Assessment Change Notices & Publications
What Do These Notices & Publications Mean To The Taxpayer?
When an individual property is reassessed by a local assessing official a notice of assessment change must be sent to the property owner. Assessments shown on these notices are subject to equalization by the chief county assessing official, the board of review, and the Department of Revenue.
Notices are sent on increases as well as decreases in assessment and are sent to alert the property owner that a change has been made in the assessment of that property. Assessment change notices are important documents and should be reviewed by the property owner. Any questions about these notices should be directed to their local assessor or the chief county assessing official's office.
Assessments changed by a local assessing official are published in a newspaper of local circulation. Changes are published allowing property owners to make comparisons of their assessments with those that have changed. This allows property owners receiving no assessment change to determine if their property is assessed the same as those receiving assessment changes. In a quadrennial year, all assessments in a township are published.
This is done to give property owners the opportunity to compare their assessments with those of neighboring properties. All non-farm assessments published are subject to equalization by the chief county assessing official, the board of review, and the Department of Revenue.
Also appearing at the time of publication is a notice of equalization. This notice outlines the property types and the township multipliers applied to those property types. Farmland and farm buildings are not subject to equalization; however, farm homes and the farm home site are. Equalization is necessary to bring the median level of assessments to the 33 1/3% of market value required by statute. Assessment changes resulting solely from equalization do not require a mailed change notice or publication in a local paper. Only township multipliers must be published for property classes equalized.
For example, a home with a current assessment of $14,000 as set by the township assessor will receive a township factor of 1.1234. The equalized assessed value of this property for 2000 will then be $14,000 x 1.1234 or $15,277. Equalization should result in a median level of assessment of 33 1/3%. Equalized nonfarm assessments should be multiplied by 3 to arrive at an estimate of fair market value. The market value of our example would be $15,277 x 3 or $45,831
If the result of this operation overstates the market value of your property, you may be over-assessed and it may be in your interest to file an assessment appeal with the board of review. If it understates the market value of your property you may be under-assessed and it may not be in your interest to file an assessment appeal with the board of review. Appeals must be filed 30 days after publication or mailing of notices, whichever is later.
What is Township Equalization?
Township Equalization is the act of bringing the median level of assessments in a township or county to the statutorily mandated level of 33 1/3%. Township equalization is accomplished by the use of a township factor. The factor is applied to properties of a class in a township resulting in the same percentage change to all properties in that class.