Field Descriptions

     Field Name                          

     Identification Information

     Mill Group
     Parcel Number                           
     Location Address                   Total Millage   
     Today's Date                        Legal Description
     Value Information

     Land Value (Regular & Ag)        Assessed Value
     Building Value                         Exempt Value
     Miscellaneous Value                 Taxable Value
     Total Value
     Land Data
     Type of Land Use
     Number of Units            
     Unit Type
     Sale Information

     Book(Official Record Book)           Qualification   
     Page(Official Book Page)             Improved?(At Time Of Sale?)          
     Date(Sale Date)                        Sale Price


     Building data
   Bedrooms/Bathrooms                 Fixture Count (Commercial)
     Floor Area
     Effective Year Built


Today's Date For your convenience, this field records the date you viewed or printed this information. 
Parcel Number The Parcel Number or "Parcel Identification Number" is a numerical code used for record storage that also serves as an abbreviation of the parcel's legal description. Each number is a unique identifier for one parcel only, yet parcel numbers in the same geographic area will have similar numbers. 
Millage Group The Millage Group a parcel belongs to refers to the geographic area of parcels that share the same set of taxing authorities. Taxing Authority's must hold public hearings each year before any taxes are levied.
Total Millage  The Millage Rate identifies the total aggregate millage rate levied for a particular parcel. Parcels in the same Millage Group will share the  same Millage Amount. A "Mill" is a monetary unit equal to one one thousandths of a Dollar. It is set by the representatives of a Taxing Authority each year to fund their jurisdiction's budget. According to State Law, budgets cannot be set without public hearings for citizen input. If the approved Millage Rate in your area is 24.809601,  and the Taxable Value (Assessed Value minus any Exempt Value) of your property is $50,000, then:           24.809601  times  $ 50,000  divided by 1000 = $1240.48 In this example, the property tax would be $1240.48 for this parcel. Each year, the Millage Rate is reset according to approved budget considerations and revised assessments. One easy way to estimate the tax is to round the Millage Rate to dollars and times this amount by the number of "thousands" you have in taxable Value.                Millage Rate = 24.809601, convert to $25.00          Thousands of Taxable Value = $ 50,000, convert to 50.                               Thus:         50 times $25 = $1250.00 (a very close estimate to $1240.48) For further information, contact the office. Location Address This is the address of the property location (when available). This address is usually created when a new building permit is issued. Many vacant parcels have either no address or just a street name as their location address. Although the Assessor's Office's Office does not rely on the location address for the indexing and locating of parcels (we use plat maps and legal descriptions), we try to update this information on a constant basis. Please feel free to contact this office in the case of any location addresses that needs updating or correction. We appreciate the help!

Legal Description This is the legal statement by which a property is identified and  described. This description is on or attached to an owner's deed.
Land (Regular & Agriculture) This is the value that the Assessor's Office has attributed to the land portion of your Total  Value. The Land Value, along with the Building Value and the Miscellaneous Value comprise the parcel's Total  Value. Assessed Value on properties classified as a Bonafide Agricultural use according to Iowa Law is assessed a little differently.
In this case, the law dictates that we assess 
the value for tax purposes based on the capitalized income stream from
the normal market expected from the sale of an agriculture product.
This legislation was enacted to protect the full time farmer and enhance
stability in the citizen's supply of agricultural products. 

Building Value Like the Land Value, the Assessed Building Value is the value that  the Assessor's Office attributes to the building(s) that have been built on the property. 
Miscellaneous Value This is the value attributed to any miscellaneous improvements that have been built onto a property. This would include pools, pole barns, boat docks, paved parking areas and similar type improvements not attached to a building.
Total Value This value represents the total Value of the parcel. It includes Land Value, Building Value and Miscellaneous Value. Our Total Value will be approxamately 85% of what we believe to be the most probable sale price of an individual property.
Assessed Value Assessed Value only differs from Total Value on Homesteaded property or property classified "agricultural" as specified by Iowa State Law. Assessed Value on residential property, because of a constitutional  amendment to Iowa law ("Amendment 10 "Save Our Homes"), has been capped at a yearly increase of 3% or the CPI (Consumer Price Index) which ever is lower (The CPI in 1996 was 2.5%). Because many residential parcel's "Total Value" may increase more than this percentage, their Total Value and Assessed Value will be different. Assessed Value on Commercial and Industrial properties will always show the Just value and Assessed value as the same. Assessed Value on properties classified as a Bonafide Agricultural use according to Iowa Law would also show a difference between the Just Value and the Assessed Value. In this case, the law dictates that we assess  the value for tax purposes based on the capitalized income stream from the normal market expected from the sale of an agriculture product.
This legislation was enacted to protect the full time farmer and enhance
stability in the citizen's supply of agriculture products.

