If the assessor discovers a palpable error in the assessment of a tract of real estate or an item of personal property that results in the tract or property having an inaccurate assessment for the preceding year, the assessor shall correct that error by adding to or subtracting from the assessment for the preceding year. The result shall be the true assessed value of the property for the preceding year. The assessor shall make a marginal note of the correction on that year's assessment roll.
The dollar amount of the adjustment determined in the correction under sub. (2)
shall be referred to the board of review and, if certified by that board, shall be entered in a separate section of the current assessment roll, as prescribed by the department of revenue, and shall be used to determine the amount of additional taxes to be collected or taxes to be refunded. The dollar amount of the adjustment may be appealed to the board of review in the same manner as other assessments. The taxes to be collected or refunded shall be determined on the basis of the net tax rate of the previous year, taking into account credits under s. 79.10
. The taxes to be collected or refunded shall be reflected on the tax roll in the same manner as omitted property under s. 70.44
, but any such adjustment may not be carried forward to future years. The governing body of the taxation district shall proceed under s. 74.41
As soon as practicable, the assessor shall provide written notice of the correction to the person assessed. That notice shall include information regarding that person's appeal rights to the board of review.
This section provides a taxpayer with a substantive right and procedure to recover unlawful taxes. IBM Credit Corp. v. Village of Allouez, 188 Wis. 2d 143
, 524 N.W.2d 132
(Ct. App. 1993).
Assessment; property omitted. 70.44(1)(1)
Real or personal property omitted from assessment in any of the 2 next previous years, unless previously reassessed for the same year or years, shall be entered once additionally for each previous year of such omission, designating each such additional entry as omitted for the year of omission and affixing a just valuation to each entry for a former year as the same should then have been assessed according to the assessor's best judgment, and taxes shall be apportioned, using the net tax rate as provided in s. 70.43
, and collected on the tax roll for such entry. This section shall not apply to manufacturing property assessed by the department of revenue under s. 70.995
Any property assessment increased by a local board of review under s. 70.511
shall be entered in the assessment roll as prescribed under sub. (1)
As soon as practicable, the assessor shall provide written notice concerning the discovery of property omitted from assessment and concerning that person's appeal rights to the board of review to the owner of the property.
Return and examination of rolls.
When the assessment rolls have been completed in cities of the 1st class, they shall be delivered to the commissioner of assessments, in all other cities to the city clerk, in villages to the village clerk and in towns to the town clerk. At least 15 days before the first day on which the assessment rolls are open for examination, these officials shall have published a class 1 notice if applicable, or posted notice, under ch. 985
, in anticipation of the roll delivery as provided in s. 70.50
, that on certain days, therein named, the assessment rolls will be open for examination by the taxable inhabitants, which notice may assign a day or days for each ward, where there are separate assessment rolls for wards, for the inspection of rolls. The assessor shall be present for at least 2 hours while the assessment roll is open for inspection. Instructional material under s. 73.03 (54)
shall be available at the meeting. On examination the commissioner of assessments, assessor or assessors may make changes that are necessary to perfect the assessment roll or rolls, and after the corrections are made the roll or rolls shall be submitted by the commissioner of assessments or clerk of the municipality to the board of review.
Boards of review; members; organization. 70.46(1)(1)
Except as provided in sub. (1m)
and s. 70.99
, the supervisors and clerk of each town, the mayor, clerk and such other officers, other than assessors, as the common council of each city by ordinance determines, the president, clerk and such other officers, other than the assessor, as the board of trustees of each village by ordinance determines, shall constitute a board of review for the town, city or village. In cities of the 1st class the board of review shall by ordinance in lieu of the foregoing consist of 5 to 9 residents of the city, none of whom may occupy any public office or be publicly employed. The members shall be appointed by the mayor of the city with the approval of the common council and shall hold office as members of the board for staggered 5-year terms. Subject to sub. (1m)
, in all other towns, cities and villages the board of review may by ordinance in lieu of the foregoing consist of any number of town, city or village residents and may include public officers and public employees. The ordinance shall specify the manner of appointment. The town board, common council or village board shall fix, by ordinance, the salaries of the members of the board of review. No board of review member may serve on a county board of review to review any assessment made by a county assessor unless appointed as provided in s. 70.99 (10)
Whenever the duties of assessor are performed by one of the officers named to the board of review by sub. (1)
then the governing body shall by ordinance designate another officer to serve on the board instead of the officer who performs the duties of assessor.
