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  • Assessed Value: An estimate of value assigned to taxable property by the assessor for purposes of taxation.
  • Market Value: The amount a typical, well-informed purchaser would be willing to pay for a property. For a sale to represent market value, the seller must be willing (but not under pressure) to sell, and the buyer must be willing (but not under any obligation) to buy. The property must be on the market for a reasonable length of time, the payment must be in cash or its equivalent, and the financing must be typical for that type of property.
  • Revaluation: Placing new values on all taxable property for purposes of a new assessment.
  • Tax Base: The total assessed value of all assessments in the municipality.
  • Tax Levy: The total amount of property tax money that a taxing unit (such as the schools, city, county, etc.) needs to raise to provide services.
  • Tax Rate: The tax levy divided by the tax base. It is often expressed in terms of dollars per hundred or dollars per thousand. The tax rate is multiplied by the assessed value to determine the amount of property tax that each property owner must pay.

Property Assessment and Revaluation FAQ’s

What does the City Assessor’s office do? And what assessment services are provided?

The City Assessor’s office collects data and reviews sales to determine the assessed value for each property. We determine neighborhood values using mass appraisal. We can share details on how your value was determined!

Assessment services includes reviewing recently sold properties to update their data, reviewing renovations or new construction based on permits pulled, and assisting property owners in understanding the assessment process.

How can an assessment change when nothing has been done to the property? And how can it change if the assessor staff has not been inside my property?

General economic conditions such as interest rates, inflation rates, supply and demand, and changes in tax laws will influence the value of real estate. As property values change in the market place, those changes must be reflected on the assessment roll.

Why is my property value different than my neighbor’s?

While your neighbor’s house may look similar to yours, subtle differences can have major impacts on value. Examples include the number of bathrooms, a new garage, and popular styles per market trends.

Do all assessments change at the same rate?

Assessments do not all change at the same rate. There are differences between individual properties and between neighborhoods. In one area, sales may indicate a substantial increase in value in a given year. In another neighborhood, there may be no change in value, or a decrease in property values.

Different types of properties within the same neighborhood may also show different value changes. For example, one-story houses may be more in demand than two-story houses, or vice-versa. Older homes in the same area may be rising in value more slowly than newer homes. Generally, commercial and industrial properties do not appreciate at the same rate as single-family homes. There are numerous factors to be considered which can affect value; such as location, condition, size, quality, number of bathrooms, finished basement, garages, and many others.

Why is there a citywide assessment of residential and commercial property in 2024?

Wisconsin cities are mandated by the State to conduct periodic valuations of real estate to achieve equitable assessments. The last revaluation for the City of Oshkosh was done in 2017.

What is a revaluation? And what is a maintenance year?

A revaluation means that all commercial and residential properties’ values are updated at once, per State requirements. It provides a “catchup” to the marketplace to ensure all property owners pay their fair share in taxes.

The time period between revaluations is used for updating property data. Assessors enter information about new construction and permitted home remodeling updates. Any year where there is not a revaluation is considered a maintenance year.

How does the assessor value property?

Wisconsin Law requires that property assessments be based on fair market or “true cash” value. Estimating the market value of your property is a matter of determining the price a typical buyer would pay for it in its present condition.

The Assessment Services Division utilizes a massive database containing detailed information about each parcel and property. Sales records are also maintained which help assessors determine the best comparable sales.

Some factors considered are: what similar properties are selling for, what it would cost to replace your property, the rent it may earn, and other factors that affect value. The assessor does not create this value, but rather interprets what is happening in the market place.

What is “Open Book”?

Open Book is a period of time that the assessor and the assessment records must be available to the public. It is a time where property owners can learn how assessments were made, what factors were considered, and what type of records are kept for each property. This is the best time for property owners to ask questions about the assessment process. Property owners can make sure the size, age, condition, number of bathrooms, and other physical characteristics of their property is listed correctly. Minor errors and misunderstandings can be easily corrected by meeting with the assessor during Open Book! If you know of recent sales of similar property in your neighborhood (comparable sales) that you think could better reflect the value of your property, this is the time to bring them to the attention of the assessor!

I have recently built a new home. Will the construction costs of a new home be considered?

Your construction cost is a historical figure, which may or may not reflect the current fair market value of your property. It is only one element that is considered.

What will happen to my assessment if I improve or repair my property?

Improvements that increase the market value of a home may increase the assessed value. The following are typical items that may increase the value of your home: added rooms or garages, siding, modernization of kitchen or baths, central air conditioning, fireplaces, extensive remodeling.

