In a recent video by JATVMedia, City Assessor Michelle Laube provides an update on the revaluation process for the city of Janesville. Laube shares important information about the goal of the reevaluation, the factors driving property prices in the area, and the impact this revaluation will have on property taxes. In this article, we will dive into the details shared by Michelle Laube, providing a comprehensive overview of the reevaluation process and its implications for Janesville residents.
Understanding the Reevaluation Process
The primary goal of the reevaluation is to bring properties in Janesville to 100% of their fair market value. This means that the list price at which a property can be sold and its assessed value should align with the market conditions. However, Laube explains that due to the continuously changing real estate market, the revaluation process may lag behind the current market conditions. This is because the revaluation is based on sales that occurred during the previous year, in this case, 2022. As the market continues to change, the revaluation process aims to proportionately distribute the tax burden based on the fair market values of properties.
Factors Affecting Property Prices
Laube highlights several factors driving the increase in property prices in Janesville. Despite a strong economy and low unemployment rate, the city is facing a housing shortage. There is a high demand for housing but a limited supply of available listings, creating a seller’s market. This imbalance between supply and demand leads to higher prices. Additionally, Janesville’s efforts to add housing units over the past few years have not fully met the increasing demand, further exacerbating the shortage.
In the period from 2019 to the end of 2022, Janesville added a total of 1,028 housing units, including single-family homes and multi-family units. While this is a commendable effort, there is still a long way to go to meet the housing demands of the growing community. As of April 30th, 2023, only four new single-family properties have received permits, and there are plans for 100 multi-family units, albeit limited to Cedar Crest. The shortage of housing not only affects residents looking to buy or rent but also hampers the city’s ability to attract new businesses and employees.
Impact on Property Assessments and Taxes
The reevaluation process has led to significant changes in the assessed value of properties in Janesville. The average assessed value of the community for 2023 is now $239.2 compared to $122.6 in 2011. This substantial increase reflects the changing market conditions and the efforts to bring property values in line with current fair market values.
However, Laube clarifies that reevaluations themselves are revenue-neutral. The purpose is to reallocate the tax burden fairly based on property values. The actual impact on property taxes will depend on various factors, including the budget and levy processes for all taxing jurisdictions, which will take place later in the year. To help property owners estimate the potential tax impact, the city will provide an estimated tax calculator on their website. This tool will allow property owners to adjust their monthly budgets accordingly.
Understanding Property Assessments
Laube provides a breakdown of the property assessments in Janesville. Approximately 92% of parcels in the city are residential properties, accounting for 72% of the total value. Commercial properties make up 6% of parcels but hold 26% of the value. Manufacturing, agricultural, and other property types account for the remaining 2%.
The Reevaluation Process and Homeowners
For the majority of Janesville homeowners, the reevaluation may not have a significant impact on their property taxes. As Laube explains, if their property value increases in line with the anticipated average increase of 44%, their property taxes should remain relatively stable. However, individual changes in property values can vary, and homeowners are encouraged to review the information provided and do their own research before reaching any conclusions. It is important to consider factors such as recent sales in the neighborhood and the accuracy of the data provided by the assessor’s office.
Tools and Resources for Property Owners
To assist property owners during the reevaluation process, the city provides various tools and resources on their website. These include a list of sales data used to determine property values, neighborhood-specific information, the estimated tax calculator, and links to relevant resources. Property owners are encouraged to familiarize themselves with these tools and reach out to the assessor’s office if they have any questions or concerns.
The reevaluation of property values in Janesville is an essential process that ensures fair distribution of the tax burden based on current market conditions. While the increase in property values may come as a surprise to some homeowners, it is crucial to understand the broader context and the implications for property taxes. By utilizing the tools and resources provided by the city, property owners can gain a clearer understanding of their individual situation and make informed decisions regarding their financial planning. The collaboration between the city and its residents is crucial for a successful reevaluation process and the continued growth and development of Janesville as a vibrant community.