. The notice shall contain the amount of the changed assessment and the time, date, and place of the meeting of the local board of review or of the board of assessors. However, if the assessment roll is not complete, the notice shall be sent by ordinary mail at least 15 days prior to the date to which the board of review or board of assessors has adjourned, except that, in any year in which the taxation district conducts a revaluation under s. 70.05
, the notice shall be sent at least 30 days prior to the date to which the board of review or board of assessors has adjourned. The assessor shall attach to the assessment roll a statement that the notices required by this section have been mailed and failure to receive the notice shall not affect the validity of the changed assessment, the resulting changed tax, the procedures of the board of review or of the board of assessors or the enforcement of delinquent taxes by statutory means. After the person assessed or the occupant of the property receives notice under this section, if the assessor changes the assessment as a result of the examination of the rolls as provided in s. 70.45
and the person assessed waives, in writing and on a form prescribed or approved by the department of revenue, the person's right to the notice of the changed assessment under this section, no additional notice is required under this section. The secretary of revenue shall prescribe the form of the notice required under this section. The form shall include information notifying the taxpayer of the procedures to be used to object to the assessment. The form shall also indicate whether the person assessed may be subject to a conversion charge under s. 74.485
Under s. 74.37 (4), a taxpayer must challenge an assessment in front of the board of review before filing an excessive assessment claim, unless the taxing authority failed to provide a notice of assessment under circumstances where notice was required. Under s. 70.365, a notice of assessment is required only when the property's assessed value has changed. After reading these statutes, it should have been clear to the taxpayer that: 1) because it did not receive a notice of assessment, its property's assessed value for 2011 would be unchanged from 2010; and 2) if the taxpayer wanted to challenge the 2011 assessment, it needed to object before the board of review. These requirements did not violate the taxpayer's rights to due process. Northbrook Wisconsin, LLC v. City of Niagara, 2014 WI App 22
, 352 Wis. 2d 657
, 843 N.W.2d 851
Net proceeds occupation tax on persons extracting metalliferous minerals in this state. 70.37(1)(1)
The legislature finds that:
The existence has been announced of several economically significant ore bodies containing copper, zinc, lead, taconite and other metalliferous minerals in this state, including one of the largest zinc deposits in North America.
Metalliferous minerals are valuable, irreplaceable natural resources which, once removed, are forever lost as an economic asset to the state.
The activity of mining metalliferous minerals creates jobs, economic activity, tax revenues and other valuable benefits to the economy and residents of this state.
The activity of mining metalliferous minerals creates additional costs to the state and municipalities for highways, sewers, schools and other improvements which are necessary to accommodate the development of a metalliferous mining industry.
The activity of mining metalliferous minerals has a permanent and often damaging effect on the environment of the state.
The activity of mining metalliferous minerals significantly alters the quality of life in communities directly affected by mining.
As the size of a mining operation increases, the cost to the state and municipalities to support the operation increases, as does the damage to the environment. Furthermore, as the size of a mining operation increases, the person mining metalliferous minerals benefits from economies of scale in the mining operation.
A graduated net proceeds occupational tax, by taxing profitability at rates which vary with the level of profitability, encourages important state goals, such as:
Gradual, continuous and complete extraction of metalliferous minerals.