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Abandoned Property
Are you missing property? Check if it was found by or turned into the Benton County Sheriff's Office.
About Benton County Landfill
Visit the BC Landfill website to learn more about the Benton County Solid Waste Disposal Commission.
About the Auditor
Learn about the Benton County Auditor's many duties.
About the Weed Commissioner
Learn about the Benton County Weed Commission and its appointed commissioner.
Alcohol & Tobacco Licenses
Learn how to apply for alcohol and tobacco licenses.
Applications and Permits
View county permits and applications, including fireworks and use of the courthouse lawn.
Birth Records
Request a certified copy of a birth record.
Bus Fares
Find bus fares, schedules, and information for requesting a ride.
Rules/Camping/Rental Policies
Find everything you need to know about camping or reserving a cabin and shelter in Benton County.
Civil Division
Understand the civil duties of the Benton County Sheriff's Office.
Code of Ordinances
Search county ordinances by chapter or title.
Collections
Get help with delinquent court debt with a payment plan.
Conservation Board
Learn about the board and view a list of its current members.
County Attorney Payment Plans
Get help paying back delinquent fees.
Court Schedule
View Benton County's weekly court schedule.
Credits and Exemptions
View a list of credits and exemptions for property owners.
Criminal Process
Understand the difference between crimes and misdemeanors, and learn about the criminal process.
Death Records
Request a certified copy of a death record.
Dental Insurance
View dental insurance benefits for Benton County employees.
Donate/Memorials
Donate to help our parks flourish. Learn about sponsoring a bird feeder or fish/turtle tank.
Driver's License
View open hours for renewals and testing for driver's licenses.
Dust Control
Read through Benton County's Dust Control Policy.
East Central Region Website
Visit the Mental Health/Disability Services of the East Central Region website.
Elections Website
A resource for residents looking to learn how to vote, find their elected officials, learn about becoming a candidate, or find past or upcoming election information.
Emergency Assistance
Apply for emergency assistance and view eligibility requirements.
Emergency Management Website
Visit the Benton County EMA website.
Employee Assistance Program (EAP)
Learn about Benton County's EAP program.
Benefits
View the county's comprehensive benefits plan for full-time employees.
Employee Resources
View helpful resources and documents for county employees.
Federal Assistance
View federal assistance available.
Financial & Budgets
Find archived county audits, budgets, and financial statements.
Flexible Spending
Learn about Benton County employees' Flexible Spending Account (FSA) benefits.
Food Pantry
Browse a list of local food pantries.
Forms
Download and fill out commonly used Benton County Environmental Health forms.
General Assistance
Learn about general assistance options in Benton County, Iowa.
GIS/Mapping
View GIS and mapping resources for Benton County, including Beacon.
Hazard Mitigation Plan
View Emergency Management's Hazard Mitigation Plan.
Health Insurance
Learn about Benton County's Health Insurance plan for employees,
Invasive Weeds
View a list of weeds that can cause problems in Benton County.
Advisory Committee
View meeting minutes, a list of members, and more.
IRM History
Learn about the history and goals of Iowa's Integrated Roadside Vegetation Management program.
Jail
Find information about the jail's visitation hours, bonding agencies, and more.
Policies
View a list of BC Landfill policies, including recycling.
Life Insurance
Learn about Benton County's group life and accidental death and dismemberment insurance.
Links
View helpful social services resources in Benton County.
Links and Forms
View a collection of commonly used forms and helpful links for the Assessor's Office,
Links and Resources
View a list of helpful links and resources gathered by the Benton County Sheriff's Office.
Living Roadway Trust Fund
Learn about this annual grant program that provides funding for IRM activities.
Long Term Disability
Learn about the Long Term Disability plan provided for eligible Benton County government employees.
Maintenance
Learn about the county's road maintenance duties.
Maps
Browse a collection of trail maps.
Marriage Records & Licenses
Learn how to request and receive a certified marriage record or application.
Meetings & Minutes
View meeting agendas and minutes for the Board of Supervisors.
Motor Vehicles
Renew your motor vehicle tags and learn what is needed for a vehicle title transfer.
MyCountyParks
Visit the MyCountyParks website.
Native Plants
View a list of native plants that grow on our roadsides.
Nature Center
View Nature Center hours and activities.
Newsletter
Subscribe to Benton County Conservation's newsletter, and view past editions.
Noxious Weeds
Learn about noxious weeds found in Benton County.
Online Pay
Pay your property taxes and vehicle renewal fee online.
Other Services
Learn about vehicle salvage inspections, requesting driving records, fingerprinting, and house checks.
Paid Leave
Learn about paid leave benefits offered to eligible Benton County employees.
Parks
Browse a searchable list of Benton County parks.
Passports
How to apply for a U.S. passport.
Permits
View Secondary Roads Department permits.
Programs
Learn about programs offered by the Environmental Health Office.
Property Assessments (Beacon)
Visit Beacon's website to search real estate records.
Property Search
Visit the Iowa Land Records and Beacon websites.
Property Taxes
Pay your Benton County property taxes online, view due dates, and more.
Recorder Forms
Download forms like a declaration of value, groundwater hazard statement, and more.
Recording Fees
View a list of recording fees and document formatting standards for the State of Iowa.
Recreational Vehicles
Learn how to register boats, all-terrain vehicles, snowmobiles, and more.
Request a Ride
Reserve a ride with Benton County Transportation.
Resources
View resources to learn about prairie restoration, reconstruction, and Iowa Roadside Management.
Restitution
Learn how to request restitution from the offender of a crime committed against you.
Road Work and Closures
View a log of active road work and closures.
Rural Drop-Off Locations
Visit the BC Landfill website to see a list of rural drop-off locations.
Sex Offenders
Register with the Benton County Sheriff's Office.
Sheriff Sales
View a list of upcoming sheriff sales in Benton County.
Snow Removal Policy
Read through Benton County’s Snow & Ice Removal Policy.
Staff
View a list of Benton County Sheriff's staff members.
Tax Sales
Learn how to register to participate in the Tax Sale Auction.
Trails
Explore Benton County's trails!
Transfer Tax Calculator
Calculate the real estate transfer tax with our calculator.
Veteran Rides
Arrange a ride to the VA medical center or a community-based clinic.
Victim Rights
If you have been the victim of a crime, learn about your rights.
Vision Insurance
Learn about Benton County's vision insurance plan for eligible employees.
Volunteer
Help our conservation efforts succeed by volunteering.
Weapon Permits
Learn how to obtain permits to buy and carry weapons.
Weed Complaint
Report a noxious weed infestation.
Assessor
Find information for property assessments, credits and exemptions, and more.
Attorney
View services and contact information for the County Attorney's Office.
Auditor
Find election information, financial reports, and more.
Board of Supervisors
Learn when board meetings take place and view a list of board members, committee assignments, and recent meetings.
Conservation
Find information about parks, recreational centers, county forests, environmental education, and more.
Emergency Management
Sign up for emergency alerts and find local resources and emergency preparedness tips.
Environmental Health
Find resources and forms for inspections, wells, and more.
Human Resources
View available jobs with Benton County.
Integrated Roadside Management
Find department contact information and learn about IRM methods and duties.
Land Use
Learn about the Land Use Department, and apply for Land Use Change.
Recorder
Find information about vital and military records, passports, DNR licensing, recreational vehicles, and more.
Secondary Roads
Find information about road closures, construction/contract projects, county road maps and more.
Sheriff
View contact information and services offered.
Social Services
Learn how to apply for social services.
Solid Waste/Landfill
View fees and accepted materials at the landfill.
Transportation
Learn about bus transportation within Benton County.
Treasurer
Find information about property taxes, vehicle registration, driver's licenses, and more.
Veterans Affairs
Learn about federal and state assistance, events, and other helpful resources.
Can any testing or drive exams be scheduled online?

