It’s time to think about property taxes. Real estate prices surged in 2020 and again in 2021. This is great if you’re selling a property, but not so great if you’re buying or facing an assessment that is going to raise your property taxes.
According to the Scott County Assessor, a combination of historically low interest rates, reduced property inventory in the county and throughout the Quad Cities, and increased local demand all sent property values to never-before-seen highs, despite the COVID-19 pandemic. The Scott County Assessor is required by law to adjust assessed property values every two years, and 2021 is that year. This means assessments will rise for most properties in line with the local real estate market.
The Quad City Times has reported that the average residential property increased by about 8.5% in Scott County last year. Fortunately for commercial clients, those numbers were not as high for commercial properties. Commercial and industrial properties increased by about 6.5% in the county. Unfortunately, if your commercial real estate portfolio includes apartments and other multi-family dwellings, those values increased by about 13%. Unless you’re planning to sell and take in the profits in a hot real estate market, you’re going to be looking at a higher tax assessment.
There is a bit of good news for those commercial property owners who also own homes in Scott County. Homeowners in the county can now sign up for Homestead, Military, and BPTC property tax credits online. This is a new service provided by Scott County that should make life just a little bit easier for property owners. To qualify, the property owner must be a resident of Iowa, pay Iowa income tax, and occupy the property on July 1, and for at least six months of every year.
At this point in the year, there’s not much recourse for property owners who feel their assessments are too high. The deadline to appeal was in April.
While no one enjoys paying higher taxes, it’s worth remembering that these higher tax assessments mean your commercial property is worth more than ever before. If you’ve been thinking about selling properties, now may be the time to lock in and take those profits. If you want to hold onto those properties, it’s worth looking ahead to 2023 when the next assessments will go into effect.
Iowa properties can be reassessed each year, at of the assessor’s opinion of the market value of your property, so it is a good idea to check assessments annually. Additionally, the Iowa Department of Revenue reviews sales data, and can apply equalizers to assessments, separate from the Assessor’s work, which is another reason why you should review your tax assessment.
Notably, the assessed value is as of January 1, 2021. This will allow for consideration of any Covid-19 related impacts on property values.
Iowa tax assessments for 2020 will be out on April 2nd, but it is best to obtain the assessor information relevant to your assessment well before then. Each county has its own assessment office, and several cities, including Davenport, Clinton and Dubuque have separate assessment offices. They all have websites where you can access the property record card.
Has your assessment changed in the past couple years? Even if it hasn’t changed, if you believe the value is wrong, obtain a copy of the property record card. These are available are online for the assessor’s offices (Scott County and the City of Davenport use the same on-line system).
Review the information on the Property Record Card and be sure the land size and building size information are correct. Check the year built to be sure that is correct. If there are any errors, ask the assessor to update the information and revalue the property. Be sure the card recognizes any other changes to the property in the recent past, especially any buildings that have been removed.
If the value is too high, you can protest the assessment at the County Board of Review. The Scott County Assessor’s site lists Five Steps to An Appeal on their website, which should be applicable in other jurisdictions.
If you are unable to obtain an adjustment prior to the April 2nd date, you will need to file an appeal to the Board of Review. This is generally an informal process. Information on filing a property tax appeal can be found here. Similar information is available on other county websites. The taxpayer may ask the board to act on their appeal without a hearing. You may also request a hearing. With the Covid-19 rules, these hearings may be virtual.
Evidence supporting your opinion of value is needed whether or not you have a hearing. This can include sales of similar properties in the recent past, a recent appraisal for refinancing purposes, or an appraisal specifically requested for the appeal. Remember the date of the assessed value is January 1, 2021. The sales or appraisals need to be before, or shortly after, this date.
If you are still not satisfied with the assessment, an appeal can be filed with District Court or the State Appeal Board.
If you need any further information, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Illinois tax assessments for 2020 are online as of November 21st, so it is time to review your property tax assessment if you live in Rock Island County. Keep in mind, Illinois properties are assessed at 33.33% of the assessor’s opinion of the market value of your property as of January 1st, 2020. No consideration will be given to any external factors which would change the value of your property after this date.
The County Assessor’s site lists the following seven steps to an appeal on their website.
1. Obtain the assessed valuation of your property.
2. Determine the fair market value for your property.
3. Discuss the assessment with your assessor.
4. Determine the basis for your formal appeal.
5. File a written appeal with your Board of Review.
6. Present evidence of unfair assessment to the Board of Review at the hearing.
7. Appeal the Board of Review’s decision to the State Property Tax Appeal Board (in writing) in the event of an unsatisfactory decision by the Board of Review.
Has your assessment changed? If yes, please consider many townships have an equalizer applied which will automatically result in a modest increase in value.
If you think the value is wrong, obtain a copy of the property record card. For Moline, Hampton, South Rock Island, and South Moline, these are available online. For the other townships, you may need to call or visit the assessor’s office whose contact information can be accessed here.
Review the information on the property record card and make sure the land size and building size information are correct. Ask the assessor to correct the information and revalue the property in the case of mistakes.
We recommend protesting the assessment at the County Board of Review if you feel the value is incorrect. The rules and procedures on how to file a property tax appeal can be accessed here. Appeals will need to be filed by mail since the Rock Island County Board of Review office is currently closed to the public.
You will need to present evidence supporting your opinion of value. This may be in the form of sales of similar properties in the recent past, a recent appraisal for refinancing purposes, or an appraisal specifically requested for the appeal. The sales or appraisals need to be before, or shortly after, January 1st, 2020. Certain exceptions may apply:
“In the event the contesting party is unable to submit written or documentary evidence with the complaint form, he or she must submit a letter requesting an extension of time with the complaint form. At the time the request is received, the Board of Review may grant up to a 15-day Extension.”
You can request a virtual hearing through Zoom or Teleconference. You may also ask the Board to act on the appeal without a hearing. If you are still not satisfied with the assessment, an appeal can be filed with the Illinois Property Tax Appeal Board.
Please feel free to contact us at (563) 355.6606 or firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.