Frequently Asked/Frequently Requested

Frequently Requested Information 

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How often is my home re-assessed?

    The State of Iowa requires that all real estate property be reassessed every two years on the odd numbered year. At that time, studies of current market value, sales ratios and economic trends of the local market will determine whether your assessment should change. If your property has any other change, it may be reassessed more often. For example, if you build a new garage, it will be assessed for the following year whether it is an odd number year or not. 

  • My assessment information is incorrect. For example, the website says that I have a finished basement and my basement is not finished, how do I correct that?

    If you find that there are inaccuracies with your assessment, please contact the assessor’s office. The assessor will review it and determine if the changes need to be made. An appraiser from the assessor’s office may need to walk through the property to obtain accurate data.
  • How is my assessment calculated?

    At some point, an appraiser from the assessor’s office has or will walk through the property. Measurements and notes are taken as to the property’s condition, how many bathrooms, remodeling that may have taken place and many other details of the home relevant to market value. The data is then entered into the computer and values are calculated based upon the square footage, condition and other details found in the home. Recent sales of properties similar to your home are also reviewed. 
  • What factors will change my assessed value?

    Several factors can change the value of your assessment. Home improvements, such as building a garage, building a deck, siding/roofing, kitchen or bathroom remodeling, finishing the basement, etc., may change the assessed value of the home. Supply and demand may also change the value. If there are many homes for sale in the area similar to your home, the values may decrease because there are so many options for purchase. Similarly, if there are not many homes in the area for sale, value may be higher. Economy places a factor in the assessed value. When the economy is not at a stable point, home sales fluctuate causing assessed value to change. 
  • If I purchased a home on foreclosure, should my assessed value change?

    According to State Law, foreclosures are not considered to be “normal” sales and are not used in the assessment of your home. They are considered to be a “forced” sale, in which the bank was forced to sell the home. If the foreclosed property was not left in normal condition, you may consider notifying the Assessor’s Office so that an appraiser may walk through the home to determine the value.
  • How does the assessor know if I have had home improvements on the inside of my property?

    The assessor finds out these changes through building permits that are filed with the local city hall or the county.
  • What is the rollback value?

    The rollback value was set up by the State of Iowa to regulate large fluctuations in value. The rollback value is determined by the Director of Revenue and Finance each year. If the value increases more than four percent for the entire state of Iowa, the Director of Revenue and Finance will set the rollback percentage to use on the class of property. So, if you have drastic increases in one town and drastic decreases in another, the rollback value consider both.
  • How do I know if my assessed value changes?

    If there is any change to the assessed value of your property, you will receive an assessment notice on or before April 1st of the year of the change. The taxes on the new assessment will not be reflected until September of the following year. 
  • How does market value effect my assessment?

    The Market value is defined by Iowa law as the “fair and reasonable exchange in the year in which the property is listed and valued between a willing buyer and a willing seller, neither being under any compulsion to buy or sell and each being familiar with all the facts relating to the particular property”. The market value is considered an estimate of how much a property would fetch on the open market. It could also be referred to as an “arms length transaction” or the “willing buyer/willing seller” approach. 

    The assessed (market) value of the property is determined as of January 1. The assessor finds the market value by analyzing recent sales, but will also look at the replacement cost (the amount it would cost to rebuild the property) less depreciation. For commercial properties, recent sales are also analyzed and value may be determined by how much income the property can generate. The assessor does not use the business income, only the income generated by the property. Assessed value should be as close to market value as possible.
  • If I don’t agree with my assessed value, what do I do?

    Before protesting your value, ask yourself these two questions: 1. What is the actual market value of the property? 2. How does the value of my property compare to similar properties? After asking these questions, if you still do not agree, you are able to protest the value. Protest forms can be found on this website during protest times and are available at the Assessor’s office. Completed forms must be received in the assessor’s office starting April 2nd up to and including April 30th. The Board of Review will then review your assessment and determine whether the assessed value is fair. If, after review, you still do not agree with the assessed value, you may choose to appeal the case by filing in district court or with the Property Assessment Appeal Board. 
  • How do find my current property value?



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