Frequently Asked Questions

Property Tax

Q

When does one begin to pay property taxes?

A

On values determined as of January First, one does not start to pay taxes until eighteen months later.

Q

What is a roll back percentage and how is it determined?

A

The "roll back" is the percentage of actual value that is determined by the Director of Revenue and Finance each year on the several classes of property where the total value increase statewide, exceeds four percent for each class of property. The percentage so determined by the Director of Revenue and Finance is certified to and applied by the local county auditor to all property in each class affected throughout the State. Percentages determined by the Director of Revenue and Finance are the same for all the assessing jurisdictions in the State.

Q

What is the rate of increase in assessed value of individual parcels of property as determined by the Assessor?

A

Increases in assessed value of individual parcels of property as determined by the Assessor, may exceed four percent within a jurisdiction.

Q

How is agricultural property (except in agricultural dwellings) assessed?

A

Agricultural property, except agricultural dwellings, are assessed on the basis of productivity and net earning capacity using a five-year crop average and capitalized at a rate set by the Legislature. The rate is currently seven percent. Tentative and final equalization orders are issued by the Director of Revenue and Finance in odd numbered years on or about August 15th, and October 1st respectively. The orders are sent to the various county auditors who apply them to the classes of property affected, if any.

Q

What are the appointment and reappointment qualifications for Assessors and members of the Board of review?

A

Assessors and members of the Board of Review are appointed to their terms of office. Assessors, in addition to completing the required 150 hours of Continuing Education, must be approved by a majority vote of the Conference Board in order to be reappointed.

Q

Who should I contact if I desire further information or if I have questions concerning property values or other related information?

A

If you desire further information, questions concerning property values or other information relating thereto should be addressed to the Assessor's office in the respective jurisdiction and not the Board of Supervisors or Treasurer.

Q

Who should I contact if I have questions related to taxes?

A

Questions relating to taxes should be addressed to the local county treasurer.

Market Value

Q

What is Market Value?

A

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 sometimes referred to as the "arms length transaction" or "willing buyer/willing seller" concept.

Q

How does the Assessor estimate Market Value?

A

To estimate the market value of your property, the Assessor generally uses three approaches:

  • The first approach is to find properties that are comparable to yours which have sold recently. Local conditions peculiar to your property are taken into consideration. The Assessor also uses sales ratio studies to determine the general level of assessment in a community in order to adjust for local conditions. This method is generally referred to as the Market Approach and is usually considered the most important in determining the value of residential property.
  • The second approach is the Cost Approach and is an estimate of how many dollars at current labor and material prices it would take to replace your property with one similar to it. In the event improvement is not new, appropriate amounts for depreciation and obsolescence are deducted from replacement value. Value of the land is added to arrive at an estimate of the total property value.
  • The Income Approach is the third method. It is used if your property produces income such as an apartment or office building. In that case, your property could be valued according to its ability to produce income under prudent management. In other words, the amount another investor would give for your property in order to gain its income. The income approach is the most complex of the three approaches because of the research, information and analysis necessary for an accurate estimate of value. This method requires thorough knowledge of local and national financial conditions, as well as any developmental trends in the area of the subject property being appraised since errors or inaccurate information can seriously affect the final estimate of value.
Q

Why does value change?

A

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.

Q

What if I disagree with my valuation?

A

If you disagree with the Assessor's estimate of value, please consider these two questions:

  1. What is the actual market value of my property?
  2. How does the value compare to similar properties in the neighborhood?

If you have any questions about the assessment of your property, feel free to come in and discuss it with the Assessor. You may file a written protest with the Board of Review which is composed of three or five members from various areas of the assessing jurisdiction. The Board operates independently of the Assessor's office, and has the power to confirm or to adjust upward or downward any assessment.

If not satisfied with the Board's decision, appeals may be filed with the Property Assessment Appeal Board or to district court within 20 days after adjournment or May 31, whichever date is later.

You can also find more information by visiting the pages below:

Tax Levies

Q

What are tax levies?

A

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 pay for schools, police and fire protection, road maintenance and other services budgeted for in the area. The tax levy is applied to each $1,000 of a property's taxable value.

Q

What is the assessed value?

A

The value determined by the assessor is the assessed value and is the value indicated on the assessment roll.

Q

What is the taxable value?

A

The taxable value is the value determined by the auditor after application of state ordered "rollback" percentages for the various classes of property and is the value indicated on the tax statement.

Q

Which values should I use when comparing the value of my property with other properties?

A

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.

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