Assessment Review and Appeal

General Outline of Assessment Review and Appeal Procedures

Please review the steps for reviewing and appealing an assessment below:

  1. After the assessment roll is completed: contact local clerk to find out individual assessment: or receive notification of increase in assessment; or inspect assessment roll located in County Treasurer's office.
  2. Determine if assessment is equitable.
  3. If not, talk with assessor about the assessment.
  4. If not satisfied with the explanation, file objection form and appear before board of review.
  5. If dissatisfied with board of review decision, consider one of three possible appeals: circuit court; Department of Revenue or local governing body. Department of Revenue or governing body of decision that is adverse to property owner may be appealed to the circuit court.
  6. Beyond circuit court, further appeal may be to the court of appeals and then to the Wisconsin Supreme Court.

Assessment Increases

A property owner whose assessment has increased should check first with the assessor. Some municipalities hold an "open book" during which assessments may be reviewed and the assessor questioned. If the property owner has a dispute with the assessed value, the dispute can be brought to the attention of the Board of Review.

Assessment Board of Review

This board is comprised of members living within the municipality. Typically, the board will compare the property and values to similar properties in the immediate area, and determine if the property has received a fair value. Assessment rolls may be inspected by the first Monday in May or a later date set by the board. It is too late to dispute the assessed value after the property tax bill as arrived.


All property within a municipality is periodically revalued. Property that previously was under assessed will have higher values assigned. Other assessed parcels will receive a lower assessment, and some assessments might remain unchanged.While most property owners are concerned about assessment increases, they also should be alert for legitimate decreases. Events that might adversely affect property values include a contaminated water supply, a failing septic system, or significant changes in a neighborhood.

Reasons for a Rising Assessment

There are several reasons why an assessment might rise from one year to the next. If improvements are made to the property, such as the addition of a new room or garage, the value of the property is higher and the assessment might be changed to reflect the increase. In many municipalities, a building permit will alert the assessor to the improvement. In other cases, the sale price of the property, or of similar properties, might result in a change in the assessment. Local assessors receive a copy of real estate transfer tax returns. Any change in assessment should adjust the assessed value to the general level of assessment of all comparable property in the community.