The Assessor's Office is committed to:
- Determining valuation of all property within Mahaska County according to regulations set forth in the Iowa Code.
- Maintaining accurate and updated records for all property.
- Assisting property owners with questions about their assessments.
- Providing information to interested parties regarding our policies and procedures.
Assessors in Iowa are:
- Appointed to six-year terms by the Conference Board. The Conference Board consists of the County Board of Supervisors, the mayor of each incorporated city, and a representative from each school district in the county.
- Required to pass an examination instituted by the Iowa Department of Revenue in order to be eligible for appointment. This examination consists of mass appraisal theory, assessment law, taxation, credits and exemptions, and many other categories the assessor must be knowledgeable in.
- Subject to continuing education requirements, which must be met to be reappointed to a new term.
- Subject to the approval of the Director of the Iowa Department of Revenue for appointment or reappointment.
- Overseen by the Iowa Department of Revenue to ensure that assessment procedures are performed in accordance with the Iowa Code.
The primary responsibility of the Assessor is to determine the value of all property within his or her jurisdiction. The Assessor performs annual sales studies to determine current sales ratios, trends, and any areas that may need adjusted for equalization purposes.
Assessors also make annual inspections of any property with physical changes as reported by the property owner and various other sources. Inspections of the property allow the assessor to most accurately list and value that property's characteristics and update the property record card accordingly.
For residential property, the Assessor uses the market approach and takes into consideration the current sales of similar properties in the jurisdiction. This includes dwellings on agricultural property.
For commercial property, the Assessor may use the market approach, the cost approach, or the income approach to determine value. The market approach is the most reliable; however, in jurisdictions where few commercial sales occur, the assessor may use the cost or income approach, or a combination of both, to determine value.
For agricultural property, the Assessor must apply the CSR (Corn Suitability Rating) value to all ag parcels based on a modern soil survey performed within the jurisdiction. Ag land and ag buildings are assessed based on their productivity and net earning capacity, not on market value. Ag land is revalued every odd year based on a 5-year productivity cycle. The adjustments are made on top of the base CSR value; the CSR of a parcel does not change unless the parcel is split or combined with another parcel.
The Assessor is concerned only with valuation and not taxes. Certain classes of property are not taxed on their entire assessed valuation – the State of Iowa issues a "rollback" that determines what percentage of your valuation you pay taxes on.
What the Assessor does not do:
- Figure taxes
- Set levies
- Collect taxes
- Determine the rollback
- Determine zoning
Charges for Documents and Services:
Property Record Cards:
$1.00 per page (no charge if you are the owner)
Snapshot of Aerial Imagery or Line Work:
$5.00 per copy (no charge if you are the owner)
Declarations of Value:
$5.00 per copy (includes addendums)
$5.00 per copy (includes soil map if requested)
To be determined based on size and scope of request. MINIMUM CHARGE IS $50. An invoice will be sent to the party requesting the information, and once payment is received, the data will be sent via email.
The documents listed above can be sent via e-mail upon request. The above charges will apply to information transmitted via e-mail and an invoice will be included with the documents when sent. If any party fails to pay an oustanding invoice, payment for future services will be required in person prior to the release of data.