2019 Multi-Residential Equalization Order

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October 11, 2019

Iowa Department of Revenue issues 2019 equalization order of 21% to Scott County multi-residential property values (outside the City of Davenport).

Scott County Assessor Adjusted Property Values in Spring 2019

Due to the rapidly increasing real estate market, and using market sales data verified by the Scott County Assessor’s Office, in the spring of 2019 the County Assessor’s Office raised multi-residential property values across Scott County. Property owners of multi-residential classified properties, including commercial and industrial dually-classified properties, were notified of their new assessments (from the 2018 assessed values).

Department of Revenue Orders Equalization Increase To Multi-Residential Property

However, the Iowa Department of Revenue claims that based on 2017 and 2018 multi-residential property sales in Scott County, the increases were not enough to bring the assessments to the median sales range value per Iowa law.

Now in the fall of 2019, due to the legally required equalization process, the Iowa Department of Revenue is requiring the Scott County Assessor’s Office to again increase the January 1, 2019 assessed values of all multi-residential properties in Scott County (outside the City of Davenport) by an additional 21%. The Iowa Department of Revenue claims this increase in value is necessary to bring the 2019 assessed values of multi-residential properties into compliance and bring these properties to fair market value, based on recent market sales.

Scott County Assessor Protests Department of Revenue’s Equalization Order

As of October 3rd, 2019 the Scott County Assessor’s Office has officially protested the Scott County multi-residential property equalization order and awaits a ruling from the Director of the Department of Revenue, Kraig Paulsen. The Scott County Assessor is attempting to convince the Director that multi-residential properties in Scott County do not actually warrant an additional 21% value increase for 2019 over and above the values increases already made in the spring. Director Paulsen has until November 3rd to give his ruling.

Property Owners Can Appeal

In the meantime, multi-residential property owners in Scott County (outside the City of Davenport) have been notified by mail of their newly equalized 2019 assessed values.

From October 9th to October 31st multi-residential property owners will be afforded the opportunity to protest these newly equalized assessments with the local Board of Review which will meet and hear property owners protests in mid-October through early November. Learn more about the Board of Review Special Session .

To protest an equalized property assessment, view the subject property on the County Assessor’s Parcel Query website and scroll to the bottom and click on the Assessment Appeal link, or contact the County Assessor’s Office for other protest options.  If protesting the equalized assessment, property owners must prove to the Board of Review that the current fair market value of the property is actually less than the equalized value. If proven, the Board of Review can adjust the property’s assessed value, but not below the value prior to the equalization order.  

Other Iowa Counties Equalized

Scott County is not alone as five other counties around the state also received multi-residential equalization orders from the Department of Revenue ranging from to +9% to +24%, including Dubuque County, Johnson County, Delaware County, and Tama County.

The full list of equalization orders can be seen here: https://tax.iowa.gov/equalization-and-rollbacks.

Multi-Residential and Dual-Class Properties

In Iowa, multi-residential property consists mainly of apartment buildings, nursing homes, and manufactured home parks. About 325 multi-residential and dual-class properties in the county are affected by this equalization order. The other classifications of property, agricultural, residential, and commercial and industrial (that are not dually-classified), are not affected by equalization orders at this time and the assessed values of those properties have already been finalized for 2019.

Multi-residential is a new classification of property first implemented in Iowa in 2015. 2019 is the very first year the equalization process has been enforced by the Department of Revenue for multi-residential property in Iowa.

October 11, 2019