Jones: It's property tax time

 

April 13, 2023



Iowa law requires that all residential property be reassessed every two years on the odd numbered year by the county assessor. That means Iowans had their homes reassessed this year.

When talking about assessing a home – what is really being talking about is the determination of market value. The law in Iowa is that assessed value is market value. The assessor finds the market value by analyzing recent sales, but also looks at the replacement cost (the amount it would cost to rebuild the property) less depreciation. Assessed value should be as close to market value as possible.

One thing people often wonder is how an assessor knows that they finished a basement or added a bathroom without ever coming into a home. Assessors actually find out most of this information by looking at building permits that are filed with the local city hall or the county. Another issue people have is when they find mistakes in their assessments – like a basement that claims to be finished when it is not. When homeowners find inaccuracies with their assessment, they should 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.

After considering all relevant information, assessments are sent out to homeowners by April 1 of the assessment year. A homeowner will not actually pay the taxes on these assessments until September of the following year.

What if a homeowner completely disagrees with the assessment of their home and property? Fortunately, there is a process for you to argue your case. The first step is NOT to call the Department of Revenue. Instead, file with the local Board of Review. The form is available at tax.iowa.gov. Additionally—this website will describe the process: https://paab.iowa.gov/appealing-your-assessment.

In a reassessment year, a property owner may protest an assessment for one or more of the following reasons:

• The assessment is not comparable to others with similar properties.

• The property is assessed at more than its actual value.

• The property is exempt from taxation.

• There is an error in the assessment.

• The assessment is fraudulent.

Completed protest forms can be received in the local assessor’s office starting April 2 up to and including April 30. The Board of Review will then review the assessment and determine whether the assessed value is fair. If, after review, you still do not agree with the assessed value, the homeowner may choose to appeal the case by filing in district court or with the Property Assessment Appeal Board at the Department of Revenue.

Rep. Megan Jones, R-Sioux Rapids, serves parts of Clay and Buena Vista counties in Iowa House District 6.

 
 

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