06/14/18 – Board of Review Meeting Minutes

TOWN OF SPIDER LAKE
BOARD OF REVIEW MEETING
JUNE 14, 2018

The adjourned Board of Review Meeting for the Town of Spider Lake was called to order at 3:00 P.M. A roll call was taken. Present were Hucker, Brandt, McGuiness, Cerman, Huot, Clerk Ferda and Assessor Riglemon.

It was confirmed that appropriate Board of Review and Open Meeting notices were published and/or posted at four places in accordance with the statutes.

Hucker was selected as Chair at the initial Board of Review meeting held on May 9, 2018. Brandt was selected as Vice-Chair at the initial Board of Review meeting held on May 9, 2018.

It was verified that Hucker and Ferda have met the mandatory training requirements specified in 70.46(4) of the Wisconsin Statutes.

It was verified that the town has an ordinance for the confidentiality of income and expense information provided to the assessor under 70.47(7) (af) of the Wisconsin Statutes.

The existing Board of Review policies regarding procedures for sworn telephone or sworn written testimony requests and for waiver of Board of Review hearing requests were reviewed.

Riglemon advised that the annual assessment report prepared by the assessor was filed.

The 2018 assessment roll has been received by the clerk from the assessor along with the sworn affidavit from the assessor.

The assessment roll has been examined to correct any errors in description, computation, additions, omissions or elimination of double assessed property. Riglemon verified the open book changes and noted that copies have been included in the assessment roll. Riglemon confirmed that taxpayers were allowed to examine the assessment data.

The Board will hear or schedule written objections to be heard during this two hour period.
Hucker outlined how the hearing would proceed. Hucker advised that under state law, the Board is required to uphold the assessor’s valuation of any property as being correct unless the property owner can prove by testimony and/or evidence that the assessor is incorrect.

7837W Nowak Road – Tax ID 42347 – Lot 2. In 2018, this property, for assessment purposes, is classified R1 (residential). The property’s assessment value is $484,300.00 (land $299,500.00 and improvements $184,800.00). This piece of property is where the home is located. The Notice of Intent to file an Objection was filed at least 48 hours before the meeting and states the assessment should be $425,000.00. Objectors present are Michael and Joan Kirkhoff, 12126 Red Oak Court So, Burnsville, MN. Witnesses present are John Kirkhoff, 1833 Eleanore Ave., St. Paul, MN and the Kirkhoff’s appraiser Patrick Hamblin, 16610W County Hill Rd, Hayward, WI. The Kirkhoff’s are objecting to both of their latest assessments at 7837W Nowak Rd., Hayward, WI including a vacant lot at the same location. The two objections will be examined separately. The Kirkhoff’s and Hamblin identified themselves for the record. The Kirkhoff’s, Hamblin and Assessor Riglemon were sworn in by Ferda.

Michael Kirkhoff testified that in 2016 this property was assessed at 549,000.00. In 2017 Riglemon reduced the assessment to $500,500.00. In 2018 Riglemon reduced the assessment again to $484,300.00 based on a correction in the square footage of the home. An independent appraisal of the property was conducted by Patrick Hamblin on February 23, 2018 resulting in an appraised value of $450,000.00. A market analysis of the property by Gary Nathan (Woodland Developments & Realty) resulted in a value of $409,000.00. A packet of information submitted by Kirkhoff was reviewed by the board and the assessor.

Hamblin reviewed his summary appraisal report with the board and the assessor. He reported using the comparable sales approach, the market approach and the cost approach to arrive at the appraised value of $450,000.00. He stated he based the appraised value as if the property had guaranteed access.

Riglemon stated that the comparable sales were based on 200 foot lots. He asked Hamblin if consideration was made of the 175 feet of excess frontage where the Kirkhoff dwelling is located. Hamblin answered yes, he did consider the excess frontage. Riglemon stated that on all the comparable sales, the assessment was lower than the sale price.

Brandt asked Kirkhoff if both properties go through the national forest. Kirkhoff answered yes, access and recess renews every year through the Forest Service; however, there is no guaranteed access. Hucker asked what efforts had been made with the Forest Service in obtaining a license agreement for use. Kirkhoff answered that all four residents on that portion of Nowak Rd. would have to be involved and three refused. Cerman asked whether Kirkhoff’s have guaranteed access and whether access is grandfathered. Kirkhoff replied that they have guaranteed access but it is not grandfathered and there is no access through any other approach. Hucker asked Hamblin how often he has encountered the Forest Service withdrawing access. Hamblin stated he has encountered very few instances where the Forest Service controls access. Hucker noted that Kirkhoff had no direct evidence of what the lender stated regarding not lending any funds, only what he was told. This is relevant to the vacant lot.

Riglemon testified that the difference between his assessment and Hamblin’s appraisal is approximately 6%. Hamblin’s appraisal is a real time appraisal and the town’s assessment is based on the last revaluation. Riglemon stated that Hamblin used all new data and that would probably be better served as the assessment.

