Assessors are required to collect and electronically store all data on the current Property Record Card. This does not change requirements under state law. Information deemed confidential remains confidential, and assessment records remain subject to open record laws.
What type of assessment information do I need to store electronically?
Required - you must electronically store all assessment data (ex: parcel attributes, sketches, and photographs).
Excluded - information in assessment work files (ex: handwritten notes, correspondence, building permits, or field sketches). An assessor may choose to maintain this information in an electronic format.
What responsibility do assessors have to communicate this requirement to the municipality?
Assessors must communicate with the governing body, in writing, that the required assessment data will be stored in an electronic format. The assessor must also inform the governing body where the data will be located.
When the municipality hires a new assessor, who is responsible for the cost of transferring the electronically stored data to the municipality?
When the municipality hires a new assessor, the outgoing assessor is responsible for all costs associated with transferring the electronically stored data to the municipality. This requirement should be included in the contract and/or work plan for every assessor.
Who owns the assessment data?
The municipality owns the assessment data regardless of contract's terms or the software license.
When the municipality hires a new assessor, when does the outgoing assessor need to transfer the data to the municipality?
The outgoing assessor must provide all the assessment data to the municipal clerk within 30 days of vacating the Assessor's office or must provide it at the Board of Review's final adjournment, whichever is later.
What assessment data does an outgoing assessor need to provide to the municipality?
The outgoing assessor must provide the municipality with all assessment records (paper and electronic) in his or her custody.
Even though an assessor must maintain electronic assessment data, he or she must also provide the municipality with a paper copy of each property record card if requested. If paper records are converted to an electronic format, the assessor must keep the original paper records and return them to the municipality.
If the outgoing assessor used a proprietary assessment system, the outgoing assessor must provide the data to the municipality in two formats:
- The format native to the customized or uncommon software
- A more common format (ex: comma delimited text formats, commonly available database formats such as MS-Access, DB2, SQL) with definitions for all fields
What residential and agricultural data do we need to maintain electronically?
The minimum residential and agricultural data required is the information identified on the
Property Record Card (PA-500) and
Agricultural Work Card (PA-703) that corresponds with Volume II of the WPAM.
What commercial data do we need to maintain electronically?
The minimum commercial data is the information identified on the residential Property Record Card (PA-500), including all data that was applied to determine the assessment.
What personal property data do we need to maintain electronically?
The minimum personal property data is the information identified on the summary of the Statement of Personal Property (PA-003).
What mobile home data do we need to maintain electronically?
The minimum mobile home data must identify whether the mobile home is real property, personal property, or subject to a parking permit fee, and must include the data used to determine the assessment.
Are assessors and municipalities required to post assessment data on the Internet?
No. Assessors and municipalities are encouraged, but not required, to share assessment data on the Internet, as permitted by state law.
Example: Under state law (sec. 70.35(3), Wis. Stats.), information submitted on the Statement of Personal Property is considered confidential. As a result, that information cannot be posted to the Internet).
How does DOR use electronic assessment data?
DOR uses assessment data for: Development of Equalized Values; petitions for reassessment under sec. 70.75, Wis. Stats.; appeals under sec. 70.85, Wis. Stats.; performance audits; reviews of assessor practices.
What happens if an assessor does not comply with the electronic assessment data requirement or fails to provide DOR with the required electronic assessment data?
Failure to comply will result in the filing of a complaint against the assessor's certification with DOR and could result in revocation of certification.
After all my property records are in an electronic format, do I still need to maintain a paper copy?
If you can produce a paper copy of the current Property Record Card when requested, you are not required to update the paper copy. However, annually at the close of the Board of Review, you must produce a paper copy of the Property Record Card for each parcel before making any changes for the coming year.
Note: Municipalities are required by the State Public Records Board and state law to retain Property Record Cards for seven years.
FOR MORE INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT:
WISCONSIN DEPARTMENT OF REVENUE
Division of State and Local Finance
Office of Technical and Assessment Services
PO Box 8971
Madison, WI 53708-8971
Phone: (608) 266-2149
Fax: (608) 264-6897
Email additional questions to