Reassessment occurs every two years in the odd year. This is to ensure that assessments are fair and equitable from property to property. If during reassessment it is noticed that values need to be changed, it is at this time the Assessor can make these changes. The most common change is that market value for the area has increased or decreased. Assessors, are required to be within + , - 5% of true market value per state statute. During the even years, the only thing that can cause a change in the assessed valuation of real property is new construction or demolition.
The tax levy used to calculate tax dollars owed is developed each year. The taxing districts (schools, road/bridge, fire, ambulance, city, county, library, etc.) each use the combined (real property, personal property, and state assessed property) totals to determine what levy will be required, to collect enough revenue to fund each operation.
If at anytime you disagree or have questions about your assessment please feel free to call the Assessor's office. The professional staff will assist your every need.
Remember, the assessment process is very involved. If you disagree with your assessment there are a few steps that you have to follow to ensure your property gets looked at.
- Informal Hearing- Call the office and ask for an appraiser. They will discuss your property with you and will come out and review your property . If the outcome is not what you feel it should have been, then proceed to step 2.
- Board of Equalization- Call the County Clerk's office, file a (BOE) appeal. The Clerk's office will set up an appointment with you and mail out the information to you. If after BOE you are still not satisfied, proceed to step 3.
- State Tax Commission- The clerk's office will send forms to file with state tax commission, a hearing officer will set up an appointment in Buchanan County Courthouse and listen to both sides of the case. They in turn will go back and write a decision.
- Circuit Court- The last step in an appeal. If the state's decision is not what you still feel is correct, you may file to the Circuit Court.
When a taxpayer wants to appeal their assessment, they need to bring in evidence to support the claim, i.e.: recent appraisal, sales in the neighborhood, insurances etc. anything that will assist in determining a value different that the Assessor's value.
Local taxes affect each and everyone of us, everyday. Understanding how the process works is the first step in changing or improving the system.