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Property Assessment Challenge


Property Assessment Challenge


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WI Court of Appeals – District I

Case Name: Rider Hotel, LLC, A Domestic Limited Liability Company v. City of Milwaukee, a Municipal Corporation

Case No.: 2022AP001141

Officials: Donald, P.J., Geenen and Colón, JJ.

Focus: Property Assessment Challenge

The Court of Appeals of Wisconsin affirmed the circuit court’s decision, dismissing Rider Hotel’s claims for partial property tax refunds. Rider Hotel, LLC, the owner of the Iron Horse Hotel, argued that the City of Milwaukee’s property assessments for 2017 and 2018 were excessively high and did not adhere to the statutory requirements.

The primary contention from Rider was that the City failed to use the correct assessment method, specifically the Markarian hierarchy. Rider asserted that the City should have employed a tier two “sales comparison approach” instead of the tier three “income approach” that was used. However, the court found that the comparable properties used in Rider’s tier two approach were not sufficiently similar to the Iron Horse Hotel. The properties varied significantly in factors such as location, amenities, and revenue sources.

The court determined that the City’s assessments were conducted in compliance with Wisconsin statutes and the Wisconsin Property Assessment Manual (WPAM). The City’s use of the income approach was deemed appropriate given the specifics of the Iron Horse Hotel. Additionally, the court found that the City appropriately considered various factors impacting the hotel’s market value, including business components and increased supply in the local hotel market.

Ultimately, the court held that the City’s assessment methodology and resulting property valuations were supported by substantial evidence and were not clearly erroneous, leading to the dismissal of Rider Hotel’s claims for property tax refunds​​.


Decided 06/11/24

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