A person who is appointed to the office of town clerk, town treasurer or to the combined office of town clerk and town treasurer under s. 60.30 (1e)
may not serve on a board of review under sub. (1)
If a town board of review under sub. (1)
had as a member a person who held the elective office of town clerk, town treasurer or the combined office of town clerk and town treasurer, and the town appoints a person to hold one or more of these offices under s. 60.30 (1e)
, the town board shall fill the seat on the board of review formerly held by an elective office holder by an elector of the town.
The town, city or village clerk on such board of review and in cities of the first class the commissioner of assessments on such board of review or any person on the commissioner's staff designated by the commissioner shall be the clerk thereof and keep an accurate record of all its proceedings.
The members of such board, except members who are full time employees or officers of the town, village or city, shall receive such compensation as shall be fixed by resolution or ordinance of the town board, village board or common council.
No board of review may be constituted unless at least one member completes in each year a training session under s. 73.03 (55)
. The municipal clerk shall provide an affidavit to the department of revenue stating whether the requirement under this subsection has been fulfilled.
Prejudice of a board of review is not shown by the fact that the members are taxpayers. State ex rel. Berg Equipment Corp. v. Town of Spencer Board of Review, 53 Wis. 2d 233
, 191 N.W.2d 892
A town clerk's compensation may be increased for service on the board of review if the clerk has been designated part-time by the town meeting. 79 Atty. Gen. 176
Board of review proceedings. 70.47(1)(1)
Time and place of meeting.
The board of review shall meet annually at any time during the 45-day period beginning on the 4th Monday of April, but no sooner than 7 days after the last day on which the assessment roll is open for examination under s. 70.45
. In towns and villages the board shall meet at the town or village hall or some place designated by the town or village board. If there is no such hall, it shall meet at the clerk's office, or in towns at the place where the last annual town meeting was held. In cities the board shall meet at the council chamber or some place designated by the council and in cities of the 1st class in some place designated by the commissioner of assessments of such cities. A majority shall constitute a quorum except that 2 members may hold any hearing of the evidence required to be held by such board under subs. (8)
, if the requirements of sub. (9)
At least 15 days before the first session of the board of review, or at least 30 days before the first session of the board of review in any year in which the taxation district conducts a revaluation under s. 70.05
, the clerk of the board shall publish a class 1 notice under ch. 985
of the time and place of the first meeting of the board under sub. (3)
and of the requirements under sub. (7) (aa)
. A taxpayer who shows that the clerk failed to publish the notice under this subsection may file a claim under s. 74.37
(2m) Open meetings.
All meetings of the board of review shall be publicly held and open to all citizens at all times. No formal action of any kind shall be introduced, deliberated upon or adopted at any closed session or meeting of a board of review.
At its first meeting, the board of review:
Shall receive the assessment roll and sworn statements from the clerk.
Shall be in session at least 2 hours for taxpayers to appear and examine the assessment roll and other assessment data.
Shall schedule for hearing each written objection that it receives during the first 2 hours of the meeting or that it received prior to the first meeting.
Shall grant a waiver of the 48-hour notice of an intent to file a written or oral objection if a property owner who does not meet the notice requirement appears before the board during the first 2 hours of the meeting, shows good cause for failure to meet the 48-hour notice requirement and files a written objection.
May hear any written objections if the board gave notice of the hearing to the property owner and the assessor at least 48 hours before the beginning of the scheduled meeting or if both the property owner and the assessor waive the 48-hour notice requirement.
The assessor shall be present at the first meeting of the board of review.
For each properly filed written objection that the board receives and schedules during its first meeting, but does not hear at the first meeting, the board shall notify each objector and the assessor, at least 48 hours before an objection is to be heard, of the time of that hearing. If, during any meeting, the board determines that it cannot hear some of the written objections at the time scheduled for them, it shall create a new schedule, and it shall notify each objector who has been rescheduled, at least 48 hours before the objection is to be heard, of the new time of the hearing.
If an objector fails to provide written or oral notice of an intent to object 48 hours before the first scheduled meeting, fails to request a waiver of the notice requirement under par. (a) 4.
, appears before the board at any time up to the end of the 5th day of the session or up to the end of the final day of the session if the session is less than 5 days, files a written objection and provides evidence of extraordinary circumstances; the board of review may waive all notice requirements and hear the objection.