No, they must be scheduled by calling (319) 472-2450. No walk ins will be allowed

Can I enter the residence I plan to purchase?

No, if the residence is unoccupied.
Yes, if the residence is occupied and you get permission to enter from the residents.

Can I get my first-time CDL issued in Benton County?

Yes, you can but please do not schedule the appointment online.  Please call into our office at (319) 472-2450 and schedule.

Can I put a vehicle title into someone else’s name?

Yes. The new owner does not need to be present at the time of transfer. However, the new owner will have to have the appropriate forms completed beforehand. If you are transferring a title on behalf of another person, you may download Form 411007 from the Iowa DOT website. They must complete and sign this form.

Can I renew my driver’s license in Benton County if I live in another county?

Yes you may renew your driver’s license at any driver’s license location.

Can I renew my vehicle registration in Benton County if I live in another county?

No, you must live in Benton County to renew your vehicle registration in the county that you live in.

Can the Sheriff’s Office recommend an attorney?

Absolutely not.

Can you help me find an apartment?

Our office does not assist with locating housing, but can provide them with a resource directory with a landlord list

Do I have to have an appointment?

The Benton County Treasurers Office is currently by appointment only for driver's license services, ID services, and testing.

To schedule a Drivers's License appointment please select the following link to schedule online. Online Drivers License Schedule or you may call (319) 472-2450. 

