When the Iowa Department of Revenue orders an equalization “increase” in assessment values for any class of property, the jurisdiction is required to have a Board of Review special session in the fall.
It is not required to have a Board of Review special session for equalization decreases.
Equalization order protests can be filed from Oct 9 to Oct 31.
Board of Review shall reconvene for special session from Oct 10 to Nov 15.
During equalization increase special sessions, if no valid protests are filed, the Board of Review is not required to meet.
Board of Review can only hear protests that have been timely filed.
Board of Review can only hear protests from of properties affected by equalization order.
Board of Review can only act on protests from properties “increased” by equalization order.
Board of Review cannot take action on any property that has not been validly protested.
i.e.: Board cannot act on own initiative or take own action in any way.
Protests will be in writing, or filed on official dept of revenue Board of Review special session form only (IDR #56-065A), or filed using assessor’s assessment appeal link on website.
Board of Review is not allowed to remove or reduce all orders for an entire class of property.
The only ground for protest during special session is that “the application of the department of revenue’s equalization order results in a value greater than fair market value (FMV).”
This is essentially a ‘market value’ ground protest, but is different than regular session in that it can only apply to the increase in value due to the equalization order.
Board of Review is not allowed to act on protests of the following grounds:
Inequity – subject not comparable to like properties in tax district.
Misclassified, non-assessable, or exempt from taxation –
Error – clerical error in assessment of subject.
Fraud – fraud or misconduct in assessment of subject.
Any other ground – (other than “value is greater than FMV due to order”)
Board of Review can only adjust property values if the equalized value results in a value greater than fair market value.
i.e.: the petitioner must “prove” to Board of Reviewwhat the current fair market value of the subject property is (as of Jan 1).
Simply requesting the order be removed is not proof of fair market value.
Proof of FMV includes; a recent appraisal, historical rent rolls, historical property expenses (expenses incurred by the owner, not the tenants).
Board of Review cannot adjust the property value (reduce or remove equalized value) below the value prior to the equalization order. (i.e.: the value after the spring board of review, which was final on 7/1).
Board of Review is required to exercise honest judgement, as provided by law, on all protests before the Board of Review.
Board of Review actions are considered final, subject to equalization review by the Director of the Department of Revenue.
If Board of Review ‘substantially alters’ the overall total equalization value increase for a certain class of property, the Director has the ability to undo the board of review’s actions and ‘re-equalize’ the entire class of property again.
There is no ‘set standard’ from the dept of revenue of what a ‘substantial reduction’ in value by the Board of Review is. This is at the Director’s discretion.
Board of Review cannot simply, blindly remove or reduce all orders for an entire class of property.
Board of Review must ‘only’ take action to remove or reduce values on individual properties, one at a time, and only if proven by the petitioner that the equalization order increased the subject value in excess of fair market value.
After appealing the equalization order through Board of Review first, higher appeal is available to property owners still aggrieved.