By: Christopher J. Jaekels and Ryan M. Spott
The City of Milwaukee recently sent its 2020 “Notice of Assessed Value – Real Property” to City of Milwaukee property owners. City of Milwaukee property owners can all expect one commonality—an increase in assessed values across all 15 of the City’s aldermanic districts. According to the Assessor’s Office, the average assessment increased 9.14% citywide. Depending on the size of the increase, the best course of action for the property owner is to notify the City of its objection to the increased assessment and to reserve the property owner’s rights to further negotiations with the City regarding the assessment, or a formal appeal to the Board of Review. The deadline for filing an objection is Monday, May 18, 2020, at 4:45 p.m. Please note that in order to properly review your Notice of Assessment, you should contact counsel soon as possible since the May 18th deadline is fast approaching.
In today’s environment, we have become accustomed to extended filing deadlines and process changes due to the COVID-19 pandemic. COVID-19 does NOT delay 2020 assessments or objection and appeal filing deadlines, and does not impact the value and classification determinations for 2020 assessments. The recently-released 2020 assessments are effective as of January 1, 2020, and are based on the property’s value as of January 1, 2020.
The City of Milwaukee is, however, making changes to its “Open Book” review process. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, in-person Open Book review will not be available to property owners to discuss their 2020 property values with the assessor. Rather, property owners are encouraged to discuss their 2020 property values with assessors via web, email, or phone.
If you have received a Notice of Assessment increase and desire to object to the increase, contact your Davis|Kuelthau attorney, the authors linked above, or the related practice group co-chairs linked here. Other municipalities release their Notices of Assessment at varying times throughout the year and have varying deadlines for objection, and we would be happy to review Assessments from other municipalities, as well, when they arrive.
We will continue to monitor the impact of COVID-19 and provide guidance to businesses via our Coronavirus Legal and Business Resource hub.