Duties Of Assessor

Ringgold County | Recent Changes

Duties of the Assessor
The Assessor is charged with several administrative and statutory duties. The 
primary duty and responsibility is to assess all real property within the 
Assessor's jurisdiction except that which is otherwise provided by law. This 
would include residential, commercial, industrial and agricultural classes of 
property. Real property is revalued every two years. The effective date of the 
assessment is January first of each year. The Assessor determines a full or 
partial value for all new construction and improvements depending upon their 
state of completion as of that January first date. 

The Assessor DOES NOT: 
  Collect taxes 
  Calculate taxes 
  Determine tax rate 
  Set policy for the Board of Review 
The Assessor is concerned with value, not taxes. Taxing jurisdictions such as 
schools, cities and county, adopt budgets after public hearings. This determines 
the tax levy, which is the rate of taxation required to raise the money 
budgeted. The taxes you pay are proportional to the value of your property compared 
to the total value of property in your taxing district.  

About the Assessor
Assessors are appointed to their position by a Conference Board consisting of 
the members of the Board of Supervisors, the Mayors of all the incorporated cities, 
and a member of each school district within the jurisdiction. A city with a 
population of 10,000 or more may elect to have their own assessor. In cities having 
an assessor the conference board shall consist of the members of the city council, 
school board and county board of supervisors. Assessors are required by law to 
pass a state examination and complete a continuing education program consisting 
of 150 hours of formal classroom instruction with 90 hours tested and a passing 
grade of 70% attained. The latter requirement must be met in order for the 
Assessor to be reappointed to the position every six years. 

The Conference Board approves the Assessor's budget and after a public hearing 
acts on adoption of the same. The Assessor is limited, by statute, depending 
upon the value of the jurisdiction, to a levy limitation for the budget. 

     Terms concerning your Assessed value 
Market Value
Residential, commercial and industrial real property are assessed at 100% 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 often referred to as the "arms length transaction" or "willing buyer/
willing seller" concept. The Assessor must determine the fair market value of 
real property. To do this, the Assessor generally uses three approaches to value. 
Market Approach
The first approach is to find properties that are comparable to the subject 
property and that have recently sold. Local conditions peculiar to the subject 
property are then considered. In order to adjust for local conditions, the 
Assessor also uses sales ratio studies to determine the general level of 
assessment in a community. This method 
is generally referred to as the MARKET APPROACH and is usually considered 
the most important in determining the value of residential property.  
Cost Approach
The second approach to value is the COST APPROACH, which is an estimate of 
how many dollars at current labor and material prices it would take to replace 
a property with 
one similar to it. In the event the improvement is not new, appropriate amounts 
of depreciation and obsolescence are deducted from replacement value. Value of 
the land is added to arrive at an estimate of total property value. 
Income Approach
The INCOME APROACH is the third method used if the property produces income. 
If the property is an income producing property, it could be valued according 
to its ability 
to produce income under prudent management; in other words, what another 
investor would give for a 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. 
Agricultural real property is assessed at 100% of productivity and net earning 
capacity value. The Assessor considers the productivity and net earning capacity 
of the property. Agricultural income as reflected by production, prices, expenses, 
and various local conditions is taken into account. 

Why Values Change
After properties have been appraised, the values are analyzed to ensure accurate 
and equitable assessments. Iowa law requires that all real property be reassessed 
every two years. The current law requires the reassessment to occur in odd numbered 
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 property assessments. 
Notification and Appeal
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, please contact 
your assessor's office. 
A written protest may be filed with the Board of Review which is composed of 
 three members from various areas of the county who are 
familiar with local market conditions and trends. The Board operates independently 
of the Assessor's office and has the power to confirm or to adjust upward or downward 
any assessment. An individual may petition to district court if they are not 
satisfied with the Board of Review's decision. 

Important Dates
January 1
Effective date of current assessment 
April 16 thru May 5
Protest of assessment period for filing with Board of Review 
May 1 thru Adjournment
Board of Review meets each year 
July 1
Signup deadline Homestead Tax Credit & Military Exemption 
January to November 1
Signup period for Family Farm Tax Credit 
October 16 thru October 25
Protest period for filing with Board of Review on properties affected by 
changes in value as a result of Director of Revenue and Finance Equalization 
Orders (odd numbered years only.)