City Assessor Provides Important Services for City, Residents

City Assessor Fundamental to City of Marshfield

Responsible for completing all the work necessary to prepare the annual assessment roll (which is the official record of the taxable value of property within the city) the City Assessor’s office is an important part of local government.

The first major service the assessor provides is to administer the official duties of the office: preparing the assessment roll, granting exemptions, filing reports, and monitoring quality control and performance standards.

Under Wisconsin Law, the City of Marshfield Assessor must discover, list, and value all taxable property within the city limits.

Keith Pugh, Jim Young, Belinda Fechhelm, Joan Spencer

The Assessor assigns an assessed value, which is an estimate for purposes of property taxation. Important to note, the assessor does not create or anticipate these values, rather interprets what is currently happening in the marketplace.  Additionally, State Legislature has the sole responsibility for all laws pertaining to property tax assessments and tax collections.

The state, county, city, school district, and vocational district all receive a portion of the property tax pie collected each year and depend on the Assessor’s services.

“Taxes collected affect the stability of each taxing authority, and taxes paid affect basic quality of life issues for everyone,” said Joan Spencer, City Assessor. “Assessed values and roll information are considered when selling or buying property, for legal matters such as divorces or estate settlements,  capital gains and net worth calculations, and they are on every website that basically states ‘information obtained from assessment records’.”

With the assessment date for each roll legally being the end of the first day of January, the City of Marshfield attempts to complete typical field inspections as projects are completed, and as many as possible before November.

“Our most intense time falls between December and June when pulling the roll together,” said Spencer. “Advances in technology have given us phenomenal tools to work with. We now use CAMA software packages that use pricing tables developed through sales analysis to establish values for all properties.  We work with similar listing patterns for like properties to generate uniform values.”

Much information is available on the City’s web site, but walk-in customers will visit the Assessor’s office for questions pertaining to assessed values for current and past years, parcel maps, sales information, new owners for a recently purchased a property, millrates or net tax rates, ratios, value breakdowns for assessment classifications, and tax estimates for proposed construction projects.

“People also drop off tax exemption requests, mobile home lottery credit applications, personal property forms, sales validation forms, or other paperwork such as income and expense statements required to review values or complete the assessment roll,” said Spencer.

Spencer will be retiring on August 31, after forty years of service to the City of Marshfield, which will kickoff a series of changes for the department and its structure.

“The Department is transitioning to new software on an MS sequel platform, and a department model which includes contract assessing and local staff beginning with the 2018 assessment roll,” she said. “There is no longer support for our previous software (windows 2003 technology) and our web link will also change because of software changes and security issues.”

Additionally, the City Assessor will no longer be listing property for Wood County locally, with all future names and address changes henceforth being handled where deeds are recorded, by the County Treasurers.

The County also recently transitioned to new software, so Spencer cautions that there may be a period of time needed to iron out problems that occurred during the conversion process.

“It will be important for people to contact the County Treasurers directly to report corrections that might be needed,” she said.

Wood County Treasurer  (715) 387-3791
Marathon County Treasurer (715) 261-1164.

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