How Property Taxes are Calculated

APRIL 2017 WATCHDOG (updated)

The assessor determines the assessed value of each piece of property in the County. Market value of a property is an estimate of the price that it would sell for on the open market on January First of the year of assessment. This is sometimes referred to as the “arms-length transaction” or “willing buyer/willing seller” concept.

This assessed value is reduced by a “rollback factor” determined each year by the Iowa Department of Revenue. For residential property - in recent years - this factor has been about fifty percent. After the calculated roll-backed value is applied the new value is termed the “Taxable Value”.

Taxing jurisdictions such as schools, cities, and townships, adopt spending budgets after public hearings at the beginning of each year. By March 15th each taxing jurisdiction is required to submit their budget to the County Auditor for the coming fiscal year – in this case, beginning July 1, 2017 – called the FY18 budget. (Schools have until April 15th to submit their budgets.)

The FY18 budget for each taxing jurisdiction is applied to the taxable value in each taxing jurisdiction to determine the total property tax levy for each piece of property in the county. The County Treasurer takes the tax levy for each taxing jurisdiction and applies it to each piece of property in Dickinson County to create the property tax bill you receive in the mail. The levy rate is the factor applied to each $1,000 of taxable valuation.

More information about Iowa’s property tax procedures can be found on the Dickinson County Assessor’s website. Specific property information can be found on this website by using the owners name, property address, or parcel number. Included on each property page is a method to calculate the property tax. Check out: