Responsibilities of the Assessor
The Assessor is charged with several administrative and statutory duties. The primary duty and responsibility is to make sure all real property within his jurisdiction is assessed except where the law provides otherwise This includes residential, commercial, industrial and agricultural classes of property.
Real property is revalued every two years. The effective date of the assessment is January 1 of the current year. The assessor determines either a full or partial value for new construction and improvements depending upon their state of completion on January 1.
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 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 re-appointed to the position every 6 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 Assessors budget and after a public hearing acts on adoption of same. The Assessor is constrained by statute to a levy limitation for the budget. The limit depends on the value of the jurisdiction.
Misconceptions About the Assessor’s Work
The Assessor does not:
- Calculate taxes
- Collect taxes
- Determine tax rate
- Set policy for the Board of Review
Muscatine County citizens now have access to property information and maps online. This service is provided free-of-charge by the Muscatine Area Geographic Information Consortium (MAGIC).