Except as provided in subd. 2.
, if the assessment roll is not completed at the time of the first meeting, the board shall adjourn for the time necessary to complete the roll, and shall post a written notice on the outer door of the place of meeting stating the time to which the meeting is adjourned.
Regardless of whether the 2020 assessment roll is completed at the time of the 45-day period beginning on the 4th Monday of April, the board may publish a class 1 notice under ch. 985
that the board has adjourned and will proceed under sub. (2)
With respect to the assessment rolls of taxing districts prepared by a county assessor, the board of review as constituted under s. 70.99 (10)
shall schedule a meeting in each taxing jurisdiction on specific dates and shall comply with the provisions of this subsection and sub. (2)
in each taxing district.
The municipal governing body may by ordinance or resolution designate hours, other than those set forth in par. (a)
, during which the board shall hold its first meeting, but not fewer than 2 hours on the first meeting day between 8 a.m. and midnight. Such change in the time shall not become effective unless notice thereof is published in the official newspaper if in a city, or posted in not less than 3 public places if in any other municipality, at least 15 days before such first meeting.
The board may adjourn from time to time until its business is completed. If an adjournment be had for more than one day, a written notice shall be posted on the outer door of the place of meeting, stating to what time said meeting is adjourned.
The clerk shall keep a record in the minute book of all proceedings of the board.
(6) Board's duty.
The board shall carefully examine the roll or rolls and correct all apparent errors in description or computation, and shall add all omitted property as provided in sub. (10)
. The board shall not raise or lower the assessment of any property except after hearing as provided in subs. (8)
A municipality, except a 1st class city or a 2nd class city, shall remove, for the hearing on an objection, a member of the board of review if any of the following conditions applies:
A person who is objecting to a valuation, at the time that the person provides written or oral notice of an intent to file an objection and at least 48 hours before the first scheduled session of the board of review or at least 48 hours before the objection is heard if the objection is allowed under sub. (3) (a)
, requests the removal, except that no more than one member of the board of review may be removed under this subdivision.
A member of the board of review has a conflict of interest under an ordinance of the municipality in regard to the objection.
A member of the board of review has a bias in regard to the objection and, if a party requests the removal of a member for a bias, the party submits with the request an affidavit stating that the party believes that the member has a personal bias or prejudice against the party and stating the nature of that bias or prejudice.
A member of a board of review who would violate s. 19.59
by hearing an objection shall recuse himself or herself from that hearing. The municipal clerk shall provide to the department of revenue an affidavit declaring whether the requirement under this paragraph is fulfilled.
If a member or members are removed under par. (a)
or are recused under par. (b)
, the board may replace the member or members or its remaining members may hear the objection, except that no fewer than 3 members may hear the objection.
Any person may provide to the municipal clerk written comments about valuations, assessment practices and the performance of an assessor. The clerk shall provide all of those comments to the appropriate municipal officer.
The board of review may not hear an objection to the amount or valuation of property unless, at least 48 hours before the board's first scheduled meeting, the objector provides to the board's clerk written or oral notice of an intent to file an objection, except that, upon a showing of good cause and the submission of a written objection, the board shall waive that requirement during the first 2 hours of the board's first scheduled meeting, and the board may waive that requirement up to the end of the 5th day of the session or up to the end of the final day of the session if the session is less than 5 days with proof of extraordinary circumstances for failure to meet the 48-hour notice requirement and failure to appear before the board of review during the first 2 hours of the first scheduled meeting. Objections to the amount or valuation of property shall first be made in writing and filed with the clerk of the board of review within the first 2 hours of the board's first scheduled meeting, except that, upon evidence of extraordinary circumstances, the board may waive that requirement up to the end of the 5th day of the session or up to the end of the final day of the session if the session is less than 5 days. The board may require such objections to be submitted on forms approved by the department of revenue, and the board shall require that any forms include stated valuations of the property in question. Persons who own land and improvements to that land may object to the aggregate valuation of that land and improvements to that land, but no person who owns land and improvements to that land may object only to the valuation of that land or only to the valuation of improvements to that land. No person shall be allowed in any action or proceedings to question the amount or valuation of property unless such written objection has been filed and such person in good faith presented evidence to such board in support of such objections and made full disclosure before said board, under oath of all of that person's property liable to assessment in such district and the value thereof. The requirement that it be in writing may be waived by express action of the board.