Do I need to obtain a building permit prior to constructing, altering, reconstructing, or placing a structure?

Building permits are not required in the unincorporated area of Benton County. However, any construction within the 100-year floodplain requires a floodplain permit and the State of Iowa requires electrical permits. In addition, there may be land use requirements that must be met prior to construction, alteration, reconstruction, or placement of a structure. Contact the Environmental Health &; Land Use office to inquire what land use requirements must be met. If a property is within an incorporated city, you should contact your local building official or city hall to inquire if they require building permits.

Do you pay deposits?

No, this office does not assist with any type of deposit. Referrals are made to other local agencies.

Do you provide food vouchers?

No, individuals are encouraged to use the local food banks in the county.

Does the Sheriff’s Office have keys to the residence?

No. In addition, the Sheriff’s Office cannot give permission for you to enter a residence.

How can we pay vehicle registrations?
How do I get a replacement title?

Download Form 411033 from the Iowa DOT website.

There is a 5-day waiting period if the original title is lost. (If the original has been altered or spoiled in some way, please submit the original title to us with Form 411033 and we will process a replacement title in the same day.)

Anybody whose name is on the face of the title MUST sign the replacement application. 

The replacement title must be ordered where the title was made (county specific). The fee is $25.00.

How do I get a salvage title vehicle inspected?

You must complete the inspection form on the DOT website and then contact the sheriff’s office to schedule an inspection with them.

How do I obtain a septic permit?

Septic permit applications are available on the department website as well as in the Environmental Health &; Land Use Office which is located in the basement of the Benton County Courthouse, 111 E 4 th St, Vinton. Prior to issuing a permit, the department will conduct an initial site evaluation – preferably with the certified contractor – to determine the suitability for a septic system and which type of septic system would be allowable. If a conventional system (soil treatment lines) is allowed, a percolation test must be conducted by a certified contractor. Once the initial site evaluation has been completed, the percolation test has been received (if applicable), and the permit application and fee have been received, the department will issue a septic permit which will be valid for one year.

How do I obtain a well permit?

Private water well permits are available on the department website as well as in
the Environmental Health &; Land Use Office which is located in the basement of the Benton County Courthouse, 111 E 4th St, Vinton. Prior to issuing a permit, the department will conduct an initial site evaluation either with the driller or after the driller has placed a flag marking the desired location of the well. Once the initial site evaluation has been completed and the permit application and fee have been received, the department will issue a private water well permit which will be valid for one year. Public water supply wells are permitted by the Water Supply Engineering section of the Iowa Department of Natural resources and they can be contacted by emailing [email protected] or by calling (515) 725-0275.

How do I order personalized/vanity license plates?

Most personalized license plates can be ordered online on the Iowa DOT website.

How do I report a food-related illness?

To report a food-related illness, call the State of Iowa hotline at (844) 469-2742.

How do I request an E911 address and/or sign?

E911 addresses are assigned by the Benton County Sheriff’s Office. Contact them at (319) 472-2337 to request an address or a sign.

How does the Assessor estimate market value?

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 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 would be deducted from replacement value. The value of the land then would be added to arrive at the total estimate of value.

The INCOME APPROACH is the third method 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, what another investor would give for a 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 properly being appraised since errors or inaccurate information can seriously affect the final estimate of value.

How does the bidding start?

The judgment holder almost always starts the bidding. Generally, the judgment holder bids in writing a plaintiff’s bid on judgment. The judgment holder’s bid, if given to the Sheriff prior to the sale, is considered a sealed bid and will not be disclosed until the sale is called.

If I get a Sheriff’s Deed and there are people living there, how do I get them out? Do I have to go through the eviction process?

These are questions for your attorney.

If I purchase and there is a redemption period, can I enter the property before the redemption period is up?

This is a question for your attorney.

If I purchase and there is a redemption period, when do I get a Sheriff’s Deed?

If you purchase property with a redemption period, you will be issued a Certificate of Purchase. When the redemption period is up, you may then return the original Certificate of Purchase to the Sheriff and receive a Sheriff’s Deed. If you lose the original Certificate of Purchase, you will not receive a Sheriff’s Deed until you get a court order directing the Sheriff to issue you a duplicate Certificate of Purchase. (626.96) If you fail to have a Sheriff’s Deed issued within 8 years after the date of issuance of the Certificate of Purchase, the Sheriff’s Sale will be cancelled. (626.97)

If I purchase at a Sheriff’s Sale, what name(s) and how should I have them typed on the Sheriff’s Deed or Certificate of Purchase?

This is a question for your attorney.

If I purchase at a Sheriff’s Sale, who is responsible for back property taxes?

