Warren County Assessor

Credits & Exemptions

Iowa law provides for a number of credits and exemptions. It is the property owner's responsibility to apply for these as provided by law. It is also the property owner's responsibility to report to the Assessor when they are no longer eligible for any credit or exemption they have applied for. Following is a list of several credits and exemptions available in Iowa.

Homestead Tax Credit

To qualify for the credit, the property owner must be a resident of Iowa and occupy the property on July 1 and for at least six months of every year. New applications for homestead tax credit are to be filed with the Assessor on or before July 1 of the year the credit is first claimed. Once a person qualifies, the credit continues until the property is sold or until the owner no longer qualifies. This credit reduces the value on which taxes are calculated by a maximum of $4,850. (Refer to Code of Iowa, Chapter 425)

Military Service Tax Exemptions
Iowa residents who meet one of the following service requirements are eligible for the exemption:
1. Honorable discharged veteran who served for a minimum aggregate of eighteen months. Honorable discharged veteran who served for fewer than eighteen months because of a service related injury. Honorable discharged former member of Reserve Forces or Iowa National Guard who served at least 20 years. Member of Reserve Forces or Iowa National Guard who have served at least 20 years and continue to serve. Honorable discharged former member of the Armed Forces if any portion of their term of enlistment would have occurred within the Korean Conflict but who opted to serve 5 years in the reserve forces as allowed by Federal law. A member of the Iowa National Guard who was activated for federal duty, other than training, for a minimum aggregate of ninety days, and was discharged under honorable conditions or was retired under Title X of the United States Code shall be included as a vetern.
2. Honorably discharged veteran who served in an eligible service period (Iowa Code Chapter 35)

Application must be made with the Assessor on or before July 1 of the year the exemption is first claimed. The military certificate of satisfactory service, order transferring to inactive status, reserve, retirement, order of separation from service or honorable discharge must be recorded in the office of the county recorder. Members of the Reserve Forces or Iowa National Guard who have served at least 20 years and continue to serve shall record the veteran's retirement points accounting statement issued by the armed forces of the United States, the state adjutant general, or the adjutant general of any other state. The exemption from taxation is $2,778 for WWI veterans and $1,852 for all other service periods. If the qualified veteran does not claim the exemption the spouse, unmarried widow(er), minor child or widowed parent may be eligible to claim the exemption. (Refer to Iowa Code Chapter 426A)

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Property Owner's Legal Responsibility

It is your legal responsibility to report to the Assessor changes or improvements to your real estate. 441.24 (1) Code of Iowa provides:

If a person refuses to furnish the verified statements required in connection with the assessment of property by the assessor, or to list the corporation's or person's property, the director of revenue and finance or assessor, as the case may be, shall proceed to list and assess the property according to the best information obtainable and shall add to the taxable valuation one hundred percent thereof, which valuation and penalty shall be separately shown, and shall constitute the assessment; and if the valuation of the property is changed by a board of review or on appeal from a board of review, a like penalty shall be added to the valuation thus fixed.

There are many things you should report to your local assessor like:
• New buildings
• Buildings removed, torn down or damaged by fire or flood
• Remodeling (interior and exterior)
• Additions to house or buildings
• New furnace / central air
• Mobile homes
• Fireplaces
• Basement or attic finish
• Decks, patios, and garages

Please call your local assessor's office to report any changes to your property. Your cooperation will be greatly appreciated.

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Important Dates
January 1

Effective date of current assessment

April 2 thru April 30 inclusive

Protest of assessment period for filing with Local Board of Review

May 1 thru Adjournment

Board of Review meets each year

July 1

Signup deadline Homestead Tax Credit & Military Exemption

July 1 through October 15

Signup deadline for Family Farm Tax Credit

October 9 thru October 31 inclusive

Protest period for filing with Board of Review on properties affected by changes in value as a result of Director of Revenue and Finance Equalization Orders (odd numbered years only.)

Filing is required on the following, if provisions have been made for exemptions as required:
Annual
• Fruit Tree Reservations
• Impoundment Structures
• Native Prairies
• Open Prairies
• Forest Cover
• River and Stream Banks
• Recreational Lake

Permanent
• Family Farm Credit
• Homestead Credit
• Military Exemption
• Forest Preserve
• Pollution Control
• Wildlife Habitat

Other
• Wetlands
• Urban Revitalization
• Military Exemption
• Industrial Partial 427B

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Market Value

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.

How Does the Assessor Estimate Market Value?

