Fighting Your New Property Assessment in Madison, WI

Recently the annual assessment from the City of Madison was released for all properties. It's possible you were over assessed and need to appeal your property taxes. In fact, about 60% of properties across the nation are over assessed due to appraisal inaccuracies and for other reasons.

If you think you've received a property assessment from the city and it's too high, you have the right to fight it. However, you should understand what you're getting into before you go this route.

Will Fighting My Assessment Mean Lower Taxes?

The answer to this question isn't a clear yes. If you get your assessment reduces, you may still pay the same taxes. The property assessment is only one of the variables in determining the taxes, but it's a rather important one.

An assessment giving your property a higher or lower value doesn't always mean higher or lower taxes.

In addition to the property assessment, the needs for the city must also be considered, along with the number of properties.

Fighting Your Property Assessment

The process of fighting your property assessment isn't exactly straight-forward, at least if you're reading information from the Office of the City Assessor website.

The Open Box Period

The City Assessor offers an Open Box Period from April 15th to May 1st, 2019. This period allows you to discuss your assessment over the phone, through email, or through a scheduled appointment with the appraiser responsible for assigning value to your property.

Some mistakes may be handled during this process and if you have any proof the assessment is not correct, you will want to bring it with you to your appointment.

However, your chances to dispute the assessment don't end after the Open Box Period. You have the right to file an objection. This objection will be reviewed by the Board of Assessors. They may determine the property assessment was not correct and many adjustments.

Even if you go through the process of having your property assessment reviewed by the Board of Assessors and they don't make any changes, you don't have to stop fighting. You can take your objection to a hearing before the Board of Review.

The Board of Review will be much like going to court over the assessment and sworn testimony will be given by the property owner and the Assessor.

It may be a good idea to hire an assessment lawyer or consult with a local REALTOR before objecting to your assessment. Going through this process isn't exactly easy and may take up more time than you're willing to give up unless you have a realistic chance of getting the assessment changed.

Rules for Fighting Your Assessment

If you want to object to the property assessment you received, you will need to notify the Assessor's office in writing or orally. It's always best to handle these things with written proof. This needs to be done at least 48 hours before the first meeting of the Board of Review, which is scheduled for Thursday, May 9th at 4:30pm.

This means you need to file your objection no later than 4:30pm on Tuesday, May 7th. You will also need to complete a written objection with the forms provided by the clerk of the Board of review prior to the first scheduled meeting.

The Office of the City Assessor is found at 210 M.L. King Jr. Blvd in Room 101. You can also call them at (608) 266-4531 or email them at

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