No, we don’t automatically change assessments to the sale price. The reason is that a single sale does not tell us much about what the overall market might think of your house. For that information, we need to look at all of the market sales over an extended period of time.
The Wisconsin Property Assessment Manual does not allow us to adjust a single property assessment to “come into line” with a recent sale price, whether it is higher or lower than the current assessment, unless we are also adjusting all properties in the City at the same time to “come into line” with changing market conditions overall during a Revaluation.
At that time, we adjust all assessments to “catch-up” with market changes since the last Revaluation and to correct any “valuation shifts” that may have developed in the market during that time. (e.g. In some market periods, a Cape Cod home will sell for more than a Bungalow of the same size and location, but at other times this trend reverses itself, and the Bungalow will sell for more).
If your assessment changes after you have purchased it and it isn’t a revaluation year, it is because we have corrected our record as to what is in your home-not for the market when your home was purchased.
Our first obligation under the law is to split up the burden of tax between all of the property owners in a Uniform and Equitable way, where each property is asked to bear a proportional share of the total tax burden. In other words, the law requires us to ensure that similar homes have similar tax bills using the Assessment (estimated market value) as a guide.