The City Assessor
The City Assessor is responsible for discovering, listing and estimating the value of all property in the City except manufacturing property which is valued by the State. Changes to the value of a property (new construction, renovation work, and demolition, for example) is added or subtracted each year. The statutory date for assessment is January 1. In other words, the value of the property as it exists on January 1 is how it will be assessed.
The purpose of this office is to insure that the burden of real estate taxation is distributed fairly among all the property owners in the City, so that you and other taxpayers may contribute a fair share of support for the community services you receive.
For these services to continue, other agencies, as well as the City, must levy taxes. The other taxing agencies include the Prairie du Chien School District, Crawford County, State of Wisconsin, and the Southwest Wisconsin Technical College. Taxes levied by these other agencies are included in your tax bill with the taxes levied by the City of Prairie du Chien.
Each year the governing bodies of the various taxing agencies propose budgets for the next year. To finance the expenditures in the budget, they total all expected sources of revenue such as permit fees, state aids and shared taxes, and license fees. This is subtracted from the estimated expenditures. The remainder, which is the total amount to be collected through property taxes, is the called the "tax levy." The amount of the tax levy for the City of Prairie du Chien is determined by the Common Council. The levy is raised by multiplying the value of all the property in the City by a percentage, called the tax rate. The rate is the same for all property owners. When this tax rate is applied to the value of all the taxable property in the City, it will total to the exact amount of money needed for the levy to help finance City operations.
The tax rate is calculated by simply dividing the amount of taxes needed by the total assessed value of all taxable property in the City.
Tax Rate = Levy ÷ Total Assessed Value
The tax rate when multiplied by the assessed value of your property, equals what you owe in taxes -- your tax bill. The tax rate is often expressed in terms of dollars per thousand of assessed value, or as a "mill rate."
Differing with the Assessment of Your Property
If your opinion of the value of your property differs from the Assessor's, please contact the Assessor and discuss the matter with him. The Assessor is happy to discuss any questions you may have about the valuation. The Assessor will review all pertinent facts related to valuation.
Board of Review
The Board of Review is a quasi-judicial body that hears and decides objections to the valuation of property as shown on the assessment roll. Additionally, the Board of Review can correct any errors or omissions in the descriptions or computations found on the assessment roll as well as check the roll for omitted property and double assessments. The Board of Review consists of five residents of the City appointed by the Mayor with approval by the City Council. The Board can act only upon evidence given in the form of sworn oral testimony. You should furnish significant evidence supporting your estimate of market value. The Assessor will also present evidence relating to the analysis performed on your property. Then the Board will decide to either raise, lower, or leave unchanged the value of your property. Keep in mind that the Board can act only on evidence related to value.