Government

Most Iowa property assessments increase in 2019

A North Liberty neighborhood in an aerial photograph in North Liberty on Wednesday, May 14, 2014. (The Gazette)
A North Liberty neighborhood in an aerial photograph in North Liberty on Wednesday, May 14, 2014. (The Gazette)

CEDAR RAPIDS — Thanks in part to a strong housing market, many in the Corridor could see an increase in their property tax assessments.

Assessors in Linn and Johnson counties said residential property assessments climbed by as much as 5 percent to 9 percent this year.

Commercial properties increased by 3.5 percent to more than 10 percent, and multi-residential properties saw increases in Iowa City and Cedar Rapids by as much as almost 16 percent to 28 percent, respectively.

“That’s bigger than what we’ve seen in recent years,” Brad Comer, Iowa City Assessor, said of the 2019 assessments.

Assessments are a property’s estimated value and must be as close as possible to the market value — or what that property could be sold for today.

Local assessors aim to keep assessments between 95 percent and 105 percent of a parcel’s value using a few methods. Those include identifying comparable properties that recently have sold; making an estimate of the cost of replacing the property; and determining value according to income produced by a property.

That valuation is used with tax levies set by the local governments and school boards to determine a resident’s property taxes.

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Recipients of property tax revenue include cities, counties, hospitals, merged area schools, assessors, townships, and agricultural extension districts, according to the Iowa Department of Revenue, which regulates state tax laws.

Residents will start paying on their 2019 assessment in September 2020.

If property owners have questions or complaints about their assessment, they’re encouraged to contact their local assessor.

With assessment increases this year, Linn County Assessor Jerry Witt said he anticipates his office will be busy fielding questions.

“I think we’re expecting a lot of people, really,” he said.

Property owners can request an informal review from Tuesday through April 25. In addition, a formal petition to the local Board of Review can be made between Tuesday and April 30.

“We encourage property owners to contact us at any time throughout the year if they have questions or concerns regarding their assessment to assure the information for their property is correct,” Julie Carson, acting Cedar Rapids Assessor, said in an email.

l Comments: (319) 398-8309; mitchell.schmidt@thegazette.com

How to contact your local assessor

If you have a concern about your assessment, here’s how you can reach your assessor.

• Cedar Rapids Assessor

• 500 15th Ave. SW, Cedar Rapids, 52404

• (319) 286-5888

• crassessor@cedar-rapids.org

• Linn County Assessor

• 935 Second St. SW, Cedar Rapids 52404

• (319) 892-5220

• assessor@linncounty.org

• Iowa City Assessor

• 913 S. Dubuque St., Iowa City 52240

• (319) 356-6066

• Johnson County Assessor

• 913 S. Dubuque St., Iowa City 52240

• (319) 356-6078

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