2023 City of Madison Property Assessments FAQ
The 2023 property assessments are now available on the City website at cityofmadison.com/assessor. Locally assessed real estate increased 14.4% for 2023. Commercial assessments increased 16.8% ($13,414 to $15,674 million) and residential assessments increased 12.9% ($22,879 to $25,839 million).
2023 Property Assessment FAQ
My assessment went up a lot! Does this mean my taxes will go up a lot too?
No. Growth in property value (assessment) and property taxes are not the same. The large increase in the city's total property value will result in a lower tax rate (mill rate) compared to last year, so taxes on an individual home are not expected to increase as much as property values are increasing.
As an example of how value and taxes differ, the value of the average value home increased by 6.4% in 2021 over 2020 (from $315,200 to $335,200), while taxes on the average value home (before state tax credits are applied) increased by 1.9% (from $7,641 to $7,817). After applying state tax credits, the change was 0.12%. (the lottery credit increased by 57% between 2020 and 2021). The total property tax levy (all taxing jurisdictions in the city) increased by 1.0%. These are averages – the percentage change varies by property.
Why are assessments going up so much?
The City continued to experience a robust real estate market in 2023. The robust market and the annexation of approximately 1500 parcels from the Town of Madison contributed to the increase. The City Assessor thoughtfully reflected this growth in this years assessments. Their approach continues to be informed by a potential concern for a “bubble market”. A bubble market occurs when the market experiences dramatic price spikes for a long period of time. Bubble markets are not based on real estate fundamentals. They are a response to unique situations or motivations. In Madison, the influence of high housing demand and low supply may be a unique situation that is attributing to a potential bubble market. As such, The City Assessor's Office has been cautious in evaluating market data and deriving trends using mass appraisal methodology in 2023. The evaluation of whether we are experiencing a true bubble market will be ongoing in the coming years.
Why are housing prices going up so much?
The lack of housing inventory compared with demand is impacting development and cost for all types of housing. New construction is ongoing but a long running shortage, combined with lingering effects of the pandemic are impactful. This data further demonstrates our need to build more housing. The City is committed to making it easier to build housing, supporting and funding affordable housing, and increasing housing choice in every neighborhood.
I don't agree with my assessment. What can I do?
Please contact the Assessor's Office within the next two weeks. Information on how to contact and process can be found here: https://www.cityofmadison.com/assessor/process/appeals.cfm
Who controls tax policy? How can I influence it?
The state legislature controls tax policy. Please find information on tax policies that impact the tax burden and ideas on how to engage in the process here: Property Assessment video
I need help paying my taxes. Where can I go?
Please find resources on the Assessor webpage.
The 2023 Property Tax Base of the City of Madison
The City Assessor is responsible for the assessment process including: (1) Discovering all real and personal property that is subject to tax unless exempted by law; (2) Listing all property characteristics used to determine value; and (3) Valuing all property subject to property tax. Creating and maintaining an accurate assessment roll (list of all taxable property: address, value, and owner) fulfills the first requirement. Sustaining property record cards with correct characteristics and information satisfies the second requirement. Accurate valuation, the final requirement, entails estimating the market value of all locally assessable property in the City. These values are used when establishing property taxes in December.
In Madison, all property is valued annually at 100% of market value as of January 1. For the purpose of taxation, property falls into two categories: real estate and personal property. Within these broad categories, there are several delineations of property. Real estate includes single family homes, condominiums, apartment buildings, commercial, and agricultural properties. Personal property consists of furniture, fixtures, and other types of property used in the course of business or commerce. Real estate and personal property are assessed by the City Assessor and represent approximately 99% of the property tax base. The remaining 1% of the tax base is manufacturing property valued by the Wisconsin Department of Revenue.
Real Estate Changes
Locally assessed real estate increased 14.4% for 2023. Commercial assessments increased 16.8% ($13,414 to $15,674 million) and residential assessments increased 12.9% ($22,879 to $25,839 million). A robust market and the annexation of approximately 1500 parcels from the Town of Madison contributed to the increase.
Personal Property Changes
Locally assessed personal property assessments decreased by $141 million between 2022 and 2023. This represents a 23.8% decrease from $593 to $452 million. A review of the personal property classifications resulted in a shift of value (leasehold improvements) to our commercial real estate.
Manufacturing full value assessments prepared by the State are available on the WI DOR website. Last year these assessments totaled $456 million ($384 million on real estate and $72 million on personal property).
Recap of Local Changes
A report is available including tables that focus on the compositions and rates of locally assessed real estate growth.