Land Records Frequently Asked Questions

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Questions 

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 Surveying
 Real Property Listing

 Answers

 Surveying

The County Surveyor does not perform survey work for private parties. He only does field work for County projects. A list of private land surveyors is available here. 

The vast majority of parcels in La Crosse County were created by written legal description and not by a field survey. Therefore it is likely that there are no physical markers in the ground to show lot corners. Surveys are now required for certain new land divisions as determined by municipal or county rules/ordinances. A bank may also require that a survey be performed.

If your parcel has indeed been surveyed (see above), it is likely that the lot corners are marked with an iron bar or iron pipe. However, many other different objects have been used as monuments. The legend on your survey map should indicate the type of monument set. Most often the monuments were set below the surface to help avoid disturbance.

Small rectangular yellow signs are placed on metal posts near ties to PLSS corners. They are not marking the corner itself, but are placed near the corner in order to preserve its location. Please do not disturb or remove these markers! If you know of a corner monument that is endangered, please notify the County Surveyor's Office.

There are many private licensed land surveyors who work in the county. They are independent, do not work for the county, and are not supervised/approved by the county. The county cannot determine 'who is right' in a property line dispute.

County parcel mapping and/or coordinates obtained from it are not to be used for surveying. Land Surveyors follow specific rules and use legal descriptions and known points for their work.

 Real Property Listing

When new lots, or parcels are created during the year, new parcel numbers are assigned. However, assessments are based on how the property existed on January 1 of the given year. If a parcel is split during the year, the tax bill will go out as a whole to the person who owned it when it was split. The new parcels will not be assessed or taxed until the following year. If you would like the tax bill split, contact the treasurer for your municipality. Under certain circumstances they may split the tax bill for you. 

If you haven’t recorded any document to transfer the title to your property since your marriage, the name reflected on the tax bill and assessment notice will be the same as listed on the conveyance where you took title. To change the ownership, you may contact an attorney to prepare the documents.

It depends on how the title to the property was held. If the property was held in joint tenancy or survivorship marital property, you can file a Termination of Decedent’s Interest form with the Register of Deeds office. This form is available at the Register of Deeds office and the staff can provide you with instructions on filling out the form. If the property was not titled this way, you may wish to contact an attorney to help transfer the property, especially if the property needs to go through probate.

Our office is required to list the owners of real estate according to the recorded documents in the Register of Deeds office. If there was no type of documentation to change the ownership in the property (quit claim deed, divorce judgment, etc.) we do not have any way of changing the names. In this case, you may wish to check with the attorney handling the divorce about transferring the property.

Our office is required to maintain the values established by the assessor for your municipality. If you do not agree with your values, you should first contact your assessor to discuss it. A good source of information is the state Department of Revenue website which contains information on property owners' rights and information about the assessment process.

For first installment amounts, you should check with the treasurer for your municipality.  After that, check with the county treasurer's office. 

Check with the GIS division

The county Land Use Management Division has information on zoning for properties in the rural part of the county.  If the property is located within an incorporated (zoned) city or village, you will need to contact the appropriate department of that municipality.  Zoned townships include the following:  Brunswick, Clear Creek, Drammen, Lincoln, Pleasant Valley, Seymour, Union, and Washington. Unzoned townships include the following:  Bridge Creek, Town of Fairchild, Ludington, Wilson, and the Village of Fairchild.