The Assessor has many duties; however, the primary duty and responsibility is to cause to be assessed all real property within his or her 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 1st 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.
General Misconceptions about the Assessor's Work
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 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.
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 ten thousand or more may elect to have their own Assessor.
Assessors are required, by statute, to pass a state examination and complete a Continuing Education Program 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 as least 60 hours are tested.
The Conference Board approves the Assessor's budget and after a public hearing acts on adoption of same. The Assessor is limited, by statute, depending upon the value of the jurisdiction, to a levy limitation for his budget.
The Assessor estimates the value of each property. This is called the "assessed value." The assessed value is to be at actual or market value for most property taxes. For more information on assessed property values, visit the Property Values page.
How is the Assessor appointed?
The local assessor is appointed by a conference board to a six-year term. All assessors must have successfully passed the assessor exam given by the Department of Revenue. Each assessor must successfully complete 150 hours of formal continuing education in order to be eligible for reappointment