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Property Record Sales Info

Many functions of the Adams County Assessors office are handled through the Iowa Assessors website, including property searches, real estate searches, reducing tax liability, and a variety of other pertinent information.

How Is Your Property Tax Calculated?

(Reference a tax statement you received from your Treasurer)

The process of determining the amount of your tax bill requires the work of several local and state agencies to complete. Below is a summary of how property taxes are determined.

  1. The value of property is established: The Assessor estimates the value of each property which is called the “assessed value”. The assessed value of residential, commercial, industrial and multi-residential property is to be at actual or market value. The assessed value of agricultural land is determined by the Iowa Agricultural Productivity Formula and based on a five-year rolling average (currently 2013-2017) that takes into account factors at a county level such as acres in production, number of bushels produced and average market value of the crop. The total county value as determined by the formula is divided by the total county CSR2 points, to determine the $ value per CSR2. A price per CSR2 point is determined and applied to every agricultural parcel equally in the county. For further information, google “Iowa Agricultural Productivity Formula”.
  2. The assessments of all taxable properties are added together: The Assessor totals the assessed value in each classification – Residential, Agricultural, Commercial, Industrial and Multi Residential, and reports it to the Department of Revenue.
  3. The Iowa Department of Revenue examines total assessed values and equalizes them: Each Assessor sends the reports, called “abstracts” to the Iowa Department Revenue. The abstract shows the total values of all real property in each jurisdiction by classification of property, not by individual property. A process called “equalization” is applied every two years to ensure that property values comply with Iowa Code.
  4. The “assessment limitation” is applied every year by the Auditor: This process is commonly called the “rollback” and is used in response to inflation. The application of the rollback results in taxable value in most cases.
    Current Rollbacks determined by the Iowa Department of Revenue: These are applied to property in fiscal year July 1, 2018 to June 30, 2019 which are then payable fiscal year July 1, 2020 to June 30, 2021.
    • 81.4832% to the value of agricultural realty outside and within incorporated cities and towns in the county, excluding dwellings located on agricultural realty.
    • 55.0743% to the value of residential realty outside and within incorporated cities and towns in the county, including dwellings located on agricultural realty.
    • 90.0000% to the value of commercial realty outside and within incorporated cities and towns in the county.
    • 90.0000% to the value of industrial realty outside and within incorporated cities and towns in the county.
    • 75.2500% to the value of multi-residential property outside and within incorporated cities and towns in the county.
    • 90.0000% to the value of railroad property outside and within incorporated cities and towns in the county
    • No adjustment to the value of utility property.
  5. Budgets are established: Each taxing authority determines its own budget. Taxing authorities are listed on the tax statement near the bottom and vary by location in the county. The budget includes the cost of providing services, the amount of aid received from the federal and state governments, the amount of money remaining from previous years, and revenue from other charges for services. Each approved budget is submitted to the County Auditor who then certifies each budget.
  6. A tax rate is established: The County Auditor divides the amount of the budget that is not funded by other sources by the taxable value of the property in the taxing district. The result is referred to as “dollars per thousand”. Each taxing authority would have their own “tax levy”, which is a number that expresses how many dollars they require in “dollars per thousand” to operate their respective taxing authority. All the tax levies of the taxing authorities, that apply to your property or location, added together would equal the total levy “dollars per thousand” you would pay. 
    Some of the taxing authorities for Adams County are:
    • Local school
    • County
    • City
    • Township
    • Community college
    • Assessor
    • Hospital
    • Ag Extension Service
    • Rural services
    • Rural improvement zones
    • New jail bond
      By adding up all of these levy rates from each respective taxing authorities’ budget, the total levy rate on a tax statement could vary from location to location in the county.
  7. On the tax statement, there are two values, “assessed value” and “taxable value”. The difference between the two is determined by taking the assessed value and multiplying it by the rollback (see step 3 for the current rollback). Example: If your residential property is assessed at $100,000 and the rollback is 55.0743%, you would multiply $100,000 x .550743 and your taxable value would be $55,074 rounded off. Your tax dollars are figured per $1,000 of your taxable value, at your current total levy rate.
  8. Credits are subtracted: Credits such Homestead, ag land credit, family farm etc. are subtracted before the final tax bill is sent to the taxpayer. The Military Credit is a deduction off your taxable value before the levy rate is applied.
  9. Your tax statement is then mailed out by the County Treasurer, who is just the collector of all the tax dollars for all the taxing authorities on your tax statement. 


2019 Assessed market valuation (Residential) $100,000.00
Rollback % figure from Iowa Department of Revenue 0.550743
Taxable Value after rollback $55,074.30
Taxable Value $55,074.30
Military Exemption ($1,852 if qualified) $0.00
Net taxable value $55,074.30
Net taxable value $55,074.30
Tax Rate (Levy/Millage Rate/ $ per 1,000) 0.02698336
Gross Taxes  $1,486.09
Gross Taxes before credits applied  $1,486.09
Homestead Credit ($4,850 x Levy rate)  $130.87
Net Taxes  $1,355.22

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