Council approves citywide property revaluation

Officials say commercial, residential properties ‘out of whack’

The Shawano Common Council Wednesday approved a citywide property revaluation that will begin later this year and wrap up by the end of 2019.

It will be the first citywide property revaluation since 2008-09, though discrepancies in some waterfront assessments forced a revaluation of those properties in 2011.

City officials approved a contract with Associated Appraisal Consultants, Inc., of Appleton, for $154,900.

The city had been setting aside about $25,000 a year for a future revaluation for the past several years, and had expected to have enough to carry the cost starting this year.

The revaluation is expected to begin in August and will start with commercial properties, moving to residential next year.

Assistant City Administrator Eddie Sheppard said it was felt that starting with commercial properties would be best given that those assessments “are out of whack the most.”

Overall, the city’s assessed values are at 100.6 percent of where the state Department of Revenue says equalized values should be.

Commercial properties, however, are currently being assessed at 104.4 percent, while residential properties are being assessed at 98.32 percent.

The revaluation is intended to bring both those sectors closer to actual market value, based on sales.

The shift could put more of a property tax burden on residential properties, but, Sheppard said, “it wouldn’t be a major burden shift. It would be minimal.”

The city’s equalized value dropped from $510 million to just under $508 million in 2017, according to state figures, while the city’s assessed value dropped by more than $3 million from $514 million to just under $511 million.

Even within those numbers, there are some glaring discrepancies, mainly associated with properties within the Tax Incremental Finance districts.

The city actually saw a $5.1 million increase in the equalized value of TIF district properties, but those gains are not levied for general tax purposes. Instead, any increase in taxes goes to paying off the debt incurred for any infrastructure and other improvements that went into creating the TIF district.

Complicating matters is the fact that assessed values in the city’s TIF districts have not been updated.

City Administrator Brian Knapp said during an interview in November that the discrepancies are particularly noticeable in the city’s most sprawling TIF district, which runs along East Green Bay Street, and where the sale price of properties is much higher than the value assessed by the city.

“Equalized values have increased in TIF districts, according to the state,” Knapp said, “and assessed values have remained the same.”