Are the property taxes by Accurate Appraisal’s fair and accurate?
We aren’t allowed to know. Shortly after January 2011, when the City of Lake Geneva contracted with Accurate Appraisal, LLC, to provide professional assessment services for the city’s residents and property owners, they (in 2013) ended public access to property tax information. Yes, they have what is called an “Open Book,” but Accurate Appraisal’s “Open Book is a brief carefully controlled few hours of viewing into what otherwise is a “Closed Book”.
2020 Open Book: Monday, March 16, 2021, Noon to 3:00 pm and 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm and Tuesday, March 17, 2021, 9:00 am to Noon and 1:00 pm to 3:00 p.m. Property owners will be able to schedule their own appointments with the Assessor during the Open Book. Prior to the contract with Accurate Appraisal, LLC, all property tax information in Walworth County was on the Walworth County website and available 24/7. It was easy for anyone to look up and find the Tax-key-Number for any property and then see who owned the property and the taxes that they had to pay by year for the last 10 years. That old tax information is available at https://gisinfo.co.walworth.wi.us/oneview/.
If you zoom in close enough, you can see the property’s “Tax Key Numbers.” Knowing the Tax key number, click on “? Resources”. Then click on parcel search information. Then enter just the alpha prefix of the tax key number and press “Search”. Scroll to the Tax-Key numbers to the one you want to see, then click on the 2nd column (tax bill) and see the taxes paid from 2001 to 2012. One City of Lake Geneva ex-public official’s tax bill was lowered in 2005 and although it increased every year after that, by 2012 that official’s property taxes were still less in 2012 than they had been in 2004; was yours? Why under Accurate Appraisal, LLC are property taxes hidden from public view, when prior they were available for free 24/7 on the county’s website? What someone else does not pay, we pay.
Without good oversight and holding people and companies accountable, secrecy leads to misuse and corruption and Accurate Appraisal’s track record may show that they are not immune.