This summer (if you can call it that) has been cooler, rainier and more overcast than normal. As a result it has depressed beach and tourist revenue, however, “Accurate Appraisal” came to the city’s rescue by raising the property assessments more than enough to offset those losses. Unfortunately, when the city raises appraisals not only do the city taxes increase, but the county, school and Gateway taxes also increase. Don’t expect to get more services for the higher property tax. In fact, expect to get less, like maybe paying $3 to $5 for our resident 2 hr. free parking sticker and/or limiting resident free parking to non-holiday week days.
Yes, the property assessment went up significantly although citizens will be told that the assessment doesn’t determine the taxes. It’s like being told that what goes into the horse is not related to what come out the other end of the horse and expecting everyone to believe that. The fair market value of property must be within 10% of the assessed value and the fair market value times the taxing mill rates is what the property tax is calculated to be. This means that the property assessment even if it is correct, could be 10% to higher than before. That means citizens could be paying that extra 10% compound year after year because homes are not assessed individually, but rated are raised across the board. A 5% raise becomes a 5.5% raise, just like that.
You can question the appraiser’s assessment, but property owners are limited to questioning the value of property to the assessments of similar properties in the area, or to the 2014 selling price of a similar property nearby. Is this new appraisal fair? To determine fairness a property owner needs to start looking outside this confinement box.
First: Go to and navigate through the county’s website http://gisinfo.co.walworth.wi.us/map3x/index.html?config=config/walco.xml
- Zero in on the property. There will be a parcel number. (Tax key number) for looking up taxes.
- To look up the tax information from 2001 to 2012 (for reference) click on the (?) on the bar, then click on the parcel information search, then enter the first alpha part of the Parcel No. (Tax Key No.), and then select the property and category (2nd Column is taxes).
- A property owner could be surprised at what he or she may find.