Good maintenance will help retain the market value of your property. Generally, your assessment will not be increased for individual minor repairs such as those that follow; however, a combination of several of these items could result in an increased assessment: repairing walks and driveways, replacing gutters and downspouts, replacing water heater, repair or replacing the roof, repairing porches and steps, repairing original siding, patching or repairing interior walls or ceilings, exterior painting, replacing electrical fixtures, replacing a furnace, replacing exterior awnings and shutters, weather stripping, screens, storm windows, exterior doors, landscaping, etc.

Will I be notified if there is a change in my assessment?

Wisconsin law requires that the assessor notify owners whose total assessment changed from the previous year. However, failure to receive a notice does not invalidate the assessment! The notice must be in writing and mailed at least 15 days (30 days in revaluation years) prior to the first meeting of the Board of Review. The notice contains the amount of the changed assessment and the time, date, and place of the Board of Review meeting. The notice must include information notifying the owner of the procedures to be used to object to the assessment. Property owners should contact the assessor staff to get more information about their assessment before attempting to object to the assessment at the Board of Review.

How do I know if my assessment is correct?

You should first attempt to decide for yourself what your property is worth. This can be done by looking at area sales, contacting appraisers, and comparing assessments of similar homes in your neighborhood. Sales and assessment information are available from the assessor and open to the public for review during regular office hours. Sales are also available online on our homepage.

What if I disagree with my assessment?

Annually, a review period called “Open Book” takes place in spring at City Hall. Property owners who disagree with their property’s assessed value can meet with staff to present their evidence and get more information about the process used to determine their property value.

How could a higher property value impact my tax bill in 2024?

A higher property value does not necessarily mean a higher tax bill. The City tax rate is voted on by the City’s Common Council.
Your Property Tax = Your Property’s Assessed Value x Tax Rate

How will the revaluation impact my property taxes? And how does the tax rate impact my tax bill?

The revaluation process redistributes the existing tax burden between property owners. This means revaluation is a revenue neutral process that does not exist to generate excess income for the City.

Four taxing jurisdictions impact your tax rate: the City of Oshkosh, Winnebago County, the Oshkosh Area School District, and Fox Valley Technical College. Increases to the tax levy due to voting referendums will impact the tax rate which means increases in your property tax can be due to reasons other than your property’s assessed value.

What is the Board of Review?

The Board of Review is a court-like body made up of either local officials or citizens appointed by the governing body. The Board of Review hears evidence from you and then from the assessor before making a decision on whether or not the value put on your property is correct. The Board can act only upon evidence presented at the hearing.

After meeting with assessment staff during the Open Book period to discuss the property, if I still think the assessment is incorrect, what can I do?

You should arrange to appear at the Board of Review. You must contact the City Clerk at least 48 hours prior to the Board of Review. The City Clerk can provide you with an objection form that you must complete. You would then be scheduled for a hearing at the Board of Review. When you receive your tax bill in December, it is too late to file an objection. Paying your taxes under protest does not constitute an assessment objection unless you have first filed an appeal with the Board of Review.

What evidence do I need to present at the Board of Review?

You, as the property owner, would need to prove that the assessment is incorrect. Your evidence must be strong enough to prove that the assessor’s value is incorrect. Remember, unless you present convincing evidence that proves the assessor’s value is incorrect, your assessment will not be changed. The Board considers only relevant testimony given at the hearing. Stating only that your taxes are too high is not relevant information. You should establish what value you think your property is worth and then present evidence to the Board of Review.

The best evidence would be recent sale prices for properties similar to yours (known as comparable sales). The closer in proximity and similarity, the better the evidence. Another type of evidence is oral testimony from a witness who has made a recent appraisal of your property.

What if there are no comparable sales?

The value may be estimated using other available information. This may include sales of less comparable properties, asking prices, cost and income approaches to value, options to purchase, recent appraisals, insurance estimates, and assessments of other comparable properties.

If I want to appeal my assessment, am I required to appear at the Board of Review?

It is important to appear at the Board of Review. Most appeal methods require that you first appear at the Board of Review. If you cannot attend the hearing; you can arrange for a friend, relative, attorney or other representative to appear before the Board on your behalf. You should present all of the information that you believe affects the value of your property. In the case of an appeal to Circuit Court, the court would make its decision based on evidence presented to the Board of Review. Disabled or ill property owners may call-in to the Board of Review hearing via phone or submit a written letter in advance of the hearing for consideration if they can also present a letter from a doctor that confirms their illness or disability.

State law does allow the Board of Review to waive the hearing and allow the property owner to appeal directly to the circuit court. The Board of Review determines whether it will waive the hearing.

Note: You cannot appeal your assessment to the Department of Revenue under state law (Wis. Stats. § 70.85), if the Board of Review waives the hearing.

For additional information,
contact the Assessor's Office at
(920) 236-5070.
Office Hours: 8:00a.m.-4:30p.m. (M-F).