Information about the Assessor
Assessors are appointed to their position by a Conference Board consisting of the members of the Board of Supervisors, the Mayors of all incorporated cities, and a member from each school district within the jurisdiction. A city with a population of 10,000 or more may elect to have their own assessor. Assessors are required by statute to pass a state examination and complete continuing education consisting of 150 hours of formal classroom instruction with 90 hours tested and a passing grade of 70% attained. The latter requirement must be met in order for the Assessor to be reappointed to the position every six years. The Deputy Assessor also must pass a state examination as well as successfully complete 90 hours of classroom instruction of which at least 60 hours are tested. The Conference Board approves the Assessor’s budget and after a public hearing, acts on adoption of it. The Assessor is constrained by statute to a levy limitation for the budget. The limit depends on the value of the jurisdiction.
What are the Assessor’s duties?
The Assessor is charged with several administrative and statutory duties. The primary duty and responsibility is to assess all real property within the Assessor’s jurisdiction except that which is otherwise provided by law. This would include residential, commercial, industrial and agricultural classes of property.
Real property is revalued at least every two years. The effective date of the assessment is January 1st of each year. The Assessor determines a full or partial value for all new construction and improvements depending upon their state of completion as of that January 1st date.
Agricultural real property is assessed at 100% of productivity and net earning capacity value. Agricultural income as reflected by production, prices, expenses, and various local conditions is taken into account. For additional information, please see Agricultural Land.
General Misconceptions about the Assessor’s Duties
The Assessor DOES NOT:
- Collect taxes
- Calculate taxes
- Determine tax rate
- Set Policy for the Board of Review
The Assessor is concerned with value, not taxes. Taxing jurisdictions such as schools, cities and county, 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 proportional to the value of your property compared to the total value of property in your taxing district.