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Like Clockwork: Time to File Wisconsin Excessive Assessment Claims

Posted on in Property Tax Assessment

Milwaukee property tax assessment claim attorneyBy Attorney Christopher L. Strohbehn

Are you are a Wisconsin taxpayer who has objected to the payment of property taxes at the local Board of Review this year? If so, and you received a full hearing deciding the merits of your objection, then it is time to consider filing an excessive assessment claim if you have not already done so.

If you find yourself in this position, this is yet another procedural step you must take if you wish to further contest your claim in Wisconsin Circuit Court.

Filing and Serving an Excessive Assessment Claim

Pursuant to section 74.37, Stats., you need to file a claim with the taxation district that collected the tax or with the county that collected the tax, if it has a county assessor. That claim needs to be the following:

  1. It must be in writing.
  2. It must state the alleged circumstances that led to the claim.
  3. It must state the amount of the claim as accurately as possible.
  4. It must be signed by the claimant or his or her agent.
  5. It must be served to the clerk of the taxation district or to the clerk of the county that has a county assessor system, in the manner prescribed in section 801.11(4), Stats., by January 31 of the year in which the tax based upon the contested assessment is payable.

What is important to note about service is that it must be served personally on the municipality in accordance with Wisconsin law. Sending a letter via regular mail will not suffice.

Disallowance of Claim

Thereafter, the local municipality which your property is in will have to take action to disallow your claim. The municipality can either “deny the claim in whole or in part or fail to take final action on the claim within 90 days after it was filed.” §74.37(3)(a), Stats.   

Of course, it can also allow the claim. If it does allow the claim, then the municipality must pay the claim not later than 90 days after it was allowed. §74.37(3)(c), Stats.

Normally, however, these claims are disallowed. Once the claim has been disallowed, then you are able to file an action in Wisconsin Circuit Court. 

Do You Need Counsel?

Should you have to hire or consult with a lawyer prior to objecting to your property taxes or filing an excessive assessment claim? No, you should not. But the reality is, the system to object and pursue lawful challenges is riddled with procedural traps and pitfalls that favor the tax collectors rather than the taxpayer. Whether you are in the midst of an appeal or considering a challenge, it is a good idea to consult with experienced counsel to explore your potential options.

Contact Our Milwaukee Property Tax Assessment Lawyers

If you are planning to file an excessive assessment claim, or if you need to address other issues related to your property taxes, Gimbel, Reilly, Guerin & Brown, LLP can provide the legal help you are looking for. We will work with you to make sure you are not required to pay excessive taxes. Contact our Milwaukee, WI property tax attorneys today at 414-271-1440.

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