About the Assessor
Assessors are appointed to their position by a Conference Board consisting of the members of the Board of Supervisors, the Mayors of all the incorporated cities, and a member of each school district within the jurisdiction. A city with a population of 10,000 or more may elect to have their own assessor. In cities having an assessor the conference board shall consist of the members of the city council, school board and county board of supervisors.
Assessors are required by law to pass a state examination and complete a continuing education program consisting of 150 hours of formal classroom instruction with 90 hours tested and a passing grade of 70% attained. The latter requirement must be met in order for the Assessor to be reappointed to the position every six years.
The Conference Board approves the Assessor's budget and after a public hearing acts on adoption of the same. The Assessor is limited, by statute, depending upon the value of the jurisdiction, to a levy limitation for the budget.
The Assessor DOES NOT:
- Collect taxes
- Calculate taxes
- Determine tax rate
- Set policy for the Board of Review
The Assessor is concerned with value, not taxes. Taxing jurisdictions such as schools, cities and county, adopt budgets after public hearings. This determines the tax levy, which is the rate of taxation required to raise the money budgeted.
The taxes you pay are proportional to the value of your property compared to the total value of property in your taxing district.
Residential, commercial and industrial real property are assessed at 100% market value. Market value of a property is an estimate of the price that it would sell for on the open market on the first day of January of the year of assessment. This is often referred to as the "arms length transaction" or "willing buyer/willing seller" concept. The Assessor must determine the fair market value of real property.
Why Values Change
After properties have been appraised, the values are analyzed to ensure accurate and equitable assessments. Iowa 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 property assessments.