Ald. Mark Borkowski
Press Release

We have assessments on steroids

Statement of Alderman Mark Borkowski April 27, 2020

By - Apr 27th, 2020 01:13 pm

What the heck is going on in the City of Milwaukee Assessor’s Office?

That is the question that I and thousands of other city property owners have today, as over the weekend city property owners received notices of reassessment and a great number of them were crazy high. One assessment in the 11th District went up an additional $185,000! (and the home is now worth $413,000).

You read that right – up $185,000!

It begs the question: Why?

Is the Assessor’s Office so out of touch that for years, this house was greatly undervalued? And this is a home, not a business!

Given that we are in the midst of a global health pandemic and financial crisis not seen in the U.S. since the Great Depression, I will be asking my colleagues to join me in sponsoring a resolution to freeze all assessments at pre-reassessment levels until further notice. Yes, it will cost the city financially to do this. But we should not add any additional financial or emotional stress to City of Milwaukee taxpayers.

If the City has to tighten its belt or slash programs so be it. It would be unconscionable for the city to raise property assessments at this time.

We need to help Milwaukeeans stay in their homes, not force them out of their homes because they can no longer afford Milwaukee’s taxes. That would be far worse for our neighborhoods and city.

These are property assessments on steroids, and it’s wholly unacceptable!

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One thought on “We have assessments on steroids”

  1. Mark Nicolini says:

    Assessments control the distribution of the tax levy, not the amount of the tax levy. The tax levy is the result of the budget process, and is equal to the total amount of expenditures in the adopted Budget, minus all non-property tax revenues.

    State mandated levy limits control the total annual percentage increase to the tax levy that may be included in the adopted Budget. So, freezing the assessments will affect the tax rate, but not the total amount raised. A freeze will result in properties whose value has grown relatively slowly, or decreased, paying relatively more than if assessments reflected the changes in values that occurred over the last calendar year.

    There may be problems with the assessments of individual properties. A starting point to evaluate that would be recent sales of the subject property, or comparable ;properties. Property owners can contest their assessment.

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