Assessor: Duties of the Assessor

The primary responsibility of the Assessor is to determine the value of all property within his or her jurisdiction. In order to do this, we do make annual inspections of any property with physical changes as reported by the property owner or through building permits obtained from the city the property is located in. Inspections of the property allow the assessor to most accurately list and value that property's characteristics and update the property record card accordingly. The Assessor also performs constant sales studies to determine current sales ratios, trends, and any areas that may need adjusted for equalization purposes. Properties are reassessed every odd year in the state of Iowa.

For residential property, the Assessor uses the market approach and takes into consideration the current sales of similar properties in the jurisdiction. This includes dwellings on agricultural property.

For commercial property, the Assessor may use the market approach, the cost approach, or the income approach to determine value. The market approach is the most reliable; however, in jurisdictions where few commercial sales occur, the assessor may use the cost or income approach, or a combination of both, to determine value.

For agricultural property, the Assessor must apply the CSR (Corn Suitability Rating) value to all ag parcels based on a modern soil survey performed within the jurisdiction. Ag land and ag buildings are assessed based on their productivity and net earning capacity, not on market value. Ag land is revalued every odd year based on a 5-year productivity cycle. The adjustments are made on top of the base CSR value; the CSR of a parcel does not change unless the parcel is split or combined with another parcel.

The Assessor is concerned only with valuation and not taxes. A property is not taxed on its entire assessed valuation – there is a rollback in place that determines what percentage of your valuation you pay taxes on.

What the Assessor does not do:
  • Figure taxes
  • Set levies
  • Collect taxes
  • Determine the rollback
  • Determine zoning