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The Wisconsin assessor certification program requires all assessment personnel to be certified. State certification of assessors and assessment personnel ensures that individuals working in the assessment field possess the minimum knowledge necessary to perform the assessment function properly. Establishing and maintaining these standards improves the quality of general property assessment, and therefore the equity of property tax in Wisconsin.

Assessor certification is not a new or unique to Wisconsin. Wisconsin's involvement in certifying assessors began in 1969 when the first county assessor system was established. At that time the Department of Revenue certified a list of qualified candidates for the office of county assessor. In 1973, the Legislature enacted section 70.99, that provided for mandatory certification of county assessors and their appraisal staff. The Legislature also enacted section 70.055 and 70.75, statutes that provided for mandatory certification of expert help.

There are five levels of certification in the Wisconsin Assessor Certification program. The levels of certification in order of increasing responsibilities are: Assessment Technician, Property Appraiser, Assessor 1, Assessor 2, and Assessor 3. The duties that an individual is authorized to perform are progressively more complex as the level of certification becomes higher. An individual certified at the higher level is allowed to perform the duties of any lower level of certification, except for the Assessor 3 level. An Assessor 3 can only perform duties associated with the Assessor 3 certification.

Each town, village, and city within Wisconsin is rated for a specific level of certification depending on the relative complexity of the property assessment function. If an individual is elected or appointed to the office of assessor and is not certified at the appropriate level for the municipality, the office is declared vacant and the proper appointing authority must appoint an appropriately certified individual to fill the office of assessor. Non-certified individuals are not allowed to be appointed to fulfill an unexpired term of an appointed or elected assessor.

New property assessment personnel other than statutory assessor must also be certified. The level of certification required for assessment personnel is determined by the duties performed by the individual. Each level of certification has a description of the duties authorized at that particular level. If an individual performs any or all of the duties described at a particular level of certification, the individual must be certified at that level to legally perform those duties. Clerical personnel are not required to be certified.

Updated: 3/13

Licensing Authority:
Wisconsin Dept of Revenue
Division of State and Local Finance
2135 Rimrock Road
P.O. Box 8933
Madison, WI 53708-


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