The vagaries of City of Racine property assessments are far too complex for the average person to understand, AND Racine Exposed is sure that is what The City of Racine would claim – but let’s witness some records that are anomalous at best, and may evidence corruption and racketeering at Racine City Hall.
From The Journal Times July 7, 2014:
Assessment challenges costing city
Legal fees add up to more than $204,000 since start of 2012
RACINE — Each year, Racine’s City Assessor’s Office hears from dozens of people who feel the city overvalued their property.
Some are homeowners, but the ones who typically stick around to file challenges to their assessments are with private companies that own large commercial buildings or apartment complexes in the city.
Board of Review
If the city’s Board of Review, which reviews assessment complaints, decides that the assessor’s valuation of their properties are correct, many of the companies end up filing a claim against the city and later a lawsuit. In most cases, the lawsuits demand that the city’s assessment of their property — used to determine the taxes the company will pay to all taxing bodies in the county — be lowered, and the “excessive” taxes they paid as a result of the alleged over assessment be returned.
Racine County Treasurer Jane Nikolai provides information concerning property assessments in an article, Property Assessment In a Declining Market, which attempts to clear up the confusion and it can be read by clicking HERE, while the Wisconsin Department of Revenue offers a wide variety of publications and information HERE.
Keep in mind that 2008 was the year when property values in Wisconsin peaked – unless you were City of Racine Mayor John Dickert’s Campaign Treasurer and Racine Cable Commissioner Mary Jerger (wife of Racine County Supervisor Monte Osterman, and more on that later) and that values declined, until 2014, when according to the Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance, property values in Wisconsin increased by 2.6%.
AND from The Journal Times, October 17,2014:
Home prices rise higher as foreclosure crisis subsides
The most amazing and anomalous property assessment change that Racine Exposed has found involves 522 Sixth St – which was purchased by Mark Pocaro for $27,027 on 11/22/2013. This was a bank owned property that was foreclosed on in 2011. In six years, the property assessment declined by$584,000 – from a high of $794,000 in 2008 to a new low of $210,000 in 2014, while the buildings value declined from $705,4000 in 2008 to $91,100 in 2014, and the land value increased from $88,600 in 2008 to $118,900 in 2014! During all that time – the Building Code – 223 Commercial General remained the same. How is this possible?
522 Sixth St. Property Card. Click on IMAGE for Large.
Another anomaly on Sixth Street involves 505 Sixth St, owned by BID #1 Chairman and RICO Defendant Mark Levine through his Corporation, L Street Properties; and 607 Sixth St which is owned by Victor Flores and Veronica Nuno, and is the place of Business of the former Cera’s Tequila Bar, which was recently dropped as a Plaintiff in the same RICO case.
RICO Defendant Mark Levine’s property at 505 Sixth St., saw a reduction of property value of $111,000 from a 2008 high of $556,000 to $445,000 in 2014. That’s an amazing and sudden drop of 20% in one year, in a rising real estate market, according to The Journal Times and the Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance. How is this possible?
Meanwhile, the former place of business for former RICO Plaintiff Cera’s Tequila Bar at 607 Sixth St. saw NO CHANGE since it’s 2008 high of $230,000! That’s 0%. How is this possible?
While 509 Sixth St., owned by Tango Bar LLC and home to the former Place on Sixth which was operated by RICO Plaintiff and former Alderman Keith Fair saw a reduction of $25,000 in property value from a 2009 high of $173,000 to $148,000 in 2014. That’s a drop of 15%. Both 509 Sixth St. and 607 Sixth St. have shuttered bar businesses and are Code 293 Tavern/Flats. How is this possible?
Meanwhile, 300 Sixth St., which was transformed from a bookstore into the failed TAOS Chili and then Dale Cooks by Dale Destiche, at great expense and with loads of troubles from The City of Racine Building Inspection Department, continues to decline in value, despite having a *NEW* Restaurant and Bar named SIP, that also has a permit to allow serving on the sidewalk!
300 Sixth St. is right across from Porters – aka TID 17, and situated in a Downtown Racine filled with TIF’s – which are taxpayer subsidized projects that are claimed by The City of Racine Development Authority to raise property vales, add to the tax base and someday provide tax relief – GOOD GRIEF – WHEN?- yet it’s value has declined $77,000, from a 2008 high of $242,000 to a 2014 low of $165,000! That’s a reduction of 32%! Good Grief Racine! How is this possible?
AND – Why hasn’t Brian O’Connell been fired yet? See the post -
An Inside Look At Ayra’s On Washington – Debra Ladwig’s Most Recent Employer
One of the most anomalous property assessments in Racine involves Racine Mayor John Dickert’s Campaign Treasurer and Racine Cable Commissioner Mary Jerger, who also happens to be the wife of Racine County Supervisor and Root River Council INC. Business owner, Monte Osterman!
Below is the assessment for Mary Jerger’s (and Hubby Monte Osterman) property at 2900 N. Wisconsin Ave – notice that it’s value, unlike most any other property in Wisconsin, and contrary to real estate trends, peaked in 2006, with an assessment of $192,000. It then dropped $10,000 in 2007, then rising to $185,000 in 2008. Can anyone show me a property record that matches this one? Because this is just ONE STRANGE ANOMALY…. in a City that sees one strange anomaly after another!
So today, in 2014 – the Mary Jerger Osterman property is only worth $152,000 – yet there is a similar property in the neighborhood that is worth $154,000 – yet experienced a MUCH DIFFERENT result than the Jerger-Osterman’s property from 2006 forward. That would be 2828 Wisconsin St., the Osterman’s next door neighbor! Same size lot, but a smaller house, 1.5 for the neighbors, 2 story for the Jergers!
Isn’t that *AMAZING* and *ANOMALOUS* that in 2005 the Jerger – Osterman’s 2 story house, on the same size lot was valued at $182,000 and the neighbor’s 1.5 story was valued at $175,000 – while in 2008, the Jerger-Osterman’s 2 story house was valued at $185,000 while the neighbor’s house was valued at $208,000! A difference of $23,000! HOW IS THIS POSSIBLE?
Jerger- Osterman Property v. Mathson Property:
Either Racine Exposed doesn’t understand that; The vagaries of City of Racine property assessments are far too complex for the average person to understand, OR, Frederic Bastiat had it right!
Is it time yet to assist Racine Mayor John Dickert in selecting a new outfit to wear?
See also this related blog from Racine Community Media:
RACINE- CITY OF RACINE NOT PAYING IT’S BILLS, NOW BEING SUED BY SURROUNDING COMMUNITIES CLAIMING CITY OF RACINE OWES OVER $700K DOLLARS FOR JOINT DISPATCH SERVICE!!!
Jerger VS. Mathson back to 1986.
Racine Exposed agrees…. Is Mary Jerger-Osterman ready to choose her new outfit to wear?
Any time you feel like all the endless crime, rigging and cronyism on Wall Street and its lobbied puppets in the Capitol is something new, look at these cartoons from about 100 years ago. You will feel better that this time is not different… and much worse that in 100 years absolutely nothing has changed.