The Official Website of the City of Racine
How Reassessment Affects your Taxes
Residential Historical Assessment
The Assessment Process
Assessment Property Classes
Tax Rates: All Government Units
Glossary of Assessor Terms
City Assessor's Office City Hall - Rm. 207 730 Washington Ave. Racine, WI 53403 Main Phone: 262-636-9119
The reasons why an assessment might change can be broken down into
two major categories:
1. Physical changes, such as additions, remodeling, or deterioration.
2. Economic factors such as inflation, demand of the market reflected by
increases or decreases in market value, and external factors in the
An assessment, like all appraisals, is an estimate of value. It is
not an exact number; therefore, a reasonable range of value is considered
acceptable, approximately 10%. But, if you feel your assessment is too high, the
steps you should follow are:
1. Make an appointment to talk with the assessor who viewed your property.
That assessor is familiar with the values of other properties in that area and
can show you sales of comparable properties and explain how the value was
2. If you still feel your property is over assessed, you may request an
interior inspection by your assessor in order to review your assessment. Your
assessor has already viewed the outside and in order to make a change, they need
to see the inside.
3. The third step would be to file a written objection form to appear at the
board of review to present sworn oral testimony that your assessment is
inequitable. This is done by presenting evidence to establish the value of the
property, such as a recent arm's length sale of the property, sales of
comparable property, and/or the testimony of an independent appraiser. After
establishing the market value, you must show your property is over assessed by
more than 10% of your full value assessment.
4. If the board of review sustains the assessment, you may appeal that
decision to the Wisconsin department of revenue or to the Circuit Court of
Racine County. You may want to at this stage of the appeal process consult with
an attorney to assist you through all the legal options available to you.
If you would like to check on your assessment or those of others, you can do
so during the office times set by the assessor.
What if I don’t agree with my assessment?
Talk with the assessor. During this informal session you can learn how your
assessment was made, what factors were considered, and what type of records are
kept regarding your property.
After this review, if I still think the assessment is incorrect, what
can I do?
You should arrange to appear at the Board of Review. The City Clerk will
provide you with an objection form that you must complete. You will 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 is the Board of Review?
The Board of Review is made up of citizens appointed by the Mayor and
approved by the Common Council. It is the Board’s duty to hear evidence by the
taxpayer and the assessor and to decide if the assessment is correct.
What evidence do I need to present to the Board of
State law puts the burden of proof on the property owner to show that the
assessment is incorrect. Keep in mind that your evidence must be strong enough
to prove that the assessor’s value is incorrect. Only relevant testimony given
at the hearing will be considered by the Board. STATING THAT PROPERTY TAXES ARE
TOO HIGH IS NOT RELEVANT TESTIMONY.
You should establish in your own mind what you think your property is worth.
The best evidence for this would be recent sales prices for properties similar
to yours. 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 happens after the Board of Review makes its
The Board will mail you a notice of its decision. If you do not agree with
the Board’s determination, the notice will contain information on how you may
appeal the Board’s decision.
How will my taxes change as a result of the new
Though the value of your property affects your share of taxes, the actual
amount you pay is determined by the budget needs of the schools, city, county,
technical college, and state reforestation.
All of these taxing units decide what services they will provide in the
coming year and how much money they will need to provide those services. Once
this decision is made, a tax rate is adopted that will generate the needed
Your property taxes are then determined by multiplying the tax rate by your
Tax Rate X Assessed Value = Taxes
Where do my tax dollars go?
Although your tax payments are made to the City Treasurer, a large share of
your tax dollars are turned over to other governmental units such as the
schools, county, technical college, and the state.
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