City of Madison Logo
Image Header: City of Madison Assessor

Neighborhood Revaluation


What is a neighborhood revaluation?


A revaluation is a complete and thorough review of all residential property in a specific neighborhood. Both the lot and improvements are reviewed. All assessed values are examined and adjustments are made where necessary to assure that all property is assessed at market value. The purpose of the revaluation is to create equitable and uniform assessments in accordance with State statutes.

Why our neighborhood?

Neighborhoods are selected for revaluations based on a number of criteria:

  1. A revaluation has not been performed in several years.
  2. The assessments do not reflect recent sales of homes in the area.
  3. Inequities have developed between similar homes.
  4. Property data cards are not up to date for improvements made.

How is a revaluation done?

Lot sizes and attributes such as traffic and location are verified; positive and negative influences are noted. Lot sizes and land sales are analyzed and land values may be adjusted. To update our records, the staff appraiser mails an inspection request to every owner of property in the neighborhood, requesting an appointment to view the interior of each home. Flexible appointment times are available and each inspection takes approximately 15 minutes. The appraiser will walk through the property, verifying the room count, quality and condition of the home. This may include measuring basement or attic finish. The appraiser will also review the exterior property features.

After all of the interior inspections are completed, each property is assessed equitably at fair market value with other properties in the neighborhood. Land values are based upon lot size, shape and location within the neighborhood. Houses are valued based upon their size, age, quality, condition, and location within the neighborhood. Other features that affect value include number of bathrooms, kitchen remodeling, basement and attic finish, central air conditioning, type of exterior siding, garages, porches, and decks. All land and improvement values are based upon recent sales.

Do I have to allow the Assessor to inspect my property?

Property owners are not required to allow the assessor to inspect their property. However, when an inspection is not allowed, the law directs assessors to value the property based on “the best information that the assessor can practicably obtain”. This requires an estimation that may not be in your best interest. To ensure an accurate assessment, it is generally to the property owner’s advantage to allow the appraiser to inspect the property.

The physical inspection of your property will also help preserve your appeal rights. Per Wisconsin Statutes, no person shall be allowed to contest the amount of any assessment if the person has refused a reasonable written request of the assessor to view such property. Even though a visual inspection of your property has not been made, the assessor may change your assessment because of building permits or sales activity in your neighborhood.

While inspecting your property, Assessor's Office staff will follow the provisions of WI Stats. Sec. 943.13 and 943.15, which allow access to land and construction sites if all of the following conditions are met:

  1. The assessor or the assessor's staff enters the property in order to make an assessment on behalf of the state or a political subdivision.
  2. The assessor or assessor's staff enters the property on a weekday during daylight hours, or at another time as agreed upon with the land owner.
  3. The assessor or assessor's staff spends no more than one hour on the property.
  4. The assessor or assessor's staff does not open doors, enter through open doors, or look into windows of structures on the property.
  5. The assessor or the assessor's staff leaves in a prominent place on the principal building on the property, or on the land if there is not a principal building, a notice informing the owner or occupant that the assessor or the assessor's staff entered the land and giving information on how to contact the assessor.
  6. The assessor or the assessor's staff has not personally received a notice from the owner or occupant, either orally or in writing, not to enter or remain on the premises.

When do I get my new assessment?

Assessment notices will be mailed in April to every property owner whose assessment changed from the prior year.

What are my appeal rights?

Property owners who think that their property is not assessed at fair market value are encouraged to come to the office or call their appraiser during the Open Book period listed on the assessment notice. At that time, a formal objection to the assessment may be filed. The objection cannot be processed without a recent inspection of the property.