Janesville58.7°

Janesville home values down

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MARCIA A. NELESEN
April 30, 2010
— The anemic real estate market has dropped the market value of Janesville homes to within 8 percent of assessed values, meaning the city for 2010 probably will be back in compliance with revaluation regulations.

A preliminary study by the state Department of Revenue indicates the market value of Janesville properties fell about 8 percent in 2009.


With the decline, the ratio of assessed value to sale prices is estimated at 92 percent.


To be in compliance, the city’s ratio must be between 90 percent and 110 percent. The city must be in compliance once every four years.


The city’s ratio has been out of compliance since 2004, and the ratio dropped to as low as 80 percent for 2008.


If a city falls outside the acceptable range for four years, the Department of Revenue starts a process that essentially gives cities another three years before they must be in compliance, said Richard Haviza, assessment operations manager.


Janesville has not revalued since 2002.


The reason for a revaluation is to bring properties to market value so they are all taxed equally.


City staff last year asked that the council schedule a full revaluation for 2010, including on-site property inspections. That would have cost Janesville about $1.75 million.


City Manager Eric Levitt suggested the council instead revalue only commercial property for 2010 and wait to see if residential housing values drop within the compliance range.


The council agreed.


The city contracted with Tyler Technologies’ CLT Division to perform the commercial revaluation, which began in fall. Department of Revenue staff since recommended that the city halt the revaluation of commercial property and do both commercial and residential properties for 2011.


Since 2002, the city has done only maintenance assessments, which means property assessments have not changed unless:


-- A building was sold.


-- A building was newly constructed.


-- A building permit was issued for the structure.


The same will continue through 2010.


Haviza said the city already has done many of the commercial property inspections and collected much of the data to update commercial assessments. Haviza said that data would not go to waste.


The city’s $165,000 contract with Tyler Technologies will be extended.


The council already has indicated that any upcoming revaluation would not include inspections of all properties and would instead be a neighborhood-level market update, Haviza said. Individual building inspections could cost $1.75 million while a market update could be done by staff with data the city already has.


“Different properties appreciate at different rates based on market demand, location and the type of property,” Haviza said.


Some communities in the state haven’t done full residential inspections of all properties in 20 years, Haviza said. The city of Milwaukee only does maintenance assessing.


The Department of Revenue will finish tabulating assessment ratios statewide in August. If Janesville is in compliance, the council would have a choice to revalue properties for 2011, Haviza said.


Still, “There’s good reason to periodically reval(ue),” Haviza said.



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