The Assessor is charged with several administrative and statutory duties; however, the primary duty and responsibility is to assess all real property within their jurisdiction except that which is otherwise provided by law. This would include residential, commercial, industrial and agricultural classes of property. Real property is revalued every two years. The effective date of the assessment is January First of the current year. The assessor determines a full or partial value of new construction, or improvements depending upon the state of completion as of January First.
The Assessor does not:
The Assessor is concerned with value, not taxes. Taxing jurisdictions such as schools, cities, and townships, adopt budgets after public hearings. This determines the tax levy, which is the rate of taxation required to raise the money budgeted. The taxes you pay are proportionate to the value of your property compared to the total value of the taxing district in which your property is located.
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Market value of a property is an estimate of the price that it would sell for on the open market on January First of the year of assessment. This is sometimes referred to as the "arms length transaction" or "willing buyer/willing seller" concept.
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To estimate the market value of your property, the Assessor generally uses three approaches. The first approach is to find properties that are comparable to yours which have sold recently. Local conditions peculiar to your property are taken into consideration. The assessor also uses sales ratio studies to determine the general level of assessment in a community, in order to adjust for local conditions. This method generally referred to is the MARKET APPROACH and usually considered the most important in determining the value of residential property. The second approach is the COST APPROACH and is an estimate of how many dollars at current labor and material prices it would take to replace your property with one similar to it. In the event improvement is not new appropriate amounts for depreciation and obsolescence would be deducted from replacement value. Value of the land then would be added to arrive to the total estimate of value. The INCOME APPROACH is the third method used if your property produces income such as an apartment or office building. In that case, your property could be valued according to its ability to produce income under prudent management; in other words, what another investor would give for a property in order to gain its income. The income approach is the most complex of the three approaches because of the research, information and analysis necessary for an accurate estimate of value. This method requires thorough knowledge of local and national financial conditions, as well as any developmental trends in the area of the subject property being appraised since errors or inaccurate information can seriously affect the final estimate of value.
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State law requires that all real property be reassessed every two years. The current law requires the reassessment to occur in odd numbered years. Changes in market value as indicated by research, sales ratio studies and analysis of local conditions as well as economic trends both in and outside the construction industry are used in determining your assessment.
If you disagree with the assessor's estimate of value, please consider these two questions before proceeding, as outlined below:
The assessor sends out blank assessment forms in January of each year. It is your responsibility to send or bring a completed form to the assessor by March 1, listing all the taxable personal property you owned January 1. If your form is late, the penalty ranges from $10 to $100, depending on the amount of valuation involved. The assessor may contact you to follow up if the form is not complete.
If you are a new resident of Ray County or will be as of January 1, be sure and notify the personal property division for a personal property list at
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