The City of Lake Geneva contracts with Associated Appraisal Consultants, Inc., to provide all assessment services within the city. All real estate and personal property in the City of Lake Geneva is assessed annually. The purpose of an assessment is to assure that all property in the city is valued fairly and equitably for taxing purposes. The assessor may request to view your property for purposes of updating the City's property records for assessment purposes.
2023 Revaluation of Assessments
City of Lake Geneva Assessments to be Updated to 100% Market Value
For the upcoming 2023 tax assessment year, the City Assessor, Associated Appraisal Consultants, will be conducting a revaluation of all properties for the purpose of updating all assessed values to reflect market conditions as of January 1, 2023.
Municipal revaluations are periodically required by the State of Wisconsin and typically take place about once every five to ten years.
Although assessments will generally be increased, the revaluation will have no impact on the total amount of property taxes collected. This is because the tax levy is determined separately and independently of assessed values. However, the revaluation will re-distribute the tax burden in an equitable fashion according the current market value of each property in the City. By updating all assessed values to current market conditions, the revaluation will ensure a fair and equitable distribution of the property tax levy among all individual properties.
To ensure that an accurate revaluation is performed, it will be necessary for the appraisal staff to conduct an exterior review of all homes and accessory buildings within the City. For your security, each appraiser will carry a letter of identification from the City Clerk, a Photo ID tag, and will be driving a red fleet vehicle clearly identified with the Associated Appraisal company logo. If no one is home when the appraiser visits your property, a door hanger will be left with instructions on how to arrange an appointment for an interior review.
Notices of assessment will be distributed when the property reviews are complete and new assessed values are determined for each property. Property owners will have an opportunity to discuss the assessed values with an Associated Appraisal representative at the Open Book session. After the Open Book session, property owners will have the opportunity to appeal an assessment to the Board of Review. The Notices of Assessment will contain the dates and times of the Open Book and Board of Review meetings.
The City of Lake Geneva thanks you for your help and cooperation in ensuring a successful revaluation program.
COMMON ASSESSMENT QUESTIONS
Some of my neighbors have told me the only reason for the reassessment is to raise taxes. Is this true?
No. a reassessment has no impact on the total amount of taxes collected. However, it may change your property’s percentage share of total taxes collected to increase, decrease or, have a minimal effect.
How does the assessor value property?
Wisconsin law requires that property assessments be based on Fair Market Value. Estimating the market value of your property is a matter of determining the price a typical buyer would pay for it in its present condition. Some factors the assessor considers are: what similar properties are selling for; what it would cost to replace your property; the rent it may earn; and any other factors that affect value. It is important to remember that the assessor does not create assessed value, but rather interprets what is happening in the market place through real estate sales.
What can I do to ensure a fair and reasonable assessed value for my property?
Even with the best of care and intentions, mistakes are possible. Inform the assessor of any problems that might affect market value. There will be an opportunity to discuss your assessment with the assessor at the Open Book. Should you feel your assessment is in error, bring to the Open Book any documentation that supports your opinion of value. Property owners will be notified if there is a change to their assessment, when the project is completed. If the discussion with the assessor does not resolve your concerns, a Board of Review will be held where you can again present sales or other market value evidence that shows the assessment to be in error.
Do all assessments change at the same rate?
No, not necessarily. There are differences between individual properties and between neighborhoods. In one area, the sales may indicate a substantial increase in value in a given year. Yet in another neighborhood for example, there may be no change in value, or even a decrease in property values. Different types of properties within the same neighborhood may also show different value changes. For example, one-story houses may be more in demand than two-story houses, or vice versa. Older homes in the same area may be rising in value more slowly than newer homes. Perhaps the older style homes that have been traditionally selling low are now selling much higher. There are numerous factors to be considered in each property, which will cause the values to differ. Some of the factors which can affect value are: location, condition, size, quality, number of baths, number of bedrooms, basement finish, garages, overall condition as well as many others.
What is the bottom line?
Assessments are required by state law and are mandatory. The real issue is whether your property is assessed at the statutory required market value. Look at your final assessment after the revaluation. If it appears to be an accurate value when compared to sales of similar property, then it probably is a fair assessment. If, in your opinion, it does not reflect the market value of your property when compared to sales of similar properties, you should talk to our assessment staff. We may be able to provide information or take further actions to resolve your concerns.
Each municipality is required to assess property on an annual basis. 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 includes real estate such as homes, buildings and land. Personal property is the furniture, fixtures, and equipment that a business uses to conduct their operations. It is the assessor's responsibility to ensure that all property within the city is valued uniformly as market trends dictate. When a property's assessed value changes from one year to the next, the assessor sends a notice of assessment by regular mail to the owner of record.
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 begins with an informal discussion with the assessor. If, after the Open Book meetings, the assessor and property owner cannot agree on an assessed value, the owner may make a formal objection before the Board of Review.
Board of Review
The Board of Review is a quasi-judicial body where the property owner and the assessor present testimony and evidence under oath to support their differing opinions of the assessed value. By Wisconsin law, the assessor is presumed correct unless the property 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 the Board 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. The Board of Review is the final opportunity for property assessments to be challenged each year.
2023 Open Book
November 2, 2023 at 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.- held by phone; appointments can be made by calling 920-749-1995
November 7, 2023 at 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.- held in person; appointments can be made by calling 920-749-1995
Property Owners will be able to schedule their own appointments with the Assessor during the Open Book. Open Book appointments are made directly through Associated Appraisal Consultants, not at City Hall.
For more information, please contact Associated at 920-749-1995.
2023 Board of Review
November 21, 2023 at 9:00 a.m.- Located in Council Chambers of Lake Geneva City Hall
Accommodations will be made for those who wish to appear in person or via Zoom, please email the City Clerk Lana Kropf for details.
If you intend to file an objection, you must file a written or oral Notice of Intent to Appeal at least 48 hours before the first scheduled BOR meeting. You must also file a completed written and signed form of Objection to Property Assessment (PDF) with the Board of Review Clerk Lana Kropf (City Clerk).
For more information on the appeal process, visit the WI Department of Revenue's Property Assessment Appeal Guide for Wisconsin Real Property Owners website.
An overview of the process of assessment and taxation in the State of Wisconsin can be found in the Wisconsin Department of Revenue's Guide for Property Owners (PDF).
Property Assessment Information
- The Legal Description
- Lot Size
- Building Description
- Building Size
- Year Built
- Additional Structures
- Last Sale Date
- Total Assessed Value of the Land
- Total Assessed Value of the Buildings
- Assessment Year
If you need more information than is available online, please call Associated Appraisal Consultants Inc.