Understanding Your Assessment
“Why am I receiving an assessment notice?”
Iowa law requires all property to be revalued every two years to reflect changes in market value and to keep up with market trends. The assessed value represents the value as the property sits on January 1, 2021.
Revaluations are set by market trends and done in mass.
All sales information for Lucas County is sent to the Iowa Department of Revenue (IDR) every year. Sales ratio studies, analysis of local conditions, and current construction costs are used in determining assessments for the classes of Residential, Commercial/Industrial and Multi-residential properties. In the case of Agricultural land & buildings, the value is determined according to productivity and CSR2’s (Corn Suitability Ratings).
This year, almost all residential property owners will see a change in their property value due to the median value of all residential sales not being within the 95%-105% tolerance level set by the Iowa Department of Revenue. The easiest way to explain this change is because many of the sales from 2020 were properties that sold for significantly higher prices than the last assessed value. Simply put, these high sale prices in the 2020 market are driving up the 2021 assessed values across Lucas County.
Agricultural buildings will be seeing a decrease in value for 2021 due to a change in depreciation tables we are using to determine value. Ag land values are calculated using averages over five-year increments reflected by production, prices, & expenses. Ag land values are not expected to change this year. Commercial & Multi-residential final sales ratio studies were not available from the IDR so these parcels may be subject to an equalization order in the fall.
If the Assessor does not increase or decrease property values as indicated by the market, then the IDR will make these changes by issuing an equalization order in an odd year and direct the County Auditor to apply the order. Equalization orders are given in lump percentages straight across the board, countywide.
Property owners who disagree with the assessor’s estimate of market value of their property should ask themselves, “Could I sell this property for that amount today?”
If the answer is yes, then the value is probably correct. Every property owner has the right to appeal an assessment. The Informal assessment review within the Assessor’s office is between April 2 and April 25. The formal petition period is between April 2 and April 30 and that petition is to be reviewed by the Board of Review beginning May 1. Details regarding the protest periods are on the assessment notice and forms will be available on our website, at our office or the Iowa Department of Revenue website at https://tax.iowa.gov
Board of Review Petition
Where can I find more information on my property?
You may access your property information by going to https://lucas.iowaassessors.com/ From there you can search by deed holder, address or parcel ID number.
“Does the Assessor raise my value according to the amount of taxes needed?” The simple answer is NO.
The Assessor raises or lowers property values according to the market value of real estate, or in the case of agricultural land & buildings, according to a 5-year average of productivity & net earning capacity. The Assessor does not calculate taxes or know what the taxes will be based on the new valuation. Assessments are set January 1 of each year, while the state’s rollback factor and tax levy rates on these assessments are not set until the following year.
The new values will be first step in the calculation for property taxes payable fall of 2022 & spring of 2023. The valuation is used with the state’s rollback factor & tax levies set by the school boards, local governments & other taxing entities to determine property taxes. Recipients of property tax revenue includes schools, cities, county, hospital, debt service, townships, community college, assessor, agricultural extension districts, as well as miscellaneous entities.
Lucas County has seen a 20% increase in Residential values in the last two years. These increases are being driven by low interest rates, increased prices of building supplies, a lack of desirable housing in the market, and out of county buyers.
We expect the “Rollback Factor” used to determine taxable values to lower these increases into single digits in taxable values.