are the real estate responsibilities of the County Auditor?
practices vary between Counties, in general, the County
Auditor has the following statutory responsibilities:
Apply Equalization Rates by property class and Assessor
to calculate equalized 100% Actual Values in odd-numbered
Apply annual Rollback Rates by property class to calculate
Enter state-certified values for Utilities and Railroads
Administer Tax Districts, TIF Tax Districts, and SSMID
such that taxpayers pay the correct amounts and governmental
authorities receive the correct amounts
Calculate and certify base value and increment value
in TIF Tax
Certify Taxable Values to Cities, Schools, Townships,
Governmental bodies for use in preparing annual budgets
Review and certify the budgets of Cities, Schools,
and other Governmental bodies for compliance with tax
Certify annual Consolidated Tax Levy Rates by Tax District
Calculate and certify taxes to the County Treasurer
Calculate and certify drainage assessments to the County
Maintain the official County plat books and transfer
and enter ownership name changes for taxation and assessment
Certify amounts Military Exemption, Homestead Credit,
Credit, and Family Farm Credit to the State
do I get my deceased Joint Tenants name off my property?
have gotten married/remarried. How can I change my last name
of the property records?
your local Attorney to prepare a Quit Claim Deed for
you. Be sure to file it in the Recorder’s office.
am divorced. How can I get my ex-spouse’s name off my property?
change of title or some kind of deed needs to be prepared and
filed in the Recorder’s office. This is usually taken care
of during the divorce proceedings.
do I change the mailing address of a tax statement?
your local Auditor, Treasurer or Assessor. You can
also fill out a change
of address form and mail
it to one of the above offices.
do I remove a deceased Life Estate Holder?
is a legal description?
legal description is a description of real estate
that is used in legal documents such as abstracts,
deeds, mortgages, etc. For example: “Lot One
(1) in Frank’s Subdivision, Mason City, Iowa”.
is an administrative real estate description?
administrative real estate description is a description
of real estate used by county offices for real estate
assessment and taxation administrative purposes. Typically,
it will be similar to a legal description, but may
contain abbreviations or other summaries. For example: “L
1 Frank’s Sub”.
is a property class?
estate parcels are annually assigned a property class
by the local assessor or the Iowa Department of Revenue.
Property classes include Agricultural, Residential,
Commercial, Industrial, Railroad, Utility, and Gas & Electric
the local Assessor set the value for all real estate property?
Property owned by Railroads and Utility companies is valued
by the Iowa Department of Revenue and certified for taxation
to the County Auditor.
does it mean that 100% Actual Value is “equalized”?
Iowa Department of Revenue imposes equalization orders
in odd-numbered years against each property class
for each local Assessor. Sometimes called “the
Assessor’s report card”, the equalization
order is used to increase or decrease 100% Actual
Values when those values are not sufficiently accurate.
is a Homestead Credit?
Homestead Credit is a tax credit funded by the State
of Iowa for qualifying homeowners, and is generally
based on the first $4,850 of Net Taxable Value. In
the case of a Disabled Veteran Tax Credit, the value
of the Homestead Credit is increased to the entire
amount of the Taxable Value of the property.
property just sold; can you tell me the new owner & what
they paid for it?
is a real estate Military Exemption?
who served in active duty during certain periods of
time and who were honorably discharged are eligible
to receive a Military Exemption on their property
taxes. Pursuant to Iowa law, the Military Exemption
value is determined by the dates the veteran served
in active duty. Values for most veterans are $1,852,
or $3,704 in the case of a husband and wife who both
qualify. The value for World War I veterans is $2,778.
do I apply or find out if I qualify for the Homestead Credit or
local Assessor has forms that you need to complete, sign, and
file for the Homestead Credit and/or Military Exemption. That
office can also tell you the qualifications for each.
offices at the county are involved in the assessment and taxation
of real estate?
County Assessor, Auditor, and Treasurer are part of the tax
cycle in that, in general, each has various administrative responsibilities
for a given assessment year. In addition, the County Recorder
records various real estate documents, including subdivision
plats, mortgages, surveys, and conveyances such as deeds, etc.
can I see a plat map or an aerial photo of my property?
counties have their parcel maps and aerial photographs available
on the Internet. Find a link to the specific
county website that has this information.