October 20, 2019

Reassessment Q & A

 Why are we reassessing?

            The state requires that all properties be reassessed every 5 – 10 years. Fall River County is currently on a seven year reassessment rotation. The Department of Revenue and State Codified Law requires all values to be within 85 – 100% of market value. It also states that property values should be determined in a fair and equitable manner.  A county-wide reassessment will ensure that we are within these limits.

 Why is it important to come into my house?

            You have heard the expression, “You cannot judge a book by its cover”, well the same is true for a home. You cannot judge or value a home solely by its exterior. A quick walk-through allows us a much better idea of the grade and condition of the home.

Allowing us inside assures that we do not have to make incorrect assumptions about the interior of the home. This in turn enables us to calculate a more accurate assessment.

 When will my new value be available and go into effect?

            Each year the designated area will be assessed and the new values applied for the following assessment year. The new value will be set by the end of February and be shown on the official Assessment Notice mailed out on March 1st.  So field work done in the summer of 2019 will show up on the assessment notice sent in March of 2020 and affect the taxes paid in 2021.

 How will this affect my taxes?

            While your assessed value is linked to the taxes you pay, there are other factors involved in the process. The amount of taxes you pay is determined by your value relative to everyone else’s values. If everyone’s values increase proportionally, then taxes remain the same. If some values increase while others decrease, then taxes will shift from one owner to another. The only time everyone’s taxes increase is when the county budget itself increases. When the budget remains constant then a tax decrease for one person means a tax increase for someone else. Part of the purpose of reassessment is to insure that tax shifts are occurring fairly.

 When will this affect my taxes? 

    Field work in Summer of 2019  ->  New assessed value for March 2020   ->    New taxes billed in 2021

What should I look at to review my notice for accuracy?

As you review your assessment notice watch for some of the following things:

    1.  Is my property correctly classed?  Ex:  AG, Non-AG, Commercial, Owner Occupied
    2.  Are the legal description and total acres correct?
    3.  Are the deed holder, mailing address, and the property address correct

Why is my new value so different from the previous year value?

    1.  Have you added any new structures? There are no building permits required in the county. Any new construction was added to the property assessment if and when the assessor discovered it each year.
    2. “But my house/property hasn’t changed in the last 10-20 years, so why is my value changing?”    The state mandates that we have the assessed values set within 85 – 100% of market value. Each year the Director of Equalization reviews the sales in all areas to see if each area is keeping up with sales.  All properties within an area may go up or down a set percentage due to that years sales.  A good question to ask is, “If I were to sell my property today, what would be a fair market value?”  If you feel your value may be higher than market, please contact our office so we can go over comparable sales in your area.

Return to Director of Equalization Page