Taxes stay with the property. If you made the purchase, you are now responsible for the taxes.

If I purchase property at a Sheriff's Sale, do I get clear title?

Clear title is not guaranteed to real property sold at a Sheriff's Sale.

If paying registration online, where can I find my PIN?

Your PIN is specific to you and should not change so you can use it from year to year. The PIN is located on your renewal notice in the top right-hand corner. If you cannot find it, you can contact our office at (319) 472-2450.

Questions about abandoned vehicles?

Visit the Iowa DOT website for more information.

What are tax levies and assessed values?

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 that area. 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, with other properties always compare with the value on the assessment roll of the assessor's property record cards and not the value indicated on the tax statement.

What are your hours?

Motor Vehicle
Monday thru Friday
8:30 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Driver’s License
Monday thru Friday by appointment only
8:30 a.m. - 4 p.m.
To schedule testing, you must call the office.

What do I do if I disagree with the assessor's estimate of value?

If you disagree with the assessor's estimate of value, please consider these two questions before proceeding, as outlined below:

  • What is the actual market value of my property?
  • How does the value compare to the 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 either upward or downward any assessment.

If you are not satisfied with the decision of the Board of Review you may appeal to district court within twenty days after adjournment of said Board, or twenty days after May 31st, whichever is later (sections 441.38 and 441.38, Code of Iowa). Or appeals to the Property Assessment Appeal Board may be taken from the board of review action within 20 days after the adjournment of the board of review or May 31, whichever is later (sections 441.37A441.38 & 441.39, Code of Iowa). 

What does redemption period mean?

The redemption period is the amount of time after the sale that the defendant has the right to redeem the real estate.

What happens if I am the highest bidder and change my mind about buying the property?

Pursuant to the Code of Iowa, 626.85, the judgment holder may proceed against you for the amount you bid. If the judgment holder does not wish to proceed against you, the sale will be treated as a nullity and the Sheriff’s Office will then proceed as mandated by the Code of Iowa.

What is a "rollback"?

The "rollback" 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 three 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.

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

What is market value?

The market value of a property is an estimate of the price that it would sell for on the open market on January First of the year of assessment. This is sometimes referred to as the "arms-length transaction" or "willing buyer/willing seller" concept.

What is the fee for a septic permit?

The septic permit fee is currently $250.00 for the construction or reconstruction of a septic system and $100.00 for the repair of a septic system.

What is the fee for a well permit?

The private water well permit fee is currently $225.00.

What type of documents do I need to get the Real ID (gold star) on my license?

You must provide a certified birth certificate or valid passport, proof of social security, any name change documents ( certified marriage certificate or court document) if the name on the license is different from a birth certificate or passport, and two forms of residency such as mail, bank statement, voter registration card or lease agreement.

Iowa DOT website

When I get a Sheriff’s Deed, what do I do next?

This is a question for your attorney.

Where do I find my legal description?

The full legal description for your property can be found on your land abstract,
deed, or survey of your property. An abbreviated description is available on the
Benton County Online Map Service (Beacon) which is accessible on the
Assessor’s website.

Where do I inquire about land use regulations in Benton County?

Land use regulations for the unincorporated area of Benton County are administered by the Environmental Health & Land Use Office which is located in the basement of the Benton County Courthouse, 111 E 4th St, Vinton. Contact the Environmental Health &; Land Use Office at (319) 472-3119 to discuss your proposed request so they can guide you in the next steps to be completed.

Where do I submit a complaint regarding a licensed food establishment?

Black Hawk County Health Department is responsible for the inspection, education, investigation, and enforcement of licensed food establishments in Benton County. Contact the Black Hawk County Health Department at (319) 291-2413 to submit a complaint regarding a licensed food establishment.

Why do values change?

 

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.

Employment Application
Fill out an online employment application to apply for open positions.
Township Information
View township budgets and duties.
School Districts
View a list of county school districts and area colleges.
Communities
View key information about Benton County's communities.
Cemeteries
View a map and searchable list of county cemeteries.
Notifications
Sign up to receive email alerts when meeting agendas and minutes are posted to the county website.
News
Latest announcements from Benton County.
Manage Your Notifications
Manage when you receive email notifications from the Benton County website.
Frequently Asked Questions
View common questions and answers.
Employment
View and apply for open employment opportunities.
Departments and Officials
Explore services offered by Benton County's departments and officials.
Courts
Find juror information and pay court fines.
Contact
View a list of key contacts and elected officials for Benton County departments.
Calendar
Browse upcoming county events and meetings.
Bid Notices
View open bid notices for public improvement projects.
About Benton County
Learn about our county history and courthouse.
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