Vote underway after Madison appraiser reassesses hotel property values

Vote underway after Madison appraiser reassesses hotel property values

A total of 33 hotels in Madison could have their property value reduced by millions of dollars after asking the city to reassess their worth.

City of Madison Assessor Mark Hanson said appraisers had very few details when initially assessing commercial properties, including hotels.

By Wisconsin law, hotel owners are not required to provide income or expense information. Hanson said not having these numbers forced the city to make assumptions during the assessment process.

“If you don’t have their actual numbers, maybe we’re going online to find out what is their average daily rate for room rent and then you have to assume what’s their vacancy? How often are their rooms rented out and so just a couple of things like that being off when you compound them together can make a big change,” Hanson said.

Appraisers made assumptions that were off by millions of dollars.The initial assessment reported Edgewater Hotel to be worth over $53 million. A reassessment is cutting the value of the hotel in half to roughly $27 million, which means Edgewater owners will be taxed less.

Collectively, hotel values in Madison are up by $105 million from 2016, which is half of what appraisers originally estimated.

“When our values first came out in the spring it looked like we were going to have a bigger shift from residential to commercial. Now it’s going to be somewhat less than that but it’s still a shift,” Hanson said.

Hanson said residential property owners will be slightly impacted by the reassessment. Homeowners could pay more in taxes, but it will likely be less than one percent from the year before.

The Board of Assessors will vote on the new numbers Wednesday.

Hotel owners who disagree with the reassessment have 15 days to file an appeal.