Notification of Wisconsin Supreme Court Decision

July 14, 2017

To: Statutory Assessors, Assessors, Real Property Listers,
      County Clerks & Treasurers, Municipal Clerks & Treasurers


The Wisconsin Department of Revenue (DOR) would like to inform you of a Wisconsin Supreme Court decision, Milewski v. Town of Dover, that may affect your current Boards of Review for tax year 2017 assessments.


Supreme Court Decision Overview

  • Case focused on a property owner's denial of the assessor's request to view the interior of the property
  • Under sec. 70.47(7)(aa), Wis. Stats., the local Board of Review (BOR) denied the property owner a hearing
  • Property owner challenged in court the provision under sec. 70.47(7)(aa) as unconstitutional
  • Court did not strike down sec. 70.47(7)(aa), but it found the way the BOR applied the statute to this particular property owner (denying a hearing) was unconstitutional
  • Court remanded the case to circuit court for further proceedings consistent with the opinion

Local Government Immediate Impact

  • If the BOR filing requirements are met, allow property owners an appeal to the BOR
  • BOR should allow an appeal whether the assessor was provided access to view the property's interior or not

Next Steps

  • DOR will provide draft long term guidance as part of a public comment period for the 2018 Wisconsin Property Assessment Manual
  • Contact us at bapdor@wisconsin.gov with questions or information to consider for drafting the long term guidance on this case