No person shall be allowed to appear before the board of review, to testify to the board by telephone or to contest the amount of any assessment of real or personal property if the person has refused a reasonable written request by certified mail of the assessor to enter onto property to conduct an exterior view of the real or personal property being assessed.
For the purpose of this section, the managing entity, as defined in s. 707.02 (15)
, or its designees, may be considered the taxpayer as an agent for the time-share owner, as defined in s. 707.02 (31)
, and may file one objection and make one appearance before the board of review concerning all objections relating to a particular real property improvement and the land associated with it. A time-share owner may file one objection and make one appearance before the board of review concerning the assessment of the building unit in which he or she owns a time share.
After the first meeting of the board of review and before the board's final adjournment, no person who is scheduled to appear before the board of review may contact, or provide information to, a member of the board about that person's objection except at a session of the board.
No person may appear before the board of review, testify to the board by telephone or contest the amount of any assessment unless, at least 48 hours before the first meeting of the board or at least 48 hours before the objection is heard if the objection is allowed under sub. (3) (a)
, that person provides to the clerk of the board of review notice as to whether the person will ask for removal under sub. (6m) (a)
and if so which member will be removed and the person's reasonable estimate of the length of time that the hearing will take.
When appearing before the board, the person shall specify, in writing, the person's estimate of the value of the land and of the improvements that are the subject of the person's objection and specify the information that the person used to arrive at that estimate.
No person may appear before the board of review, testify to the board by telephone or object to a valuation; if that valuation was made by the assessor or the objector using the income method; unless no later than 7 days before the first meeting of the board of review the person supplies to the assessor all of the information about income and expenses, as specified in the manual under s. 73.03 (2a)
, that the assessor requests. The municipality or county shall provide by ordinance for the confidentiality of information about income and expenses that is provided to the assessor under this paragraph and shall provide exceptions for persons using the information in the discharge of duties imposed by law or of the duties of their office or by order of a court. The information that is provided under this paragraph is not subject to the right of inspection and copying under s. 19.35 (1)
unless a court determines before the first meeting of the board of review that the information is inaccurate.
Upon receipt of an objection with respect to the assessment rolls of taxation districts prepared by a county assessor the board of review as constituted under s. 70.99 (10)
may direct such objection to be investigated by the county board of assessors if such board has been established under s. 70.99 (10m)
. If such objection has been investigated by the county board of assessors as provided by s. 70.99 (10m)
, the county board of review may adopt the determination of county board of assessors unless the objector requests or the board of review orders a hearing. At least 2 days' notice of the time fixed for such hearing shall be given to the objector or the objector's attorney and to the corporation counsel. If the county board of review adopts the determination of the county board of assessors and no further hearing is held, the clerk of the board of review shall record the adoption in the minutes of the board and shall correct the assessment roll as provided by s. 70.48
The board shall hear upon oath all persons who appear before it in relation to the assessment. Instead of appearing in person at the hearing, the board may allow the property owner, or the property owner's representative, at the request of either person, to appear before the board, under oath, by telephone or to submit written statements, under oath, to the board. The board shall hear upon oath, by telephone, all ill or disabled persons who present to the board a letter from a physician, physician assistant, or advanced practice nurse prescriber certified under s. 441.16 (2)
that confirms their illness or disability. At the request of the property owner or the property owner's representative, the board may postpone and reschedule a hearing under this subsection, but may not postpone and reschedule a hearing more than once during the same session for the same property. The board at such hearing shall proceed as follows:
The clerk shall swear all persons testifying before it or by telephone in relation to the assessment.
The owner or the owner's representatives and the owner's witnesses shall first be heard.
The board may examine under oath such persons as it believes have knowledge of the value of such property.
It may and upon request of the assessor or the objector shall compel the attendance of witnesses, except objectors who may testify by telephone, and the production of all books, inventories, appraisals, documents and other data which may throw light upon the value of property.
All proceedings shall be taken in full by a stenographer or by a recording device, the expense thereof to be paid by the district. The board may order that the notes be transcribed, and in case of an appeal or other court proceedings they shall be transcribed. If the proceedings are taken by a recording device, the clerk shall keep a list of persons speaking in the order in which they speak.
