Glossary


  1. Assessed Value - a municipal assessor determines the assessed value of real estate and personal property. Assessments are determined by how the property existed as of January 1st of the tax billing year. Any questions relating to assessments should be directed towards the local assessor. Current and previous assessments can be viewed through the Kenosha County public access property inquiry page.
  2. Average Assessment Ratio (Aggregate Ratio) - the relationship between the assessed value and market value of a particular parcel. As an example if a parcel sold for $50,000 and is assessed for $37,500 it is said to have a ratio of 75%.
  3. Cadastral Map - a map defining land ownership. The land register cadastral map is further defined by the Act as a map showing all registered geospatial data relating to registered plots. The cadastral map consists of cadastral units, each of which represents a single registered plot of land.
  4. CSM- CSM is an acronym for Certified Survey Map. A Certified Survey Map is used to divide lands into 4 or less parcels. A CSM could be considered a small subdivision as it takes a parcel of land and “plats the land” creating a new legal description that corresponds to lots of the recorded Certified Survey Map. A Certified Survey Map is created in accordance with surveying principles as found in State Statute 236.34. Many municipalities in Kenosha require a certified survey map to divide lands. A certified survey map needs municipal approval and may need County approval.
  5. Easement - a legal right to use another's land for a specific limited purpose. In other words, when someone is granted an easement, they are granted the legal right to use the property, but the legal title to the land itself remains with the owner of the land.
  6. Estimated Fair Market Value - the Assessed Value divided by the Ratio of Assessment.
  7. Legal description - An abbreviated legal description can be found on your assessment notice and real estate tax bill. This legal description cannot be used to convey property. The actual legal description is on the document recorded at the Register of Deeds Office. Only the recorded legal description can be used to transfer lands. A parcel number or an address does not constitute what lands an individual owns.
  8. Metes and Bounds- refers to method that geographically describes land from a known starting point and uses bearings and distances to define the boundary.
  9. Orthophoto, Orthophotograph or Orthoimage - an aerial photograph or image geometrically corrected ("orthorectified") such that the scale is uniform: the photo has the same lack of distortion as a map.
  10. Parcel Identification Number - a unique number which geographically references land divisions. The PIN number is used to identify the location of a tract of land in Wisconsin and the world. PIN numbers facilitate the storage, manipulation, and retrieval of land related information including ownership, taxes, assessments, zoning, electronic mapping and various other databases. All 72 counties and many larger cities have parcel identification numbers. Although there is not a statewide“standard” parcel identification number most counties and cities use PIN numbers that are geographic in nature. 
    Kenosha County Parcel Number System
  11. Statute - an act of a legislature that declares, proscribes, or commands something; a specific law, expressed in writing. A statute is a written law passed by a legislature on the state or federal level. Statutes set forth general propositions of law that courts apply to specific situations.
  12. Survey -  also known as a boundary survey or plat of survey. The surveyor will locate and measure evidence in the field such as existing property corner monuments (iron pipes, rods, etc.), subdivision corners, section corners, fence lines and lines of occupation.
  13. Transfer fee - This amount will be located on the recorded document. The transfer fee amount for documents recorded after September of 1981 is $3.00 per $1,000.00. To calculate the deed take the transfer amount and divide it by .003. As an example if the transfer total on the deed is $60.00 the amount paid for the land was $20,000… $60.00 divided by .003.
  14. Zoning - Zoning requirements are dependent upon the municipality. Mostly, the Villages in Kenosha County and the City of Kenosha have their own zoning. Townships are zoned through the Kenosha County Department of Planning and Development.