Village poised to reassess properties

Committee recommends starting two-year process this fall after valuation ratio falls below accepted level
By 
JOE POIRIER
Ozaukee Press Staff

The vast majority of properties in the Village of Grafton have a disparity between their assessed and equalized values, meaning the village could be collecting more in property taxes. 

According to village documents, 2019 assessed valuation is projected to be only 84% of the equalized value. 

State law requires municipalities to have no more than a 10% disparity between assessed and equalized ratios.

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

Thyes said properties in the village haven’t been re-evaluated 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. 

Based on the 84% ratio, officials projected the impact to the village’s tax rate would increase from $7.19 to $7.34 with the same $7.75 million of tax levy being collected for 2020 as the current year.

The Finance Committee agreed to begin revaluation this fall to ensure all properties except industrial  will be completed by fall of 2020. 

The cost of the project is $220,000. 

A portion of the project to be done this year will cost $75,000. However, that expense was not anticipated and is not covered in the 2019 budget.

Thyes said the cost will be covered by $50,000 in contingency funds and the remainder by reallocating health-insurance expenses and unused wage-reserve funds. 

Thyes said the expenses for 2019 will not be realized due to staffing changes and related health-insurance changes as well as funds not spent due to the timing of staff replacements required from resignations. 

The remaining project cost of $145,000 will be addressed in the 2020 budget. 

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

Officials are planning to host an open house at village hall this summer to address residents’ concerns about reassessment. 

The committee’s recommendation to have the reassessment done goes to the Village Board, which will meet Monday, July 15.

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