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Milwaukee, WI property tax assessment appeal attorneyBy Attorney Russell J. Karnes

Commercial property owners across Wisconsin have seen declines in revenue as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Wisconsin property tax assessors are required to take revenues and expenses into account when valuing commercial property using the income method of valuation. Property owners should expect to receive their notices of assessment in the mail beginning this spring. But whether these assessments will accurately reflect the decline in value for commercial property as a result of the pandemic is an open question. Owners of commercial properties such as office buildings and hotels should prepare now to object to their property tax assessments.

Commercial Property Assessments Must Be Based on Fair Market Value

Wisconsin law requires real property to be assessed at the fair market value using a three-tiered methodology for valuation. The first valuation tier, which provides the best evidence of a property’s value, will be based on a recent sale of the property in question at arm’s length. If the property had not been sold recently at arm’s length sale, then the second valuation tier may be used. This option provides the next best evidence of a property’s value, and it will examine comparable properties that had recently been sold. If neither the first-tier nor second-tier valuation methods are available, an assessor can use the third tier of approaches to determine a property’s value, and these methods include examining factors such as a property’s cost and the income it generates. 

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Milwaukee, WI property tax appeal lawyerBy Attorney Christopher L. Strohbehn

Owners of hotels and others in the hospitality industry have been some of the hardest hit by COVID-19. Relief has been few and far between for many.  On the one hand, they might be fighting business interruption claims because of the downturn in their business, and on the other hand, they are paying the same, if not more in property taxes at a time when their occupancy and customer traffic are at an all-time low.   

The business climate makes it imperative for hotel owners and commercial property owners to consider a property tax appeal recognizing that the market under COVID-19 has and will continue to be different this coming year.

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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.

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Milwaukee property tax assessment attorneyBy Russell J. Karnes

Residents and commercial property owners across Milwaukee and Wisconsin are in sticker shock after receiving notices of huge increases in real estate property tax assessments in the mail. Property owners must be left to wonder: what in the world is the assessor thinking? Milwaukee’s assessors, in particular, could not have sent their revaluation notices at a worse time. While the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic has shuttered many businesses and put people out of work, property owners are looking for ways to cut expenses to keep their homes and maintain tenants. Property owners are now left to worry about the potential for big increases in next year’s property tax bills because of higher assessments.

While Wisconsin property owners have little or no control over tax rates, the time to object to property tax assessments and challenge assessed values is now.

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Milwaukee property tax assessment attorney

By Attorney Chris Strohbehn

I represent retailers and other taxpayers across the state challenging their property taxes. The municipalities hire lawyers to defend them in court, and political figures speak out in the court of public opinion against them. They are often chastised for exercising their constitutional and statutory rights to challenge their taxes. Every taxpayer has these same fundamental rights. When those taxpayer challenges upset the status quo, you see “dark store” referendums across the state and proposed legislation designed to make their taxpayer challenges procedurally and substantively more difficult. The common refrain along the way is that these taxpayers are “not paying their fair share” and are “causing other taxpayers to have to pay more.” But who is really to blame?

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