New Berlin - The average New Berlin residence lost roughly $24,100 of value since 2009, based on the revaluation the city performed this year.
In the regular three-year reassessment of all taxable property, residential properties - homes and condominiums - fell an average of 9 percent.
In 2009, the year of the last citywide revaluation, the average home/condo value was $251,400, said Paul Koller, city assessor. This year, the average is $227,300.
But the free-fall of home prices might be over, Koller said. Since spring he has seen indications that home prices have bottomed out. The value of homes sold is slightly above last year, and the number of homes for sale is up, both good signs, he added.
"Hopefully, the worst is behind us," he said.
Even with a residential decline of 9 percent, New Berlin didn't suffer as much as nationwide, Koller noted. On average, prices nationally fell 20 percent from 2007 through 2009, according to the Case Shiller Home Price Index.
"The class that took the biggest hit was condos," Koller said, noting that values fell an average of 15 percentin New Berlin, with a range from 10 to 25 percent.
Commercial properties held their values better, falling only 5 percent, based on market activity.
Manufacturing values, another important component of the tax base, are set by the state, Koller said. He won't know how that sector performed until October.
But estimating manufacturing, Koller said the city's total tax base probably shrunk 6.9 percent - from $4,719,558,800 in 2009 to an estimated $4,394,711,790 after this year's revaluation.
With a smaller tax base, the tax rate per $1,000 must be higher, just to raise the same amount of taxes.
The city has been trying to build the tax base back up, said Mayor Jack Chiovatero.
Its major thrust is putting sewer and water into a large tract of farmland in what is known as Section 35 and part of Section 34 to make it ready for development, Chiovatero said.
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