101 1st St. N. · Room 105
Newton, IA 50208
Monday - Friday
8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Assessor Kat Thompson
Chief Deputy Reanna Fitzgerald
Mapping Specialist Samantha Stewart
The assessor is charged with several administrative and statutory duties. The primary duty and responsibility is to make sure all real property within his/her jurisdiction is assessed except where the law provides otherwise. 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 1st.
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.
General 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.
Assessors are required, by statute, to pass a state examination and 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 Conference Board approves the assessor's budget and after a public hearing acts on adoption of same. The assessor is limited, by statue, depending upon the value of the jurisdiction, to a levy limitation for his/her budget.
Why Values Change
After properties have been appraised, the values are analyzed to ensure accurate and equitable assessments. Iowa 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 property assessments.