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Property assessment values expected to increase across central Iowa

It's an increase that could also happen statewide based on the housing market the past two years.

DES MOINES, Iowa — Property tax assessments in Polk County are expected to see a drastic increase next year. 

Bryon Tack, chief deputy for the Polk County Assessor's Office, said it's an increase that could also happen statewide based on the housing market the past two years.

Tack said the average home in the county is expected to increase around 22% in value next year and commercial property values could increase by 18%.

“We believe this would be the highest percentage increase to residential properties in the history of Polk County,” Tack said. 

After the last county-wide reassessment in 2021, residential properties went up 7.45% in value. In 2019, they went up 8.75%.

Tack noted the assessments are conducted in odd-numbered years.

Polk County isn't the only county expected to see increases. 

Assessor Wayne Schwickorath said Story County could see a 20% increase in residential property values and a 15% increase in commercial property values. 

Sherri Plagge, the Ames city assessor, said both residential and commercial properties could increase in value by between 20% to 25%.

Jessica Aldridge, Madison County assessor, said residential properties could see a five percent increase. 

Steve Helm, Dallas County assessor, said residential properties could increase between 13% to 17%. While commercial properties could rise between 17% to 20%.

Helm said if this increase happens, it would be the biggest one he's seen in his 25 years working at the assessor's office. 

Tack noted property assessment values increasing is a benefit for homeowners.

"Typically it’s a good thing because that residential home is often times someone’s largest investment," Tack said. "And we’ve had a lot of appreciation over the last two years.”

Tack noted the increase could have a downside if it causes one's property tax bill to go up.

However, he said that won't change until the state determines a rollback, or the amount of taxes on the assessment people pay. 

Eric Brumeister, the executive director for the Polk County Housing Trust Fund, said if an increase for property tax does happen, the people who would be severely impacted are those on a fixed income.

 “Those folks are going to have to find room in their budget to accommodate that increased payment and in housing, as I always say the rent always eats first," Brumeister said. 

Tack said people should know their new assessments by April of next year. And if assessments do impact property tax changes, those changes won't go in effect until fall of 2024.

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