The Assessor of every county is elected every four years. The position is required to be full-time in all but Class X counties. All property shall obtain from every person who is liable to assessment a full and correct description of all personal property. In most counties, this is done by mailing an assessment form to all individuals and businesses. Assessors are required to visit all real estate at least once every three years but all property is to be market value on an annual basis. The Assessor shall finish the work of assessment and complete the land and personal property books not later than the 30th day of January.
Land and Personal Property books are to completed in time to submit to the Board of Equalization and Review no later than the first day of February of that assessment year. The Assessor and assistants shall attend the Board of Equalization and Review and render any possible assistance in connection with the valuation of the property.
The Assessor shall annually, not later than the third day of March, furnish to the Recorder or Clerk of Cities and Towns, Secretary to the Board of Education, State Board of Education and the County Commission, along with Public Utilities, certification of the assessed values for the current year. The levying bodies are required to use these values to prepare their budget estimates and lay the levies.
Once levy rates are certified to the Auditor, they are certified to the Assessor and are entered into the computer to allow the Sheriff to print tax tickets. Assessors determine values and in turn, the levies set by levying bodies, including excess levies, determine tax revenue.
Other responsibilities include:
- List all properties exempt from taxation, such as that owned by federal, state, county, or local governments; property used for public or charitable purposes, property used for schools and hospitals and property used for worship.
- Collect county and local dog taxes
- Determine eligibility of property owners for the Homestead and Disability Exemptions
- Maintain tax maps and property records and make them available for public use
- Collect farm statistics annually and report to the Commissioner of Agriculture
- Collect farm-use decal permit fees
- Collect mobile home permit fees
- Annually complete a sales ratio analysis
- Present to the tax commissioner a list of real property transfers of the prior assessment year by December 1st annually
- Supply a list of new construction and improvements exceeding $1,000 of the previous assessment year to the tax commissioner by December 1st annually
- Supply a list to the tax commissioner by December 1st annually of new businesses and businesses that have discontinued operations during the previous assessment year
- Assist the tax commissioner by providing information with respect to the taxation, classification, and valuation of non-utility and public utility property so that all property shall be more equally and uniformly assessed throughout the state
- Annually assist the tax commissioner in determining the current use of such real property in his/her county as the tax commissioner may require to accomplish a uniform appraisal and assessment of the real property
- Prepare cost studies and update land values on an annual basis
Estimating Real Estate Tax:
- Appraised Value X 60% = Assessed Value
- Assessed Value X Levy Rate = Tax
Property Tax Classification
- CLASS I- All tangible personal property employed exclusively in farming and livestock
- CLASS II- All property owned, used and occupied by the owner, exclusively for residential purposes, and farms used and occupied by their owners or bona fide tenants
- CLASS III & IV- All real and personal property exclusive of Classes I and II, situated outside a municipality (Class III) or within a municipality (Class IV)(rental and vacant), not used and occupied by the owner