Fair and Equitable Assessments
Property assessment administration is a complex and technical profession vital to the financial health of local government. Assessors are responsible for administering the ad valorem tax system, and their chief task is to identify and appraise all general property in their jurisdictions.
An ad valorem tax is based on the principle that the amount of tax paid should depend on the value of property owned. The Assessor's Department is entrusted with the responsibility to see that assessed values used for tax purposes are accurate so that the tax burden will be distributed fairly. Only if assessed values are correct will tax limits, and the distribution of state aid to localities be as the legislature intended.
This trust involves the annual evaluation of approximately 27,000 parcels of land, over 25,000 buildings, and over 2,000 plus personal property accounts, the preparation of the assessment rolls, and processing of every real estate transaction. Maintaining for each parcel as regards legal descriptions, ownership, mapping, property data, and sales data, and the assimilation of new parcels into the assessing process, are all major functions vital to performance and service.
The basic motivation for revaluation is equity. When a property is over-appraised, its owners will be paying more than their fair share of taxes. Under-appraisals contribute to a lower tax base, causing the community to set higher tax rates. Our goal is to improve appraisal accuracy by providing a reappraisal, an updating of values for all properties in our city annually.