Property Owner Legal Responsibilities
Important Dates & Information
The following information was prepared
by the public relations committee of the
What is Market Value?
Market value of a property is an estimate of the price that it would sell for on the open market on January 1st of the year of assessment. This is often referred to as the “arm’s length transaction” or “willing buyer/willing seller” concept.
To be considered market value, the following conditions would apply:
How does the Assessor estimate Market Value?
To estimate the market value of your property, the Assessor generally uses three approaches.
Why Values Change
After properties have been appraised, the values are analyzed to ensure accurate & equitable assessment. Iowa State law requires that all real property be reassessed every two years. The current law requires the reassessment to occur in odd numbered years. Changes in market value as indicated by research, sales ratio studies and analysis of local conditions as well as economic trends both in and outside the construction industry are used in determining your assessment.
If you disagree with the assessor’s estimate of value, please consider these two questions before proceeding, as outlined below:
Tax Levies & Assessed Value
There are a number of different taxing districts in a jurisdiction, each with a different levy. Each year the County Auditor determines for that district a levy that will yield enough money to fund the budgets that pay for schools, police and fire protection, road maintenance and other services. The tax levy is applied to each $1,000 of a property’s taxable value. The value determined by the assessor is the assessed value and is the value indicated on the assessment roll. The taxable value is the value determined by the Auditor after application of state-ordered “rollback” percentages for the various classes of property, as well as deductions for any applicable exemptions or credits, resulting in the value indicated on the tax statement. When comparing the value of your property with other properties always compare with the value on the assessment roll or the Assessor's property record cards and not the value indicated on the tax statement.
Exemptions & Credits
Iowa law provides for a number of exemptions and credits, including Homestead Credit, Military Exemption and Business Property Tax Credit. It is the property owner’s responsibility to apply for these as provided by law. If the property you were occupying as a homestead is sold, or if you cease to use the property as a homestead you are required to report this to the assessor in whose jurisdiction the property is located. For properties currently receiving the Business Property Tax Credit, changes in ownership or other changes that would affect the requirements for the credit, requires reapplication for the credit.
Visit http://www.iowa-assessors.org to read more information on exemptions and credits.
Tax Calculations & Flow Chart
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