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Property Tax Assessments - How to Contest Them

by Beth Jaworski

Many people grumble about their property tax bills, yet few do anything about them. One way to lower your tax bill is to get your property assessment lowered. As a property owner you always have the right to contest your assessment. I recently attended a panel made up of three local assessors: the chief assessor for the city of Milwaukee, an assessor from the city of Brookfield and an assessor from West Bend. It was very interesting to hear what they had to say. All three agreed that assessments are supposed to reflect market value. However, because the real estate market can move so quickly, both up and down, assessments rarely do reflect current market value. That can be okay however, as long as all of the assessments in the municipality are off by the same percentage. Uniformity is the goal. In other words, if all assessments in a municipality are 10% above market value, that's okay, as then all are paying taxes at the same ratio.

Often when you look at two comparable properties you find a large discrepancy in their assessed values however. That is a problem, as the owner with the larger assessment is paying more than their fair share. If you think your property is over assessed, it may well be worth your time to contest. If you are not sure of area market values, please contact me. I am happy to help and can supply recent sales in your area.

Keep in mind that you only have a limited amount of time to contest each year (deadline varies by municipality) but the sooner you do so, the better. You will need to contact your local assessors office and follow their procedure. It usually involves filling out a form (in Wauwatosa it is called a "Request for Review" and is available online) and then allowing the assessor to walk through your property. This makes many homeowners nervous, but if you do not allow the assessor through the property, you lose the right to contest your assessment.

The walk through can actually be a good thing, as many times the municipality has inaccurate date for your property. For example, in 2011 I contested the assessments of two of the properties that I own. Turned out the city had a much larger living space listed in the attic of one than was actually there. The other property also had an error in the room count. Both assessments were lowered and as a result, I ended up paying about $1,700 less in property taxes at the end of the year. Well worth my time and effort! Hopefully you will enjoy the same results.

10 in Tosa

by Beth Jaworski

Wauwatosa has become a dining destination that you must experience! Come and dine in beautiful Wauwatosa  during 10 Days In Tosa, September 12th through the 21st.

Twenty-one participating restaurants are offering you a dine or beverage special - each with a real value of $10 to you!  Purchase the Access Card for $10 here online, at three Wauwatosa area M&I banks, at the Wauwatosa Chamber of Commerce, Crowne Plaza Hotel Milwaukee West or at the Radisson Hotel Milwaukee West

You must present the card at the time of ordering to reap the benefits of the special. Some restrictions may apply.  Visit all the restaurants in 10 days and you could save $210!

Please note that unless you are an M&I customer you must pay cash for the cards. You may pay via credit card but it would be treated as a cash advance which typically will cost more. M&I bank customers can write a check or charge without a cash advance transaction.

This is the first dining week brought to you by the Wauwatosa Chamber of Commerce. Come out and experience all that this wonderful culinary community  has to offer!

 /kh

TosaFest 2011

by Beth Jaworski

Tosafest 2011 continues Wauwatosa's 32 year annual tradition of music, food, and family fun, to celebrate our historic village and community spirit.

Each year, proceeds from TosaFest support community projects in the areas of education, safety and neighborhood improvement, to name a few. Countless volunteers work year-round to create this memorable event that entertains and benefits the whole community.

TosaFest is an annual event and this year will be held next Friday and Saturday, September 9th and 10th. Every year Shorewest sponsors the wristbands and agents volunteer "wristbanding" on Friday and Saturday night (you need a wristband to drink alcohol so we check ids of anyone who looks under 30).

Stop by and say hi, this will be my 4th year volunteering. I will be there working the last shift, Saturday night from 8 pm to 11 pm.

For more information visit the offical
web site and they are also on Facebook!

 

 

/kh

Winging It

by Beth Jaworski

Almost 20 years ago the residents of the Olde Hillcrest neighborhood came up with the idea of an interactive dinner theater as a fundraiser for the Wauwatosa Historical Society. It was a great success and has become a well loved and attended tradition.

Occurring only every other year, this February will be the 9th production. You won't want to miss the Hysterical Society Players, presenting Winging It - The Wedding of Celia Kozinsky & Philip de Vigny. Guests are encouraged to wear wedding attire (dig out that old bridesmaid dress) and for a few brave souls there are a limited number of guest parts available.

