It is time to review your property tax assessment in Iowa!

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.

A Guide to Iowa Property Tax Appeals