Duties of the Assessor's Department
The Assessor is responsible for the determination of equitable property assessments resulting in fair distribution of the property tax. Duties include:
- Conducting appraisals of nonmanufacturing real and personal taxable property
- Preparation of real and personal property assessment rolls
- Attending Open Book and Board of Review
- Keeping property records current
Each municipality is required to determine the assessed property value for the entire municipality. The assessed value is the value that the Assessor determines the property is worth for tax purposes. Both real and personal property are assessed. Real property is real estate such as homes and land. Personal property is the equipment and materials a business uses to conduct their operations. Assessed values are determined annually and certified by the Board of Review.
Challenging Assessed Value
Property owners receive notice of changes in their assessed values only when the value changes (increase or decrease). Each year a property owner has an opportunity to challenge the assessed value of their property through Open Book and Board of Review. The process starts with a discussion with the Assessor. This is an informal, 1-on-1 event where both parties discuss how the assessed value was determined. If the Assessor and property owner cannot agree on an assessed value during the Open Book discussion, the owner may petition to appear before the Board of Review.
Board of Review - Appeals The Board of Review is a quasi-judicial body where the owner and the Assessor, under oath, present testimony and evidence to support their differing opinions of the assessed value. By Wisconsin law, the Assessor is presumed correct unless the owner can present direct evidence supporting a different assessed value. After both parties have presented their evidence, the Board of Review votes on a motion to affirm or modify the assessed value (or they may request additional information). After the Board of Review has heard all challenges to property assessments, their vote to adjourn certifies all assessments are final for that year.
If the property owner still does not agree with the assessed value, he or she may seek a circuit court review or appeal to the Wisconsin Department of Revenue.
Once an assessed value is established, it generally does not change until a revaluation is conducted or the owner makes a modification to the property (remodel, addition, demolition etc).
Estimated Fair Market Value and Revaluation
State law requires municipalities to establish community aggregate assessed values within 10% of estimated fair market value at least once every 5 years. The most recent revaluation in Verona was for the 2013 tax year. The City of Verona aggregate ratio, (assessments/fair market value), for 2014, as determined by the Wisconsin Department of Revenue, is .9931 rounded.
The mill rate or the property tax rate per $1,000 of assessed value in the City of Verona is $6.034 (a reduction of 10% in 2016 taxes). The combined mill rate for all taxing jurisdictions (State, Madison Area Technical College, Dane County, Verona Area School District and City of Verona) is $21.81 per $1,000 of assessed value.
The mill rate is established separately and independently from assessed values. The mill rate is a function of the budget and how much taxes have to be levied in order to fund the next year’s budget. The mill rate is calculated by dividing the tax levy (total budgeted money requirements needed from property) by the total assessed value as observed on January 1st of each year for the city. That rate is multiplied times your individual assessed value to determine your individual tax bill. The tax levy is determined and adopted by the Common Council when the budget is adopted.