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La Crosse received a second assessment non-compliance notice due to ‘miscommunication’, staff say | Government and politics

The city of La Crosse received its second notice from the state for non-compliance with its property assessments last fall, a notice that expedited the upcoming citywide reassessment, but city staff have said he was still on track to correct the problem.

According to a letter dated January 2022 and shared with the finance and personnel committee on Thursday, the city received a second notice from the Wisconsin Department of Revenue on November 4, 2021, stating that the city was still not current on its property assessments. .

The city has been aware of its non-compliance status for some time now, although the exact window of time the city had to correct the issue was miscommunicated within the assessor’s office, staff said. .

The state requires all properties to have an appraised value of less than 10% of market value once every five years, which means its appraised value must be within a price range of similar properties. In the event of non-compliance with these standards, municipalities have five years to correct the problem.

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The letter, sent by senior property appraisal specialist Shannon Neumann to city leaders earlier this year, said the city had been non-compliant for five consecutive years and that if an appraisal was not completed this year, the state would conduct its own reassessment.

A state-run reassessment was estimated to cost more than $1 million, at the city’s expense, and would mean the state would attempt a full inspection of every property in the city.

Neumann, who is new to her role, told the committee she was unaware the city had already received its first notice of noncompliance with the state.

In her previous role at the assessor’s office, Neumann said she was under the impression the city was found to be non-compliant in 2019, but that was actually when the city received its first notice — a separate action. which comes after the first non-compliance news – something she said was not communicated by her predecessor.

“I knew we had time. So what I was planning to do was do a reassessment for 2023, not knowing that the person before me had already received a first notice,” Neumann said.

She said she was “quite surprised and alarmed” when the city received the second notice in November, realizing there was less time to complete the reassessment than previously thought.






But it wasn’t a total scramble, Neumann said, saying she’s worked with contractors from Forward Appraisal, LLC, who work on appraisals for commercial properties in the city. The group has agreed to help the city with its comprehensive reassessment of commercial and residential properties this year.

“We didn’t sit on our hands doing nothing,” Neumann said. “It’s just that there have been misunderstandings about how to get the funding.”

The city announced through the mayor’s office in February that a citywide reassessment would be conducted to comply.

The reassessment will cost $120,000, according to a resolution, money that will come from the city’s contingency fund. Forward Appraisal will receive $75,000 for its work.

“Thank you for being proactive, and I think this is a learning experience for everyone,” council chair Barb Janssen told Neumann on Thursday. “There were a lot of transitions at City Hall, so I think you made the most of it.”