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Certiorari Review – Tax Assessment

WI Supreme Court

Case Name: State of Wisconsin ex rel. City of Waukesha v. City of Waukesha Board of Review, et al.,

Case No.: 2021

Focus: Certiorari Review – Tax Assessment

The petitioner, City of Waukesha (the City), seeks review of a published opinion of the court of appeals that reversed the circuit court’s order that allowed the City to seek certiorari review of a tax assessment determination of the City of Waukesha Board of Review (the Board). The court of appeals concluded instead that the City could not seek such review, reversed the circuit court’s determination, and remanded to the circuit court with directions to quash the writ of certiorari and dismiss the action.

This case raises the novel question of whether the municipality itself can seek certiorari review of a determination of the municipality’s board of review. The City contends that the statutory language of Wis. Stat. § 70.47 (2017-18)2 allows it to appeal a Board determination by bringing a certiorari action pursuant to § 70.47(13). The Board, in contrast, argues that the City has no such right and that the City’s participation in a tax assessment proceeding ends after the Board has made its decision.

We conclude that Wis. Stat. § 70.47 does not allow the City to seek certiorari review of a decision of the Board. Accordingly, we affirm the decision of the court of appeals.




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Derek A Hawkins is Corporate Counsel, at Salesforce.

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