Assessment Change Notices
Discussing Your Assessment Change
We only send out Assessment Change Notices to property owners if the assessment has changed from the prior year. Here are 3 options if you wish to talk about your Assessment Change Notice:
- Contact the Assessor’s Office at 608-825-1186. If your question cannot immediately be answered you will be directed to the appraiser for your area.
- If you have recently received an Assessment Change Notice, we encourage you to contact our office to make an appointment to meet with the appraiser during Open Book.
- Meet with the appraiser during Open Book.
Each year after property assessments are determined, they are posted to the Assessment Roll. Assessment Change Notices are then mailed to property owners if the assessment has changed from the prior year. The city then opens the Assessment Roll for public review during the Open Book period.
Open Book is the period of time just after the Assessor has completed the annual Assessment Roll and Assessment Change Notices have been mailed. In Sun Prairie it is usually the first 2 weeks after the Assessment Change Notices have been mailed.
During this time the Assessment Roll is open to the whole community for review. Time is reserved for property owners to make appointments with the Assessing staff to review property records and discuss valuation concerns. The Assessor’s staff will have a limited number of evening appointments available.
If you wish to object to your assessment we encourage you to first meet with a member of the Assessor’s staff who can answer your questions.
Reasons for Assessment Changes
General economic conditions, such as interest rates, inflation, supply and demand, and changes in tax laws will influence the market value of real estate. As property values change in the market place, those changes must be reflected on the Assessment Roll on an annual basis. Consequently, assessed values can go up or down even if you have made no changes to your property.
Impact on Taxes
An increase or decrease in the assessment of an individual property does not predict whether the tax bill for that property will go up, down, or remain the same. Though the assessed 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 bodies decide their budget needs based on services to be provided to the community. Therefore until the budget needs for all the taxing bodies are determined, the effect on your taxes cannot immediately be established.
For assessing purposes, improvements refer to building improvements (permanent structures) on the land. Land and buildings are assessed separately and then added together to determine the property’s total assessment.