How is an Equalization Order Determined?
The Iowa Department of Revenue is responsible for "equalizing" assessments every two years. Following is a general explanation of the purpose of equalization. The Department compares the assessors' abstracts to a "sales assessment ratio study" it has completed independently of the assessors. If the assessment (by property class) is 5 percent or more above or below the sales ratio study, the Department increases or decreases the assessment. (There is no sales ratio study for agricultural and industrial property.) Equalization occurs on an entire class of property, not on individual property. Also, equalization occurs on an assessing jurisdiction basis, not on a statewide basis. Equalization is important because it helps maintain equitable assessments among classes of property and among assessing jurisdictions. This contributes to a more fair distribution of state aid, such as aid to schools. It also helps to equally distribute the total tax burden within the area.

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1. What is a Homestead Credit?
2. What is a Military Exemption?
3. How do I apply or find out if I qualify for the Homestead Credit or Military Exemption?
4. I have applied for the Homestead Credit and/or Military Exemption, but I don't see them on my property tax bill?
5. Do I need to sign for homestead exemption every year?
6. I moved to a new home, do I need to sign for homestead exemption?
7. What other Credits and Exemptions may I be eligible for?
8. How is the Assessor appointed?
9. What is the Conference Board?
10. How does the Assessor determine the value of my property?
11. What is classification?
12. What is Market Value?
13. How Does the Assessor Estimate Market Value?
14. How often is my property reassessed?
15. When are Assessment Notices mailed?
16. What do I do if I disagree with the Assessed Value of my property?
17. What is the Board of Review and who are the members?
18. What is the Property Assessment Appeal Board and who are the members?
19. What is an Equalization Order?
20. How is an Equalization Order Determined?
21. How will I know if my property receives an Equalization Order?
22. My assessment has not changed, why have my property taxes increased?
23. What is Taxable Value?
24. What is a Rollback?
25. What is a Levy Rate?
26. What does Property Tax pay for?