The clerk's notes, written objections and all other material submitted to the board of review, tape recordings of the proceedings and any other transcript of proceedings shall be retained for at least 7 years, shall be available for public inspection and copies of these items shall be supplied promptly at a reasonable time and place to anyone requesting them at the requester's expense.
All determinations of objections shall be by roll call vote.
The assessor shall provide to the board specific information about the validity of the valuation to which objection is made and shall provide to the board the information that the assessor used to determine that valuation.
The board shall presume that the assessor's valuation is correct. That presumption may be rebutted by a sufficient showing by the objector that the valuation is incorrect.
(8m) Hearing waiver.
The board may, at the request of the taxpayer or assessor, or at its own discretion, waive the hearing of an objection under sub. (8)
or, in a 1st class city, under sub. (16)
and allow the taxpayer to have the taxpayer's assessment reviewed under sub. (13)
. For purposes of this subsection, the board shall submit the notice of decision under sub. (12)
using the amount of the taxpayer's assessment as the finalized amount. For purposes of this subsection, if the board waives the hearing, the waiver disallows the taxpayer's claim on excessive assessment under s. 74.37 (3)
and, notwithstanding the time period under s. 74.37 (3) (d)
, the taxpayer has 60 days from the notice of the hearing waiver in which to commence an action under s. 74.37 (3) (d)
From the evidence before it the board shall determine whether the assessor's assessment is correct. If the assessment is too high or too low, the board shall raise or lower the assessment accordingly and shall state on the record the correct assessment and that that assessment is reasonable in light of all of the relevant evidence that the board received. A majority of the members of the board present at the meeting to make the determination shall constitute a quorum for purposes of making such determination, and a majority vote of the quorum shall constitute the determination. In the event there is a tie vote, the assessment shall be sustained.
A board member may not be counted in determining a quorum and may not vote concerning any determination unless, concerning such determination, such member:
Received the transcript of the hearing no less than 5 days prior to the meeting and read such transcript; or
Received a mechanical recording of the evidence no less than 5 days prior to the meeting and listened to such recording; or
Received a copy of a summary and all exceptions thereto no less than 5 days prior to the meeting and read such summary and exceptions. In this subdivision “summary" means a written summary of the evidence prepared by one or more board members attending the hearing of evidence, which summary shall be distributed to all board members and all parties to the contested assessment and “exceptions" means written exceptions to the summary of evidence filed by parties to the contested assessment.
(10) Assessment by board.
If the board has reason to believe, upon examination of the roll and other pertinent information, that other property, the assessment of which is not complained of, is assessed above or below the general average of the assessment of the taxation district, or is omitted, the board shall:
Notify the owner, agent or possessor of such property of its intention to review such assessment or place it on the assessment roll and of the time and place fixed for such hearing in time to be heard before the board in relation thereto, provided the residence of such owner, agent or possessor be known to any member of the board or the assessor.
Fix the day, hour and place at which such matter will be heard.
Subpoena such witnesses, except objectors who may testify by telephone, as it deems necessary to testify concerning the value of such property and, except in the case of an assessment made by a county assessor pursuant to s. 70.99
, the expense incurred shall be a charge against the district.
At the time appointed proceed to review the matter as provided in sub. (8)
In all proceedings before the board the taxation district shall be a party in interest to secure or sustain an equitable assessment of all the property in the taxation district.
(12) Notice of decision.
Prior to final adjournment, the board of review shall provide the objector, or the appropriate party under sub. (10)
, notice by personal delivery or by mail, return receipt required, of the amount of the assessment as finalized by the board and an explanation of appeal rights and procedures under sub. (13)
and ss. 70.85
. Upon delivering or mailing the notice under this subsection, the clerk of the board of review shall prepare an affidavit specifying the date when that notice was delivered or mailed.
Except as provided in s. 70.85
, appeal from the determination of the board of review shall be by an action for certiorari commenced within 90 days after the taxpayer receives the notice under sub. (12)
. The action shall be given preference. If the court on the appeal finds any error in the proceedings of the board which renders the assessment or the proceedings void, it shall remand the assessment to the board for further proceedings in accordance with the court's determination and retain jurisdiction of the matter until the board has determined an assessment in accordance with the court's order. For this purpose, if final adjournment of the board occurs prior to the court's decision on the appeal, the court may order the governing body of the assessing authority to reconvene the board.