To estimate the market value of your property, the Assessor generally uses three approaches. The first approach is to find properties that are comparable to yours which have sold recently. Local conditions peculiar to your property are taken into consideration. The assessor also uses sales ratio studies to determine the general level of assessment in a community, in order to adjust for local conditions. This method is generally referred to as the MARKET APPROACH and usually considered the most important in determining the value of residential property. The second approach is the COST APPROACH and is an estimate of how many dollars at current labor and material prices it would take to replace your property with one similar to it. In the event improvement is not new appropriate amounts for depreciation and obsolescence would be deducted from replacement value. Value of the land then would be added to arrive at the total estimate of value. The INCOME APPROACH is the third method used if your property produces income such as an apartment or office building. In that case, your property could be valued according to its ability to produce income under prudent management; in other words, what another investor would give for a property in order to gain its income. The income approach is the most complex of the three approaches because of the research, information and analysis necessary for an accurate estimate of value. This method requires thorough knowledge of local and national financial conditions, as well as any developmental trends in the area of the subject property being appraised since errors or inaccurate information can seriously effect the final estimate of value.

How Does the Assessor Estimate Market Value?

State law requires that all real property be reassessed every two years. The current law requires the reassessment to occur in odd numbered years. Changes in market value as indicated by research, sales ratio studies and analysis of local conditions as well as economic trends both in and outside the construction industry are used in determining your assessment.

If you disagree with the assessor's estimate of value, please consider these two questions before proceeding, as outlined below:

1. What is the actual market value of my property?
2. How does the value compare to similar properties in the neighborhood?

If you have any questions about the assessment of your property, feel free to come in and discuss it with the Assessor. You may file a written protest with the Board of Review which is composed of three or five members from various areas of the assessing jurisdiction. The Board operates independently of the assessor's office, and has the power to confirm or to adjust either upward or downward any assessment.

If you are not satisfied with the decision of the Board of Review you may appeal to district court within twenty days after adjournment of said Board, or twenty days after May 31st whichever is the latest.

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Sales Information
Rural Sales
Carlisle Rural
Des Moines Rural
I35 Rural
Indianola Rural
Martensdale-St Marys Rural
Norwalk Rural
SE Warren-Pleasantville Rural

Urban Sales
Carlisle Urban
Des Moines Urban
I35 Urban
Indianola Townhomes and Condos
Indianola Urban Single Family
Martendale-St Marys Urban
Norwalk Townhomes and Condos
Norwalk Urban Single Family
SE Warren-Pleasantville Urban

Agricultural Sales
Agricultural Sales
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Property Assessment
Things to Remember:
• Assessed value and taxable value are not synonymous terms.
• Property is assessed as of January First.
• Property is reassessed every two years.
• Taxes are levied on a value determined by the auditor by applying a "roll back" percentage to the assessed value and deducting any applicable exemptions or credits. The "roll back" percentages vary each year.

On values determined as of January 1st, one does not start to pay taxes until eighteen months later. The "roll back" is the percentage of actual value that is determined by the Director of Revenue and Finance each year on the several classes of property where the total value increase STATEWIDE, exceeds four percent for each class of property. The percentage so determined by the Director of Revenue and Finance is certified to and applied by the local county auditor to all property in each class effected throughout the State. Percentages determined by the Director of Revenue and Finance are the same for all the assessing jurisdictions in the State.

Increases in assessed value of individual parcels of property as determined by the assessor, may exceed four percent within a jurisdiction. Agricultural property, except agricultural dwellings, are assessed on the basis of productivity and net earning capacity using a five-year crop average and capitalized at a rate set by the Legislature. The rate is currently seven percent. Tentative and final equalization orders are issued by the Director of Revenue and Finance in odd numbered years on or about August 15th, and October 1st respectively. The orders are sent to the various county auditors who apply them to the classes of property affected, if any.

Assessors and members of the Board of Review are appointed to their terms of office. Assessors, in addition to completing the required 150 hours of Continuing Education, must be approved by a majority vote of the Conference Board in order to be reappointed.

If you desire further information, questions concerning PROPERTY VALUES or other information relating thereto should be addressed to the assessor's office in the respective jurisdiction and not the Board of Supervisors or Treasurer.

Questions relating to taxes should be addressed to the Warren County Treasurer.

The assessors of Iowa hope that the information contained herein will be of value to the property owner and has clarified some of these problems and issues relating to assessment and the applicable laws.

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Tax Levies and Assessed Values

There are a number of different taxing districts in a jurisdiction, each with a different levy. Each year the County Auditor determines for that district a levy that will yield enough money to pay for schools, police and fire protection, road maintenance and other services budgeted for in that area. The tax levy is applied to each $1,000 of a property's taxable value. The value determined by the assessor is the assessed value and is the value indicated on the assessment roll. The taxable value is the value determined by the auditor after application of state ordered "rollback" percentages for the various classes of property and is the value indicated on the tax statement. When comparing the value of your property with other properties always compare with the value on the assessment roll or the assessor's property record cards and not the value indicated on the tax statement.

Click here to find your tax levy amount
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