If you see the valuation of your Town of Verona home increase when you get your assessment next week, don’t fret – it’s not necessarily a sign your taxes will increase.
Rather, the town is updating the property values of residential, commercial and agricultural properties to match market rate so it can distribute the tax burden fairly between property owners.
This year’s revalution is the first in six years for the town, treasurer John Wright told the Press, because the town’s current assessments are at 89.09 percent of the market value, with residential properties sitting at 87 percent of the value.
Wright said there will be some “sticker shock” with valuations, as they’re expected to go up between 10 and 15 percent.
That could translate to an increase in valuation of $50,000 to $80,000 for some homeowners, Wright said, but it doesn’t mean increased taxes. State levy limits prevent that.
“A revalution doesn’t mean that anyone’s taxes are going to go up a nickel,” he said. “All you’re doing is correcting the assessed value to more nearly reflect the market value.”
The reassessment of property value has no impact on the town’s tax levy, or the total amount a municipality collects from taxpayers. Reassessments determine how much of that tax levy each landowner is responsible for, but the state determines the total market value of property in the municipality.
Assessments compare a variety of data, including recent sale and market values among similar properties, to arrive at a market value. In some cases, certain types of property or property in some neighborhoods might increase more or less than the average.
Wright said he believes the largest changes property owners will see are to land values and little to no changes with homes or buildings, after discussions with assessor Nick Laird of Appleton-based Associated Appraisal Consultants, Inc.
Wright said Laird has created a different set of models from what the town’s previous assessor, Paul Musser, had. Musser’s models were based more on square footage, whereas Laird’s models focus more on acreage, Wright said.
Newer homes that have recent sales bills likely won’t see much of a change because assessors can see the market sale price, but older homes are harder to assess because of depreciation adjustments. Those homes are instead assessed against other properties with similar demographics, including the square footage and the number of bedrooms or bathrooms.
Wright said there won’t be much of an impact to commercial properties because they make up such a small percentage of the town’s property value, and land value of agricultural acres are predetermined in each county by a state government board.
Properties that contain forest land will likely see their assessments go up, Wright said, simply because they were valued differently under Musser’s models than Laird’s.
Wright said he expects to be “swamped” with resident concerns over the next month.
During Open Book, which is scheduled for 2-6 p.m. Tuesday, July 16, at the Town Hall, 7669 County Hwy. PD, property owners can look over the assessment rolls of all properties. And any property owner can call Laird with questions or concerns about an assessment at (920) 749-1995.
If that process is not satisfactory, any property owner can challenge an assessment in front of the Board of Review, which essentially is the Town Board convening for this purpose. That is set for 6 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 1.