Commercial property tax reappraisal underway

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

In 2011, the Dickinson County Conference Board decided there was enough variation in assessed value throughout the county that a complete reassessment of commercial property values was needed.

There are only four employees plus the assessor in the office, so it is not staffed with sufficient manpower to reassess the 27,500 property parcels in the county. Something more like 11 full-time employees would be needed to reassess all parcels on a periodic basis.

In order to accomplish the commercial property reassessment the Conference Board hired Vanguard Appraisals of Cedar Rapids to perform the reappraisal. Vanguard had been performing other property tax work for the county. Their quote for the reappraisal was $424,000. The project is scheduled for completion December 31, 2014.

Data collectors from Vanguard Appraisals have begun the process to collect both interior and exterior information. They will be compiling information to be used to estimate the fair market value of each property. Information to be collected includes type of construction, type of interior finish, physical condition of the property, age of structures and exterior measurements. Complete sales analysis, local construction costs and economic conditions will also be considered.

Property owners are asked to cooperate by allowing a complete inspection of their property and providing accurate information so that a fair and equitable assessment may be determined for each property.

All law enforcement agencies as well as the Dickinson County Assessor's Office have been apprised of the areas where data collectors are working. They also have a listing of all names and license plate numbers of anyone involved in the project.

Notice of final value estimates will be mailed to each property owner after Jan.1, 2015. The property owners will have an opportunity to meet informally to discuss their revaluation in the spring of 2015. The new assessed values will be effective for Jan. 1, 2015 for taxes payable in September 2016 - March 2017.