Spring Of 2005 Assessment Notices Information

Ringgold County | Recent Changes

Notices of Assessed value are being sent to many property owners in the county this spring. Assessed value is the first step in the process. The following are some questions and answers that you might have concerning your assessments.

Why is the assessed value of my property ever changed?
Residential and commercial properties in the state of Iowa are by law to be assessed as near to market value as the assessor can determine. In doing this every recorded deed for real estate in the county will be examined by the assessor. The ratio of sale price to present assessed value will be analyzed. In the perfect world this ratio would always be 1 to 1. Lag time and market trends, either up or down, will keep the ratio moving. These ratios will also be sent to the state for their inspection. As the ratios for a particular year come together the need for moving assessed values will become apparent. In recent years Sun Valley Lake has had a much faster increase in market value then the rest of Ringgold County.

Is this just a way to raise my taxes?
Many values have been changed this year. Many, including many at Sun Valley, have actually been lowered. All of Sun Valley and Mt Ayr have been revalued. The ratio study indicates that Mt Ayr median ratio needed very little change; Sun Valley needed nearly a 20% change upwards. Put another way nearly half of Mt Ayr properties sold at less than assessed value. Sun Valley had 2 properties at very near assessed value and many at 20-40% more than assessed value. Assessed value is not setting the tax on any property. Elected officials set levy rates and the taxes result from the mix of value and the levy rates.

How will this affect my tax bill?
Assessed value is discounted by a state rollback number which presently is near 48% for residential class. The rollback is different every year but the best estimate would be the present 48%. In recent years the rollback has been becoming a larger discount. This taxable value is then multiplied by each district's levy rate to arrive at the annual tax bill.

Will the substantial increase at Sun Valley lead to a windfall to county and school budgets?
Actually for the first year the reverse may be true. The mechanics of the RIZ district leads to inverse relationship of assessed value/taxes and revenues to taxing bodies other than the RIZ District. The RIZ district will for the remaining year most probably show a dramatic increase. After that year its present form will cease. All value will then go into traditional entities. The taxable values for most taxable bodies have been very flat for the past few years.

I do not believe that my property is worth that much. What is my recourse?
First, what would an objective appraisal of your property determine your value to be. Have other properties similar to yours sold. On this web page under the Assessor page/ sales data is a listing of sales in the county since Jan 1, 2004. This is a first step in your properties value. Smaller counties like Ringgold County with limited sales make finding comparable sale difficult but it is a start. You can determine if the assessor has correct information on your house. The assessor 's office will assist you in questions concerning this. Also to the extent possible we will assist in comparing yours to other similar properties. We do have limited staff so patience is appreciated.

I find that my value is wrong. What do I do?
Contact the assessors office. If we have made a error in listing or judging the condition of your house the assessors office can informally correct values until April 15th. After that date a more formal protest to the Board of Review can be made. This is a public appointed board which will review any facts that the owner and assessor may have and make a judgement of value. These Protest must be filed between April 16 and May 5th. This is strictly enforced by District Courts. The form for this appeal will be available at the assessors office or here

I own a property at Sun Valley. The land increase dramaticly yet the house decreased in value. Why is this?
This is common at Sun Valley. The past few equalization cycles have been accross the board increases. This has been the best method available at the time. Since the present staff has been in the office we have worked almost exclusively on getting the data computerized to make this type of valuation possible without outsourcing the job. The past across the board increases have gotten the total right but distorted the land verses dwelling values. Many modest homes not on the lake have are close to being over assessed. Most vacant lots on the lake have been selling at around twice the assessed value. This should bring all properties closer to correct values.

If you have further questions call at (641) 464-3233 or email at rcassessor@iowatelecom.net

Link to instructions for Petition to Board of Review Protest

Petition to Board of Review