In keeping with tradition, there will be four performances held, Friday, Feb. 18th, Saturday, Feb. 19th, Friday, Feb. 25th, and Saturday, Feb. 26th. Tickets are only $30 & include an Italian dinner, wedding cake, beer, wine or soda. You may pay online or download a registration form on the Historical Society's website: http://wauwatosahistoricalsociety.org/Mystery%202011%20Wedding.htm.

I will be attending opening night as a guest and will be volunteering in the kitchen on Saturday, Feb. 26th, so I hope to see you there! Performances do normally sell out, so be sure to get your tickets today.

Tosa Farmer's Market Opens June 5th!

by Beth Jaworski

One of the best things about summer, besides warm weather & sunshine, is all the fresh fruit & vegtables. For those of us with yards too small or shady, or for those who are just too busy to grow your own garden, the Wauwatosa Farmer's market is just the ticket.

Eagerly awaited by myself and most my neighbors, the market is opening this Saturday, June 5th, and will be open from 8 am to noon every Saturday through October. If last fall's preview event was any indication, it will be packed the whole time. Wauwatosa residents love to "live local"!

There are over 30 vendors already signed up (was glad to see Maxie's is one of them - their peacan pumpkin pancakes were delicious last fall) and there will also be live music and cooking demonstrations.

The market is located on Hart's Mills parking lot, just south of the historic Little Red Store (LRS) and along the Oak Leaf bike trail in the Village of Wauwatosa. (As a side note, be sure to stop in the Little Red Store and pick up the book, Images of America Wauwatosa by the Wauwatosa Historical Society.)

Usually I would walk up State Street and use the the pedestrian bridge adjacent to Café Hollander to reach the market, but be advised that the bridge will be closed for a few weeks in June, although it will be open on June 5.

According to the market's web site: "to reach the Tosa Farmers Market, drivers should take Watertown Plank from the west side of the Village to the end and turn left to park behind the LRS."

"Pedestrians and bikers can enter on the Oak Leaf Trail just north of Church Street on the Menomonee River Parkway and cross over the river into the parking lot behind the LRS. A short walk south along the bike trail and across the railroad tracks will take you to the market. Bike racks are available in front of the LRS."

For more info please visit: http://www.tosafarmersmarket.com/

I hope to see you there!

2 Great New Restaurants in East Towne Tosa

by Beth Jaworski

Two new restaurants opened in East Towne Tosa recently and both delighted me on my first visit. The Daymaker Cafe opened this fall at 7225 W. North Avenue, the former site of the East Towne Cafe. On the recommendation of my waitress, I ordered the homemade corned beef hash. Real corned beef and yummy fried potatoes. True comfort food and great on a cold winter's day! The prices are also reasonable, staying in the $5.95 to 11.95 range for breakfast and lunch, with some dinner selections going a little higher.

Cosmos Cafe, located just a half block down the street at 7203 W. North Avenue, opened in November. I love Greek food and am excited to have a local place to get it. Mark and I both ordered gyros and split the Greek Village salad. The lamb on the gyros was very light and flavorful, perfectly done. Portions were generous and prices very reasonable; almost everything on the menu is $6 or under. I will be back to try the Spanakopita and their Friday fish fry.

We are extremely fortunate to have so many fabulous restaurants on North Avenue, from Juniper 61 to Ted's to Cranky Al's to Il Mito and now 2 more gems have been added to the line up!

Wauwatosa's Tree Lighting

by Beth Jaworski

HO, HO, HO! Don't miss Santa! He will be in the village, at Root Common Park (located at the intersection of Wauwatosa & Harwood Avenue) for the annual tree lighting this Saturday, December 5th at 5 pm. You'll also enjoy carols by the McKinley School children's choir. Don't forget to bring a nonperishable food item for the Tosa food pantry also. For more details on all the holiday festivities, visit http://www.villageofwauwatosa.com/

Displaying blog entries 1-7 of 7

Contact Information

Photo of Beth Jaworski Real Estate
Beth Jaworski
Shorewest Realtors
11622 W. North Avenue
Wauwatosa WI 53226
Direct: 414.844.1118
Cell: 414.520.8555
Fax: 262.782.1551

I hope that this website was able to assist in your search for a home, or in your quest for information about buying or selling a home.  Please do not hesitate to contact Beth Jaworski of Shorewest Realtors with any questions. Email is sold@bethjaworski.com  and cell number is (414) 520-8555. Thanks!