Annual Assessment Report

General questions

  1. What are the filing requirements for the Annual Assessment Report (AAR)?
  2. What is the relationship between the AAR and USPAP?
  3. How does the AAR improve Wisconsin's overall assessment process?
  4. What is DOR's long-term goal for the AAR?
  5. Where can I get a copy of USPAP?
  6. Will DOR provide an example or template of the AAR?
  7. Will I need to take the "official" 7- or 15-hour USPAP class?
  8. Will DOR continue to provide training at conferences and at the assessor schools?
  9. Under what authority does DOR require USPAP compliance?
  10. Why is DOR requiring this report?
  11. What is the difference between the MAR and the AAR?
  12. What if I don't comply with professionally accepted practices?

  1. What are the filing requirements for the Annual Assessment Report (AAR)?

    For 2013, each statutory assessor was required to file at least one report. Since 2013 was a year of cooperative learning, the Wisconsin Department of Revenue's (DOR) feedback will consist of suggestions and recommendations only. If possible, complete a report for a municipality undergoing a revaluation.

    For 2014, you must file a report for each municipality where you are the statutory assessor.

  2. What is the relationship between the AAR and USPAP?

    The AAR uses the framework of the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP). The AAR encompasses assessment practices and USPAP standards for items including: ethics, competency, and performance.

  3. How does the AAR improve Wisconsin's overall assessment process?

    As stated in the USPAP Preamble, "The purpose of the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP) is to promote and maintain a high level of public trust in appraisal practice by establishing requirements for appraisers. It is essential that appraisers develop and communicate their analyses, opinions, and conclusions to intended users of their services in a manner that is meaningful and not misleading."

    An appraisal is an estimate of value. Since assessors estimate value, assessors are appraisers. USPAP requires the testing of results. The most accepted method of testing assessment results is the ratio study, which is described in the Wisconsin Property Assessment Manual (WPAM) and in the (IAAO) Standard on Ratio Studies.

    Each assessor, by constantly evaluating his or her practices, contributes to the overall improvement of Wisconsin's assessment process.

  4. What is DOR's long-term goal for the AAR?

    Over time, Wisconsin assessors will become familiar with USPAP standards and practices, and with assessment testing techniques. We hope that the AAR and its reporting requirements encourage the use of technology and in doing so, improve assessment equity. Changes in the quality of reports will provide a barometer for measuring improvement and will help us identify specific training needs so that we can more keenly focus our training resources and deliver appropriate instruction in the WPAM.

  5. Where can I get a copy of USPAP?

    You can view USPAP at these websites: The Appraisal Foundation and the Wisconsin Association of Assessing Officers. You can purchase a paper copy from The Appraisal Foundation or from the IAAO.

  6. Will DOR provide an example or template of the AAR?

    We currently provide:

    1. Adobe (Form PR-800) - on our website and required for 2014
    2. Instructions for completing the Adobe form
    3. Note: Software vendors using XML filing should contact Office of Technical and Assessment Services at DOROTASTechnologyandApplications@revenue.wi.gov
  7. Will I need to take the "official" 7- or 15-hour USPAP class?

    No. You do not need to take these USPAP courses for assessment work.

  8. Will DOR continue to provide training at conferences and at the assessor schools?

    Yes. As we have done since 2010, we will continue to focus on the issue of professional assessment performance.

  9. Under what authority does DOR require USPAP compliance?

    Under state law (sec. 70.32, Wis. Stats.), the assessor must use professionally accepted appraisal practices. Since 1986, USPAP is the nationally accepted uniform standards of professional appraisal practices. The International Association of Assessing Officers (IAAO) was a founding member of the organization that created USPAP—The Appraisal Foundation.

    Under state law (sec. 73.03(2a), Wis. Stats.), "The manual shall discuss and illustrate accepted assessment methods, techniques and practices with a view to more nearly uniform and more consistent assessments of property at the local level. The manual shall be amended by the department from time to time to reflect advances in the science of assessment, court decisions concerning assessment practices, costs, and statistical and other information considered valuable to local assessors by the department." USPAP is an important advancement in assessment practice.

    Under state law (sec. 73.03 (5), Wis. Stats.), DOR has the power and authority, "To collect annually from town, city, village, county, and other public officers information regarding the assessment of property, and any other information that may be necessary in the work of the department, in the form and upon forms that the department shall prescribe. All public officers shall properly complete and promptly return to the department all forms received from the department under this subsection." DOR requires that assessment information is provided in a format described in USPAP.

    Note: Beginning in 2014, the required form is the Adobe fill-in form PR-800.

  10. Why is DOR requiring this report?
    • By state law, DOR is required to ensure assessment practices are current. Since USPAP is an important advancement in assessment practice, DOR is fulfilling its statutory obligation by requiring the AAR.
    • Since the fair distribution of property taxes affects every Wisconsin property owner, the processes that improve the quality of that distribution are fiscally important
    • Wisconsin property owners have the right to know they are being treated fairly and a written report describing how assessments have been done helps ensure this right.
  11. What is the difference between the MAR and the AAR?

    The MAR reports your assessment figures. The AAR reports your assessment practices.

  12. What if I don't comply with professionally accepted practices?

    If you do not comply, you will first receive a warning with further violations resulting in a review of your assessor certification for possible revocation.

FOR MORE INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT:

WISCONSIN DEPARTMENT OF REVENUE
Division of State and Local Finance
Office of Technical and Assessment Services
P.O. Box 8971 MS 6-97
Madison, WI 53708-8971
Phone: (608) 266-7750
Fax: (608) 264-6897
Email additional questions to bapdor@revenue.wi.gov

Page last updated July 9, 2014