2024 BOR Two-Hour Meeting

May 30, 2024

Town of Bayview—Board of Review

Bayview Town Hall


Chairman Donald Jenicek called the Town of Bayview Board of Review to order at 6:00 p.m.

Roll call:  Present – Chairman Donald Jenicek, Supervisor Mike Garnich, Supervisor Bill Bodin, Clerk Kim Suske, Assessors Ben Kurtzweil and Doug Kurtzweil, and John Carlson as legal counsel for the Town.  Ed Gruhl was present for the entire meeting; Mike Fitzgibbon was present for approximately the first half of the meeting.

Notices—Notice that The Assessment Roll is Open for Examination and Open Book; and Notice of Board of Review Two-Hour Meeting—were posted on the Town website and at the Town Hall and Bayview Beach on May 2, 2024.

Supervisor Mike Garnich and Clerk Kim Suske both attended the Board of Review training on March 19, 2024, and a certificate is on file with the Town Clerk and WI Department of Revenue.

John Carlson informed the Board that Mr. Gruhl’s May 18, 2024, email stating that he would object to his assessment if certain conditions were not met was considered adequate for Mr. Gruhl to object at this meeting to his 2024 assessment and that the Board should accept his Objection to Real Property Assessment form which he brought to the meeting.  This was the only objection received by the Clerk.

There was a discussion of the WI statutory change this year which eliminated the personal property tax class and shifted those taxes to real estate improvement; in the case of the Gruhl property, this shifted the assessment of his garage, which is located on managed forest land, to real estate improvement.  There was no increase in the Gruhl overall tax assessment in 2024.

Mr. Gruhl was informed by John Carlson that he can only object to his 2024 assessment, not his 2023 assessment as Ed and Mary Gruhl are currently bringing litigation against the Town of Bayview over their 2023 assessment.  Only a court can make a change to the Gruhl property 2023 assessment.

The case that was heard was an objection from Edward and Mary Gruhl; Tax ID 6883; 79001 Church Corner Road.  Mr. Gruhl was sworn in; Ben Kurtzweil and Doug Kurtzweil, assessors, were sworn in.  Mr. Gruhl asked that Mike Garnich, Board Supervisor, be removed from the BOR.  On his Objection to Real Property Assessment form, Mr. Gruhl indicated that his assessment shown on notice was $214,200 and that his opinion of assessed value was $178,826.  His reason for objection and basis of estimate was listed as “Assessor used stick value for manufactured home,” and he had 4 pages of attachments with points 10-48 (39 points); there were no points 1-9.  He additionally indicated that he felt he would need 180 minutes for his hearing.

Mr. Gruhl presented his testimony and evidence first and there was a lengthy discussion as to whether or not he could call the assessor as a witness and, if so, when; he did call the assessor as a witness at this point.  Mr. Gruhl entered two exhibits. Exhibit 1 was a blank Manufactured and Mobile Home Valuation Worksheet.  Exhibit 2 was a Core Logic—Swift Estimator Residential Estimator—Short Report print out which had been filled out by Mr. Gruhl.  Mr. Gruhl emphasized three points:  1. That it is an error to group a manufactured home with a stick home and that the home should by assessed as two separate values and not as a stick-built home; 2. The house was assessed as 1 ½ story and it is only 1 story with a 90 sq. ft. area that is only accessible by ladder; and 3. In reference to the 90 sq. ft. space and an area called the Clubhouse, both are only accessible by ladder and therefore not living quarters   The assessors were allowed to ask Mr. Gruhl questions, after which time the Board was given time to ask questions of Mr. Gruhl.  There were no additional witnesses called by Mr. Gruhl.

Ben Kurtzweil presented his case in support of the assessment next.  Ben explained that Mr. and Mrs. Gruhl’s assessment is essentially the same as last year although with the WI DOR changes, the garage that was previously considered personal property for purposes of tax assessment because it is located on managed forest land is now considered part of the real property assessment; the personal property category has been eliminated. He stated that the portion of the home that is a manufactured home was taken into account.  He stated that when you have a basement and a first floor, anything above the first floor is a ½ story.  Mr. Gruhl was given time to ask questions of Mr. Kurtzweil and then the Board was allowed to ask questions of Mr. Kurtzweil.  There we no witnesses present to testify in support of Mr. Kurtzweil.

There was a discussion as to the term “hybrid house” and whether it applies here.  It is a term used to refer to some structures in mobile home parks.  Kim Suske asked questions about assessment vs. appraisal as Mr. Gruhl had made reference to his home being appraised.  Bill Bodin asked to see photos of the house; the assessor provided the two photos that he had of the home, both of the exterior.

Mr. Gruhl was again given time to speak and be questioned again, followed by the same for the assessor.  Each was given time to make a summary of his case.  The Board asked additional questions.  Doug Kurtzweil spoke and stated that we need to take a look at the whole home, garage, and land and mentioned a comparable in the Town of Tripp on 35 acres that sold 3 years ago for $270,000 and that property was aspen and balsam, not hardwood like the Gruhl property.  Kim Suske asked Mr. Gruhl what he felt he could get for his property if he sold it.  Mr. Gruhl responded that he felt he could get $1500 per acre so he would suggest selling it for $120,000 for the 80 acres plus the house at $170,000 so around $300,000 for the house with 80 acres.

During the hearing, the Clerk took written notes as able while also filling out the Findings of Fact, Determinations, and Decision Form as directed by the WI Department of Revenue as a means to guide deliberations.  The form was reviewed by the Board of Review members and additional information added to complete the form.

John Carlson reminded the Board of Review that we need to decide whether Mr. Gruhl has provided significant contrary evidence that $214,000 was not a correct assessment.  A roll-call vote was taken and the three present Board Members—Don Jenicek, Bill Bodin, and Kim Suske—voted unanimously in support of the Assessor’s valuation.  Don Jenicek made a motion stating that, in the case of the 2024 Board of Review case of Mr. Gruhl, Mr. Gruhl did not present significant contrary evidence to the 2024 assessment; motion seconded by Bill Bodin.  Motion carried.

Mr. Gruhl left the premises before he could be given a copy of the Notice of Board of Review Determination form.

No further citizens were present, and no additional cases were heard.  At 8:03 p.m., Don Jenicek made a motion to adjourn the Town of Bayview Board of Review until Tuesday, June 4, at 7:15 p.m.; motion was seconded by Bill Bodin.  Motion carried.


Submitted by

Kim Suske, Clerk



Vol 16 page 73                                                                                                   Approved 07/09/2024