What is Market Value?
Market value of a property is an estimate of the price that it would sell for on the open market on the first day of January of the year of assessment. This is sometimes referred to as the "arms length transaction" or "willing buyer/willing seller" concept. See Iowa Code 441.21
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 is 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 are deducted from replacement value. Value of the land is added to arrive at an estimate of the total property value.
The INCOME APPROACH is the third method. It is 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, the amount another investor would give for your 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 property being appraised since errors or inaccurate information can seriously affect the final estimate of value.
Why does Market Value 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. If you disagree with the Assessor's estimate of value, please consider these two questions:
- What is the actual market value of my property?
- How does the value compare to 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 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 the latest.