Hours of Operation
Mon. - Fri.
8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Phone: (712) 644-3101
(Chief Deputy Assessor)
Many Iowa property valuations increase for 2021 assessments despite COVID-19 pandemic
It was believed by some that COVID-19 would have a negative effect on the value of real estate. However, this may not be the case. Due to low interest rates, reduced inventory and higher sales prices of property, some property owners across Iowa could see an estimated increase of 20% or more in their property tax assessments this year despite the COVID-19 pandemic. The question is, how did this pandemic and current market affect Harrison County values?
Assessment valuation is based on the market value of property, or an estimate of what it would sell for on the open market as of January 1st of the assigned year of assessment. An event like COVID-19 may or may not have an effect on value, and the Assessor’s Office follows the market conditions appropriate to your area to determine what values should be.
Harrison County Assessor, Brenda Loftus, reports that residential value changes will vary based on location, but the average increase for the county will be approximately 13% (changes ranging from -11% to +20%). Based on the 901 residential sales that occurred in 2020, the median assessment level was 87.7% of market sales. The law requires assessors to maintain a 5% margin (from 95% - 105% median assessment level). The real estate market continues to trend upward with limited supply, overwhelming demand, and lower interest rates as confirmed by local real estate agents, appraisers, and lenders. Local builders have also experienced the trend of increase as they are seeing a continued rise in construction material costs. Land values have risen in response to individuals seeking rural living. One contributor could be the result of the increased ability to work remotely. All of these items have a direct affect on the market and consequentially, the assessed market value of properties in Harrison County.
The Harrison County Assessor’s Office will be mailing assessment notices to all property classes on March 31st informing them of the January 1st , 2021 assessment. This new value will be the basis for property taxes payable in September of 2022 and March of 2023. These valuations will be used with tax levies set by the local taxing jurisdictions, such as the county, cities, townships, and schools, to determine property taxes.
To review assessment information, please visit the Assessor’s website at https://beacon.schneidercorp.com/?site=HarrisonCountyIA and search for your property by name, address or parcel number. If property owners have questions or concerns about their assessment, they’re encouraged to contact the Harrison County Assessor’s Office at (712) 644-3101. Property owners can request an informal review with the Assessor from April 2 - 25, 2021. In addition, a formal petition to the Harrison County Board of Review can be made April 2 - 30, 2021. We highly recommend property owners contact the Assessor’s Office as soon as possible to ensure timely processing of requests.
Paper form petitions to the Board of Review are available in the Assessor’s Office at 111 N 2nd Ave, Logan; on the Harrison County Website at http://harrisoncountyia.org/; and on the Iowa Department of Revenue website at https://tax.iowa.gov/iowa-property-tax-board-review.
New this year: You now can submit an electronic petition and supporting documents directly to the Board of Review at https://beacon.schneidercorp.com/?site=HarrisonCountyIA. Search by name, address, or parcel number to find your property and access the electronic petition and demonstration video of completion process.
The Harrison County Assessor’s office strives to have the most accurate and complete assessments for equitable distribution of taxes levied. If you feel there is an issue with information on your property, the Assessor’s Office welcomes information updates. They continue to monitor the market changes as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and any other positive or adverse factors.
Assessment Notice - Appeals Process
As per Iowa Code, the Assessor’s office is required to send out change of value notices by April 1st of every year. Property owners have the right to appeal their value every year. There are two options to appeal your value.
• Between April 2 – 25 we can do what is called an informal appeal. This involves meeting with your assessor and discussing your value concerns. If an agreement can be reached on a new value, you can sign an agreement with the assessor to make that change.
• Between April 2 -30 you can file a petition to the Board of Review. Per Iowa Code 441.37, if your county has been declared a disaster by the federal government between March 1 – May 20, the filing period is extended until June 5th.
The Harrison County Assessor and Board of Review are offering alternative options to file an assessment petition beyond the standard in-person paper filing. Links have been provided below for your convenience. Just click on the highlighted items to quickly access the documents and websites.
• Email and phone conversations with the assessor can be used to conduct informal reviews on your assessment. Electronic submission will be accepted.
• Board of Review information & appeal forms are available on the Harrison County website.
• Appeal forms are also available the Iowa Department of Revenue’s website.
• Mail or Electronic submission of appeal forms will be accepted.
• You can request a petition form to be sent via email or by postal mail.
• NEW THIS YEAR: You now can submit an electronic petition and supporting documents directly to the Board of Review through our real estate map and data. Search by name, address, or parcel number to find your property and access the electronic petition. A demonstration video of the this process can be viewed by clicking on this link: Assessment Appeals.
Board of Review session starts on May 1st and must be completed by May 31st. If your county has been declared a disaster, the session can extend until June 15th. These meetings are required to be open meetings. (COVID-19 Updates: Due to the potential need for limited contact, electronic meetings, such as by telephone or by Zoom, may be held when a meeting in person is impossible or impractical. All petitioners will be informed prior to their scheduled hearing of the time, place, and/or format in which the meeting will be conducted.)
Understanding Assessor's Duty - How Taxes Are Set
The Iowa State Association of Counties put together two videos to help you understand how taxes are set, collected and distributed.
The following information was prepared by the public relations committee of the
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What are the Assessor's Duties?
The Assessor is charged with several administrative and statutory duties; however, the primary duty and responsibility is to cause to be assessed all real property within his/her jurisdiction except that which is otherwise provided by law. This would include residential, multi-residential, commercial, industrial and agricultural classes of property. Real property is revalued every two years. The effective date of the assessment is January 1st of the current year. The assessor determines a full or partial value of new construction, and/or improvements depending upon the state of completion as of January 1st.
General Misconceptions About the Assessor's Work
The Assessor does not:
The Assessor is concerned with value, not taxes. Taxing jurisdictions such as schools, cities, and townships, 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 proportionate to the value of your property compared to the total value of the taxing district in which your property is located.
General Information 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 incorporated cities and a member from each school district within the jurisdiction.
Assessors are required, by statute, 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 Deputy Assessor also must pass a state examination as well as successfully complete 90 hours of classroom instruction of which at least 60 hours are tested.
Assessors and members of the Board of Review are appointed to their terms of office. Assessors, in addition to completing the required 150 hours of Continuing Education, must be approved by a majority vote of the Conference Board in order to be reappointed.
The Conference Board approves the assessor's budget and after a public hearing acts on adoption of same. The assessor is limited, by statute, depending upon the value of the jurisdiction, to a levy limitation for his/her budget.
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