In Bayfield County Wisconsin a property listing’s description includes both Recorded Acres and Calculated Acres. This can be confusing when looking at a tax bill.
I went to the Bayfield County Land Records web page for clarification. Basically, Recorded Acres refers to acreage determined from a survey or described in a deed.
Calculated Acres are determined from the county’s digital parcel mapping that marks parcel boundary lines and then tries to seamlessly fit the parcels together. The web site explains the shortfalls of this system like this: “Parcel boundaries are not based on good control or a Public Land Survey System such as Survey Grade GPS so there are inherent errors built in from the beginning. Additional errors are created when fitting parcels together.”
While Calculated Acres are often inaccurate, it is the only way, for tax purposes, the County can determine a property description in the absence of a Certified Survey Map (CSM). If you have land that isn’t surveyed, you may want to consider hiring a surveyor. Once the survey is completed, it is submitted to the County for review. If the County finds errors, the survey is sent back to the surveyor for correction, and then it is recorded with the Register of Deeds. Once the survey is recorded it is sent to the Tax Lister and the official Recorded Acres are entered into the county land records system.