In all cases, the Assessor's Office's Office maintains both a yearly 
Total Value as well as a yearly Assessed Value on every parcel in the

Exempt Value Exemptions are like "credits" granted by Iowa Law to be deducted from your Assessed Value for various reasons. This reduced value will effect the final tax bill you pay. Some exemptions are based on property use like churches (totally exempt) and  people's homesteads (usually $25,000). Other exemptions are situational like disabled veterans and widows & widowers. Visit the Exemptions section of this site for more information.
Taxable Value The Taxable Value is the amount, after all legal classifications and exemptions have been applied, that the approved millage in your jurisdiction(s) is levied against.                              Example   Assessed Value   minus   Exemption Amount    =    Taxable Value      72,500                 25,000                47,500 In this example, the taxable value would be $47,500. If The parcel's jurisdiction had a Millage Amount of 26.304301, then: $ 47,500 X 26.304301 divided by 1000 (to convert to dollars) = $1249.45
One easy way to estimate the tax is to round the Millage Rate to dollars
and times this amount by the number of "thousands" you have in taxable Value.

               Millage Rate = 26.304301, convert to $26.00
         Thousands of Taxable Value = $ 47,500, convert to 48.
        48 times $26 = $1248.00 (a very close estimate to $1249.45)

For further information, contact this office.

Book (Official Record Book) This number is the official record book at the County Clerk's Office where the deed for this transaction was recorded. The Book and it's corresponding Page number will enable you to quickly find the documents recorded about that particular sale transaction in the County's vast archive of records.
Page(Official Record Page) Like the Official Record Book information, the page number tells us where in that particular record book that the documents relating to this sale transaction will be found. 

Sale Date This is the date that the transaction took place. The Sale Date is very Important to the Assessor's Office's Office because the real estate market is known to change dynamically over time.
Instrument  Instrument refers to the kind of legal Instrument that was used to transfer the parcel. For example, most open market transactions are executed by  Warranty Deed (WD), while most transfers of ownership within families are  done by Quit Claim (QC)deed. There are several ways to transfer property.   The Assessor's Office's Office records the type of instrument for use  when analyzing the real estate market.

Qualification Because the Assessor's Office's Office uses actual sale transactions when analyzing property values in using the comparable sales method of  valuation (one of the methods used in considering value), it is important that we use only sales that represent an "arms length" transaction. That is - a sale of property between a knowledgeable buyer and a knowledgeable seller with no undue influence that may have affected the price.  The sale Qualification applied by this office makes no judgement value about the parcel's sale transaction except to say that we will or will not use it in our analysis because the sale price "may" have been affected by some other influence besides the fair market price. For example, a parcel sold by parents to their children "may" have been sold for a price lower than the parents could have gotten on the open market. A seller who agrees to finance the sale to the buyer personally, is more likely to sell at a higher price than the market because of the  extra service, and the buyer more likely to pay it for the same reason. In both of these cases, we would choose not to use these sales for  analytical purposes because they may not accurately represent the market.

Improved?(at time of sale) This field tells you if the parcel was vacant or improved when the sale transaction took place. Sale Price This is the indicated sale price of the transaction. Deed Analysts from the Assessor's Office's Office consider the data on the transfer documents to ascertain the sale price. Many times this is accomplished by dividing the documentary taxes paid at closing by the Documentary  tax rate (.007) . For example, a sales transaction with documentary taxes of $598.50  paid at closing would indicate a sale price of $85,500 .               $ 598.50     divided by  .007  =  $ 85,500 The Deed Analyst also checks the transfer amount in the case of atypical situations like partial transfers and multi-parcel sales. Many transfers not based on the transfer of money (like gifts, or probate), show a sale price of $100. This is because the minimum  documentary amount according to state law is 70 cents, resulting in an indicated $100 sale price using the division method.
Land Use  This is highest and best use a parcel could expect to be used for at the present time. Potential use depends on the prevailing use and zoning  laws to determine its utility. The potential allowed use of a parcel is a major consideration in the estimation of value.  It is not uncommon to see a property being used for a purpose other than its highest and best potential. Consider the case of a 30 year old house  that sits on a prime parcel of commercial land. The knowledgeable buyer would not consider this property a residential parcel nor would a knowledgeable owner sell it as such. On most properties, however, the existing land useage is the highest and best use. The Assessor's Office's Office lists each land use for all sections of the parcel.
Number of Units The number of units refers to the amount of land for each section described in our records. Residential units may be quantified as "front Feet", "lot" or "acres" while commercial may be in "square feet" or "units buildable".  the Assessor's Office chooses the most appropriate unit of measure indicated by the particular parcel's situation.

Unit Type This is the unit of measure used to describe the parcel. In most cases this is a size measure like acres and square feet. Other units types may be more appropriate for estimating certain parcel's value like front feet, lots and units buildable. The data in this field refers to the unit of measure currently  being used to describe the parcel.
Improvement Type This describes the type of building (or Improvement). Although there could be many buildings on a single parcel, there will only be one Improvement Type per building. Examples of Improvement Types would include Single Family Residences, Mobile Homes, Multi-family and Condominiums to name just a few.
Bedrooms/Baths The number of bedrooms in a residential structure.  Number of Bathrooms in a residential structure. A full bath would have a minimum of 3 fixtures (shower or tub, sink and toilet).

Total Floor Area This is the size in square feet of the Buildings total area being described in the section.
Effective Year Built
This is the usually the same as the year we have on record as the year the structure was first built.
In some cases, we move this date up to account for major rehabilitation & remoldeling or stuctural

Fixture Count (Commercial)

In commercial structures, it is more appropriate to count plumbing fixtures
instead of bathrooms. This fixture count may include several bathroom stalls
in a large mall or dozens of utility sinks at a factory.