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2023 Revaluation & Assessment/Market Value Newsletter

posted on 4/1/23

In the past three years, we have seen more changes due to derecho damage, and the limited housing available, than any other county. We had a reappraisal project in 2021 that was based on 2020 sales with adjustments on the derecho-damaged properties.  The rapidly rising land values, increased building supply costs and limited labor for rebuilding, has also affected our market. Although our paths may be different, all the markets in Iowa have increased a great deal. The residential market in 2022 rose at the most rapid rate to the highest levels in history. If the sales decrease, the assessments will decrease which they did in the late 1980s. 

The future taxes on these assessments (which cannot be determined now), will be based on the local taxing authorities’ budgets divided by taxable value (the assessment x assessment limitation factor). 

In Iowa the assessed values, in every odd year, are adjusted by the sales of the previous year for residential and commercial classes. If the assessor does not adjust to the median value of the prior year sales, plus or minus 5%, the Iowa Department of Revenue will adjust the assessed values to 100% in an equalization order in the fall of that year.  The agricultural values are based on a five-year income basis stated per Iowa Code.  

Agricultural: Increased approximately 28% for land and 20% for buildings. These numbers are likely less than the state average for agricultural.

Non-Agricultural land: These values typically went up about 25% based on vacant land sales throughout the county. 

Urban Residential: Each town was adjusted based on their prior sales ratios; increases of +25 to +30% were common based on their sales. These numbers are higher than the state average, but certainly not the highest, some being as much as 45% on average.

Rural Residential: These properties show the highest increases in Benton County of +30 to 40% based on sales.  Assessments were adjusted based on area (townships). These numbers while higher than state average, are certainly not the highest, with some counties raising theirs on average, as much as +46%.

Multi-Residential: These properties were adjusted based on their town and building type +25% based on sales. Our county numbers are slightly higher than average, with some counties increasing values as much as +60%. 

Commercial: All declarations of values are verified for commercial sales, due to the impact only a few sales can have to a revaluation.  The 2022 sales and appraisals by the Iowa Department of Revenue indicated a +30% adjustment. Assessments were revalued based on each town and types of properties sold. This was higher than most in the state, but some increased as high as +47.5%.  Our commercial properties did not have a revaluation in 2021, because of their prior year sales data, so this year’s revaluation was based on a four-year period. 

Industrial: Industrial properties were similar to Commercial; this property class was not revalued in 2021.   The revaluation was also over a four-year span and saw an increase of about 15%.

Other jurisdictions may have revalued last year based on their prior sales and are also revaluing this year, which will reflect in a smaller increase for 2023.  Our values reflect the change of the median sales from 2020 to the sales in 2022, which are used for revaluation. 

Assessment limitation:  In 1978 the assessment limitation or rollback factor, was created to help stabilize taxable values due to inflation, each year, based upon the allowable growth per class statewide.  Iowa limits statewide growth on taxable value for residential properties to 3% at the state level; not county, city or individual property.  The end result is the taxable value increases across the state, increases at a stable rate.

Property owners are encouraged to do further research on their properties’ current market value by visiting www.beacon.schneidercorp.com and clicking on property search under Benton County, Iowa for comparable sales data.   A sales list can be found on our county website at bentoncountyia.gov/assessor

If you are not satisfied that the foregoing assessments is correct, you may contact the Assessor on or after April 2, to and including April 25, of the year of the assessment to request an informal review of the assessment pursuant to section 441.30.  If you are not satisfied that the foregoing assessment is correct, you may file a protest against such assessment with the Board of Review on or after April 2, to and including May 1 of the year of assessment.

A valid appeal to the Assessor or the Board of Review should not be based solely on the increase of your assessment value or the possible taxes you may pay. It should be based on the current market value or a comparison to other properties assessments.

Reminder, the assessed value only reflects the current market value.  The assessor does not determine tax rates, calculate or collect taxes. 

The 2023 assessed value will be used to calculate property taxes which will be payable in the fall of 2024 and in the spring of 2025.

If you have further questions or concerns regarding your 2023 assessed value, please call the office. Our office hours are 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM Monday through Friday information about your rights to contest your assessed value along with dates to file protest can be found on the included assessment notification.

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