Here’s what the new 2019 La Crosse property assessment means for homeowners

If you live in La Crosse the odds are the assessed value of your house just went up.

The city said the average home increase was around 23 percent.

The city said the last time houses were assessed, in 2008, prices were around $125 to $150 per square foot.

Now they’re around $160 to $180 per square foot.

Jason Gilman, the director of planning and development for the city of La Crosse, said-:”(Housing values) changed dramatically over the last 10 years. Partially because of inflation and contractor scarcity and just scarcity in the housing market.”

It’s been more than a decade since the value of single family homes in La Crosse were assessed and the city says that’s a problem.

“It’s recommended that cities try to do this once every five years,” Gilman said.

Gilman said the city thinks it’s found a solution.

“The appraisers in the assessment department use a sophisticated software and what they do is they look at as much detail as they can get on every house in terms of square footage, the type of construction, the layout and then they determine what’s comparable in the market.”

The software makes it easier to evaluate housing prices.

“But now that we have sophisticated software we can keep up with it,” Gilman said.

But not everyone is happy with the new valuation of their home.

Jeremiah Steiger said his home value increased by more than $30,000 and he’s worried about higher taxes.

“I don’t understand this huge jump. Everybody would like to put a little money away for their kids for college, their first car or things like that. But when things like this happen all of the money that you’ve got saved up in their accounts you may have to use that to cover silliness like this,” Steiger said.

Gilman said just because your home value went up doesn’t mean your taxes will.

“Don’t take your new value and multiply it by the old mill rate because we’re not going to have the old mill rate. The mill rate changes. If that market increases then it pushes the mill rate down,” Gilman said.

Gilman also said if the city didn’t reassess home values now it would’ve come as an even bigger surprise when they did.

“What we don’t want to do is keep kicking the can down the road and falling further and further behind market, because then people will really get a shock someday if it’s brought up to market,” Gilman said.

Despite most homes increasing in value some houses actually were devalued.

Many houses in flood zones for example saw a 10 percent to 15 percent reduction in the value of their home.

The city said if people think the valuation of their home is way off, based on the interior of their home that assessors didn’t see, they can contact the city assessor’s office and attend a board of review meeting on May 20.

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