What is a Revaluation?

We all pay property taxes. Property taxes need to be equitably levied. That means that cities need to regularly check the values of property. This process is called “revaluation.”

The last revaluation for the City of Wausau was completed as of January 1, 2015 . Why does the city do this? There are several reasons:

  • The Wisconsin Department of Revenue compares our current assessments to current sales (expressed as a ratio) in order to monitor if we are in compliance. If the city-wide ratio falls out of compliance (less than 90% or over 110% of fair market value), a Revaluation is necessary.
  • Inequities may exist within a specific class of property. The market values of different types of property may change at different rates. In addition, within a class such as residential property, there may be market value differences in competing neighborhoods.
  • Inequities may also exist between classes of property. The values for residential and commercial properties may change at different rates.

How are Real Estate Assessments Made?

Assessments are made in accordance with Chapter 70, of the Wisconsin Statutes, General Property Taxes which requires all property subject to assessment to be valued by the assessor in the manner specified in the Wisconsin Property Assessment Manual from an actual view or from the best information that the assessor can practicably obtain, at the full value which could be ordinarily obtained at a private sale.

The Wisconsin Constitution, Article VIII, Section 1, provides for uniformity of assessment. With the above legal directives in mind, the assessor is charged with the task of determining the fair market value of your property. Property values are made by state-certified assessors, and every effort is made to achieve the greatest possible degree of uniformity.

What does the Assessor do?

The City Assessor has three major duties: Discover, list and estimate the value of all taxable property within the jurisdiction of the city.

To insure that all property is treated uniformly, the Assessor's procedures must conform to State laws dealing with property taxation. Furthermore, commonly accepted appraisal and accounting practices must be used.

Why is it Necessary to Change Assessments Periodically?

State law requires that all properties be assessed at their FULL MARKET VALUE. As property values change in the market place, these value changes must be reflected on the assessment roll.

Will I be notified if there is a Change in my Assessment? How can I find out about any Assessment?

We will mail you a notice if your assessment is to be higher than it was the previous year. All assessments are available for examination by the public.

Assessment rolls are open for examination in the Assessment Department during business hours. Inquiry can be made by furnishing the Property Identification Number (PIN) or the address of the property. Information is also available with the Assessment Search Tool.

What is Open Book?

Open Book is when the Assessment Roll is first available for public review. It is also a period when you can make appointments to come in, review your property record card and discuss any valuation concerns you may have with the property appraiser assigned to your area. Most assessment questions can be answered during the informal “Open Book” process.