Open Book and Board of Review Information

March 29, 2018

To: Municipal Clerks, Treasurers, County Listers, Clerks, Treasurers and Assessors

The Wisconsin Department of Revenue (DOR) is providing Open Book and Board of Review (BOR) information in response to questions we are receiving.

New Start Date – 7 Day Interim

State law (sec. 70.47(1), Wis. Stats.) requires the BOR to meet annually during a 45-day period, starting the fourth Monday of April; no sooner than seven days after the last day the assessment roll is open for examination, under sec. 70.45, Wis. Stats.

  • Example: an Open Book occurs on a Tuesday. The earliest the BOR can be scheduled is the following Tuesday.
  • During this seven-day period, 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.

The new requirements may impact notices:

  • Open Book (sec. 70.45, Wis. Stats.)
    • Assessment roll is complete and delivered to the clerk (or when a date is anticipated)
    • Publish a Class 1 notice or post notice (verify requirements in your municipality) at least 15 days before the first day the assessment roll is open for examination

    Note: The notice requirement is a minimum standard – publishing earlier than that date is compliant with state law.

  • BOR (sec. 70.47(2), Wis. Stats.)
    • Clerk must publish a Class 1 notice, place the notice in at least three public places and place a notice on the door of the town hall (or village hall, council chambers, city hall) with the time and place of the BOR's first meeting
    • Notice must be posted at least 15 days (maintenance year) or 30 days (revaluation year) before the BOR's first meeting

    Note: The notice requirement is a minimum standard – publishing earlier than that date is compliant with state law.

  • BOR – Meet to Adjourn (sec. 70.47(3)(aL), Wis. Stats.):
    • Assessment roll will not be completed during the 45-day period beginning the fourth Monday in April
    • BOR must hold an initial meeting and adjourn – initial meeting notice requirements listed above must be met
    • BOR clerk posts a written notice on the outer door of the meeting place when the BOR will resume. The dates provided in the notice must take into account the required seven-day period between Open Book and BOR. Further, the date the roll is (or is anticipated) to be completed determines when the clerk needs to provide notice to the Open Book.

    Note: The Notice of Assessment (PR-301) must contain the same dates provided in the meeting notice.

2018 Legal Update Available: BOR Legal Update Video

  • There are significant updates impacting 2018 BORs
  • DOR recommends all BOR members review this 30-minute video update
  • The update alone does not qualify for formal BOR training credit. DOR recommends viewing to ensure new processes are followed.

BOR Training

BOR Access

  • Under 2017 Act 68,  the BOR may deny a hearing to a property owner who does not allow the assessor to complete an exterior view
  • However, the Wisconsin Supreme Court expressed due process concerns regarding a similarly worded statute in Milewski v. Town of Dover, 2017 WI 79, 377 Wis. 2d 38, 899 N.W.2d 303.

Best Practice

  • It is DOR's recommendation to allow a BOR hearing even if the property owner denied an interior or exterior view. The lack of access to view, and the credibility of evidence offered can be managed as an evidentiary issue at a BOR hearing, rather than denying access to the BOR.


  • BOR conducts the appeal process for valuation and does not review exemption claims
  • Property owner who claims a property is exempt follows the Recovery of Unlawful Taxes, under state law (sec. 74.35(2m), Wis. Stats.)