February 1, 2018
To: Assessors, Primary Assessors
County Clerks, Real Property Listers & Treasurers
Municipal Clerks & Treasurers
The Wisconsin Department of Revenue (DOR) provided initial 2017 Act 68 information on December 11, 2017
- First section of the December 11, 2017 email, "Summary of Changes," covers the law changes assessors are required to follow
- Remainder of the email contained DOR's recommendations on how to implement the changes. These recommendations are designed to help municipalities and assessors avoid potential liability and comply with state law.
- DOR made updates to Chapters 4, 5, and 6 of the Wisconsin Property Assessment Manual clarifying the requirements under state law and DOR's recommendations on how to implement
The following are updates based on feedback.
Date of Enactment
- 2017 Act 68 was effective on publication, November 28, 2017
- Immediate implementation of the statute is required
Request to View Property Notice
DOR recommends sending the notice through regular mail at least 14 days prior to the inspection date.
- Notice implies time between providing the information and the act
- Notice definition: notification or warning of something, especially to allow preparations to be made
- Notice examples: Notice of Assessment, Notice of Conversion Charge
- Provide written notification to the specific property owner
- Use the state prescribed notice form:
PR-300 Request to View Property Notice. The form cannot be posted on a municipal website or public place.
- Distribute the notice once during each assessment year. Other factors could require additional notice. Example: If the property sold and an additional interior inspection is necessary in the same assessment year – send notice to the new owner.
- Municipalities and assessors can create a different version of the notice form (PR-300) and email to DOR for review and approval:
- DOR recommends sending the written notice in the mail. This helps ensures the specific property owner receives the notice and has an opportunity to review it prior to the assessor's requested inspection.
- DOR recommends sending the notice a minimum of 14 days before a visit to establish clear notification
- If a property owner does not respond to the notice, consider it a denial. A denial provides basis for a special inspection warrant.
- Commercial property: The new law creates required notice language for residences. It does not state the requirements apply to commercial establishments; however, DOR recommends providing notice to all property owners.
- Assessors and municipalities should work together on implementation plans, timing, and contracts. Cost will vary depending on the size of the municipality, type of assessment and notice process.
- Municipalities and assessors could be liable for not complying with the state law making implementation plans mutually beneficial.
Inspections: Interior vs. Exterior
- Requirements established in this new statute apply to interior view
- There are no new requirements for exterior views. Current state trespassing laws (secs. 70.05(5)(b), 943.13(4m)(am) and 943.15(1m), Wis. Stats.) remain in effect and apply to exterior views.
Required Period between Open Book and Board of Review (BOR)
2017 Act 68 also revised sec. 70.47(1), Wis. Stats., requiring a seven-day period between open book and BOR. During this time, an assessor can elect not to sign the affidavit and continue to make changes and sign the affidavit on the day of the BOR's first meeting. Alternately, the assessor can elect to sign the affidavit immediately after the open book meeting and make no changes during the seven-day period before the BOR begins.