Assessment inspections will begin next week

In-home visits required to bring village into compliance with state revaluation law
By 
JOE POIRIER
Ozaukee Press Staff

Assessors will begin in-home inspections in Grafton next Friday as the village-wide property revaluation project gets underway.

Officials said the vast majority of properties in the village have a disparity between their assessed and market values, meaning the village could be collecting more in property taxes if the values are equalized.  

According to village documents, the 2019 assessed values are expected to be 84% of market value. State law requires that ratio to be no less than 90% or a reassessment must be conducted within five years. 

“We’re out of compliance with state requirements,” Village Administrator Jesse Thyes said during a July Finance Committee meeting.

Thyes said properties in the village haven’t been reassessed by physical inspections since 2005. In April 2018, the village changed its contracted assessments services consultant from Mass Appraisals to Associated Appraisals, which discovered the discrepancy.

The committee agreed to begin revaluation this fall to ensure all properties, except industrial, will be reassessed by the fall of 2020. 

The reassessment will cost $220,000, of which $75,000 will be paid this year. 

The reassessment was not anticipated and is not included in the 2019 budget. Thyes said it will be paid for using $50,000 in contingency funds and an allocation of health insurance expenses and unused wage reserve funds.

The remaining $145,000 will be included in the 2020 budget.

Residents will be notified by mail and online postings to schedule a time for the inspections by crews of Associated Appraisals. 

Thyes said property owners will have an opportunity to discuss the proposed valuations with a representative of Associated Appraisals and can submit information that they feel is relevant to their assessment. 

The assessors and the village’s Board of Review would review the information to determine if an adjustment is warranted. 

The new property values will be used for the tax bills that are due Jan. 1, 2021.

The project will be ongoing through the fall of 2020, officials said.   

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Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

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