Press Release, 3.20.2019


Understanding the 2019 Assessment Rolls and Valuation Changes

On April 1, in accordance with state law, the O’Brien County Assessor’s Office will mail property owners a notice of the assessed value of their property.

Every odd year the assessor must ensure that the total assessed value of property reflects current market value of property. For commercial and residential properties, the overall market value of property has increased when compared to our assessed value of property.

If the County Assessor’s Office does not complete this revaluation work, the Iowa Department of Revenue may issue equalization orders to adjust all the property in a certain classification by a flat percentage in order to bring the assessed values to at least 100% of the determined market values.

In Iowa, agricultural land is valued under a different framework than commercial and residential property. Agricultural land assessments are determined using productivity and net earning capacity rather than value alone. This means that a five-year rolling average of agricultural income and expenses (as determined by the USDA) is multiplied by the value of the land to determine its actual assessed value.

To further aid property owners in understanding how the assessed value of their property may or may not affect how much they pay in taxes and what options exist for them if they disagree with some aspect of their property valuation, the following is being distributed along with the assessment valuation change notifications:


Do Property Taxes Increase when my property value increases?

There are three parts to the property tax system: Taxation, Valuation, & Rollback Factor


TAXATION: Taxing authorities such as schools, city councils, county supervisors create budgets and based off these budgets determine how much money must be collected from taxes. These and other authorities levy taxes to provide services that taxpayers demand such as education, police and fire protection, streets and sewers.


VALUATION: Buyers and sellers of property create value in the Real Estate Market. The assessor’s office studies this market, collects information and data about properties and values all real estate. Essentially, the property value of an individual property is its share of the tax burden.


ROLLBACK: The state of Iowa sets a rollback factor for every property class. This refers to the percentage of a property’s assessed value that is subjected to taxation. This factor can change every year, but is not set until after August 15.

Since there are factors outside of the control of the Assessor and since

Assessed Value      X      Rollback      X      Tax Rate      =      Gross Tax

we cannot state the actual effect a change in valuation will have on taxes.




Assessed values can be influenced by market fluctuations. This change can be upward or downward. A property’s value can also increase or decrease when property itself changes such as a garage is added, a kitchen is remodeled, or if part of the property is destroyed or removed.




  1. Beginning April 2, 2019, you may contact the assessor to request an informal review of your property. You may stop in at our office in the O’Brien County courthouse, send a written request by mail or email, or call us at 712-957-3205. If valid reasons exist, a change may be warranted. This must be completed prior to April 26, 2019.
  2. You may file an appeal to the Board of Review. This appeal must be filed on or before April 30, 2019. You may file an appeal while in process of completing an informal review with the assessor in case you do not reach an agreement on or before April 25.


An assessment appeal is an attempt to prove that the property’s assessed value is either inaccurate or not equitable. You should appeal when you can prove such things as: 1. items that affect value are incorrect on your property record card, 2. The assessed value is more than the market value of the property, or 3. The assessment is accurate but not equitable with assessments of other like property.


You may review information about your property and all property in the county at Scroll down and Click on the Link “O’Brien County Property Search” on the right side of the page.