Hucker stated that he feels that these items, the statement from the assessor that Hamblin’s appraisal is more current and that the assessor is comfortable with lowering the assessment to $450,000.00 and that access to this property is not an issue, are relevant to making a decision.

Exercising its judgment and discretion, pursuant to Sec. 70.47(9)(a) of Wis. Statutes, the Board of Review by majority determined: that the Assessor’s valuation is incorrect; that the property owner has presented sufficient evidence to rebut the presumption of correctness granted by law to the Assessor; that the property owner’s valuation is reasonable in light of the relevant evidence; that the full value of the property is Land: $260,000.00 and Improvements: $190,000.00 for a total of $450,000.00; that the level of assessment of the municipality is at 94% and hereby sets the new assessment at Land: $260,000.00 and Improvements: $190,000.00 for a total of $450,000.00. I, Christine Ferda, Clerk of the Board of Review, do hereby certify that the members of the Board of Review voted as follows: Hucker: yes, Brandt: yes, McGuiness: yes, Cerman: yes, Huot: yes, and Ferda: yes, to adopt these Findings of Fact, Determination and Decision on this 14th day of June, 2018.

7837W Nowak Road – Tax ID 42346 – Lot 1. The property (vacant lot), for assessment purposes, is classified R1 (residential). The property’s assessment value is $141,900.00. The Notice of Intent to file an Objection was filed at least 48 hours before the meeting and states that the assessment should be $119,000.00. Objectors present are Michael and Joan Kirkhoff, 12126 Red Oak Court So, Burnsville, MN. Witness present is John Kirkhoff, 1833 Eleanore Ave., St. Paul, MN. The Kirkhoff’s identified themselves for the record. The Kirkhoff’s and Assessor Riglemon were sworn in by Ferda.

Michael Kirkhoff testified that, according to two real estate agencies, there have been no sales of vacant land in 2017 or 2018. Prior to 2017 and 2018, there were no sales above $100,000.00. Kirkhoff has no direct evidence regarding any sales prior to 2017 and 2018. He had an offer to purchase the lot for $140,000.00.

However, the sale was not finalized because the title insurance company would not guarantee access from the town road to his property because the road crosses forest service property. Therefore, the bank would not lend the funds for the purchase. A packet of information submitted by Kirkhoff was reviewed by the board and the assessor.

Riglemon testified that according to WI Stat 70.32, the best indication of value is the sale of the subject property. An offer to purchase of $140,000.00 was accepted. If this was a cash purchase, it would have been finalized. The title insurance company refused to insure it; therefore, the bank would not lend funds for the purchase. The question is, is it really inaccessible. Even though the property may become inaccessible at some point, the property is accessible today. The accepted offer of $140,000.00 should stand as the valid value of the property.

Discussion was held by the board regarding access to the property.

Kirkhoff and Riglemon summarized their testimonies.

Discussion was held by the board. Some members suggested lowering the assessment from $141,900.00 to $140,000.00. Hucker advised that compromise decisions are not allowed unless there is sufficient evidence to show the assessor is wrong and members should not rely on any outside involvement or their own personal experiences to form their decision.

Exercising its judgment and discretion, pursuant to Sec. 70.47(9)(a) of Wis. Statutes, the Board of Review by majority determined: that the Assessor’s valuation is correct; that the Assessor presented evidence of the fair market value of the subject property using assessment methods which conform to the statutory requirements and which are outlined in the Wisconsin Property Assessment Manual; that the Assessor presented evidence of the proper classification of the subject property using assessment methods which conform to the statutory requirements and which are outlined in the Wisconsin Property Assessment Manual, that the property owner did not present sufficient evidence to rebut the presumption of correctness granted by law to the Assessor, that the Assessor’s valuation is reasonable in light of all the relevant evidence and sustains the same valuation as set by the Assessor. I, Christine Ferda, Clerk of the Board of Review, do hereby certify that the members of the Board of Review voted as follows: Hucker: yes, Brandt: yes, McGuiness: yes, Cerman: yes, Huot: yes, Ferda: yes, to adopt these findings of Fact, Determination and Decision on this 14th day of June, 2018.

The Kirkhoff’s were provided with Notice of Board of Review Determination for each case presented.

Hucker stated it was 4:55 p.m. and as there were no other objectors present, the Board will remain in session but the recorder will be turned off until an objection is received.

At 5:00 PM, Hucker advised that the Board of Review has remained in session for the mandatory two hours. There was one objector who appeared and testified and received the decisions of the Board of Review.

A motion was made by Huot and 2nd by Cerman to adjourn the Board of Review. All in favor. Motion carried.

Christine Ferda
Town Clerk

Click the link below to download the minutes as a PDF
06-14-18_bor.pdf