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11/16/15

Using the Land Records Search site (some handy tips)

Brown County's "Land Records Search" site has been online for almost 14 years now, and has hardly changed at all since it launched.  You probably already figured out these "tips & tricks" for using this site, but here are the answers to the most common questions just in case you don't already know:

Land Records Search site tips:
  1.  Enter JUST a street name if you don't find an address. This will give you all properties on the street, and you can choose correct one from the subset.  This strategy helps you see hyphenated addresses.
  2. If your address search involves a County Highway, usually listed as County Road by the US Post Officeyou will need to enter "CTH" and the name of the highway (Ex: CTH B, CTH GV).   If your search involves a State Highway, you need to enter "STH" plus the name of the highway (ex:  STH 57). 
  3. Do not use any periods or apostrophes in the street name (ex: ST BERNARD, not ST. BERNARD).
  4. Searching is not case sensitive
  5. To PRINT a copy of the Property Tax Record, be sure your browser's left and right page margins are set to 0.5".  Also, be sure that the page orientation is set to landscape.  If you need assistance changing the page margins or orientation, consult your browser's Help file. 
 If all else fails and "Property Search" yields no results:

Go to the online GIS map which has more ways of searching, and will give you the parcel number to use as a property search key.
  1.  Go to http://maps.gis.co.brown.wi.us/  and choose "Multi-Purpose GIS map"
  2.  Simply zoom in on the map if you can point to the property's location & get the parcel number from the map text.
  3. Or, click the "Search" button on the upper left part of the map.
  4. Choose "Search for Address, business or landmark" or "Search for Street Name"
  5. The searches on GIS will show "drop-down" potential candidates as you type.  Often, this makes your search easier because it will show you hyphenated addresses and other nuances in the database. 
  6. Once you zoom in far enough on the GIS map you will see the parcel number.  Enter that parcel number in the Property Search page to get the tax details.  Note:  Soon, you will be able to get to Property Search more directly from the GIS map.
Some additional things you might also be interested to know:  
  • Sometime in the near future, as soon as budgets allow, we will replace the 14-year-old Property Search (and our 30+ year old AS/400-based land records platform) with something new. The online access page will be overhauled and improved.
  • If you want the database that's 'behind the curtain', no problem!  This database is a public record and available to you in Microsoft Access format (and GIS format) from the Data Downloads page on the Land Information Office web site.   Downloading the data is free, but it does require that you register for a login & password (instructions are on the downloads page, or you may click here to start registering).