The Iowa Department of Revenue has completed it’s review of the property tax assessments for all 99 counties and has released a formula designed to make sure those assessments are equal statewide. Property tax administrator Dick Stradley says it’s a process they do every two years when the new assessments come in. He says they do it to make sure all property is at the level required by law based on three property classifications — commercial, ag and residential. Stradley says it makes sure each district is equally assessed. Stradley says the equalization creates a seven-point-three percent increase in statewide 2005 values for residential, a five-point-one percent increase for commercial property and three-point-three percent for agricultural property. Stradley says they look at each market area and compare what the property is selling for to its assess value. Stradley says county governments are getting notice of the equalization. He says it’s retroactive to January 1st of this year and counties have 10 days to appeal. Stradley says things didn’t change much in this year’s process. He says residential and commercial is about the same as two years ago. He says the only difference is that agricultural property went down in 2003, while this year it had a slight increase. Stradley says Iowa law requires that agricultural property is assessed according to its productivity value. Residential and commercial property are assessed based on their market value.
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