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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 dollars.
Your property taxes are then determined by multiplying the tax rate by your assessment.
Tax Rate X Assessed Value = Taxes
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.
|Taxing Entity ||Tax Amount per Year ||Percentage |
|City of Racine ||$55,837,223.65 ||53% |
|Racine County ||$11,696,567.60 ||11% |
|Racine Unified School District ||$34,351,504.64 ||33% |
|Gateway Technical College ||$2,763,395.42 ||3% |