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Suggestions for Completing a Protest to the Board of Review

Board of Review Members
Rules Of Procedure
Petition to Board of Review Form

Return the Petition to Board of Review form to:
Iowa City Board Of Review
c/o Iowa City Assessors Office
913 S Dubuque St
Iowa City IA 52240
  • Forms may be mailed. The envelope must be postmarked on or before April 30th.
  • Forms may be e-mailed. Please request verification from our office by e-mail or contact us by phone at 356-6066.
  • Office hours are Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • The Iowa City Assessor's office is located in Suite 206 of the Johnson County Administration Building, 913 S Dubuque St, Iowa City

About the Annual Protest Period
About the Protest Form
Grounds for Protesting
Completing a Commercial Protest

About Assessments

  • In Iowa, assessments (except for agricultural) are based on market value. Reference:Iowa Code 441.21, Actual, assessed and taxable value.
  • The property should be assessed near the likely selling price.
  • The protested amount is the assessed value, not the tax payment.
  • For residential property, taxes are paid on a percent of the assessed value. The taxable value listed on the tax receipt is a rollback value based on a state wide factor established by the Department of Revenue, State of Iowa.

About the Annual Protest Period

  • The deadline for mailing assessment notices is April 1st. Reference: Iowa Code 441.28, Assessment rolls, changes, notice to taxpayer.
  • The protest can be filed between April 2th and April 30th, inclusive.
  • The appeal must be filed with the assessor or mailed and postmarked on or before April 30th. If April 30th falls on the weekend, an appeal will be accepted the following business day.
  • The appeal must be signed and must be based on one or more of the grounds listed on the protest form.
  • The board of review meets the month of May. The session may be extended to July 15. Reference: Iowa Code 441.33, Sessions of board of review
  • Action of the board may be appealed to district court within twenty days after its adjournment or May 31, whichever date is later. Reference: Iowa Code 441.38, Appeal to district court.

About the Protest Form

  • The protest number will be assigned by Assessor personnel.
  • The following information should be completed by the property owner:
    • District & Parcel
    • The undersigned (owner)
    • The Legal or Street Address
    • The current assessed value
    • The reason for protesting, Grounds 1 - 5, Reference: Iowa Code Section 441.37, Ground 6, Reference: Iowa Code Section 441.35
    • Select 'Yes' for to request an oral hearing - An oral hearing is not required and a protest receives the same consideration with or without a hearing. If requested,the Assessor's office will schedule the hearing and send the protester a notice of the time and place 2 days prior to the hearing. Protesters may not select a specific date but may list the dates they are unable to attend. Hearings only last 15 minutes and the board normally meets only in the morning.
    • The protest form must be signed & dated by the taxpayer or their agent.
    • The mailing address information is important because this is the address to which we mail the oral hearing notice, how the appraiser contacts the protester if an appointment is necessary, and the address where the results are mailed.

Most Commonly Used Grounds on the Protest Form
  • That said assessment is not equitable as compared with the assessments of other like property.
    This is the grounds to use if you think your assessment is out of line with your neighbors. You should list the neighbor's address and their assessment on the protest form.

  • That said property is assessed for more than the value authorized by law; that amount of said over assessment is $________________; that $__________________ is its actual value and is a fair assessment.

    This is by far the most frequently used ground. It is claiming your property is not worth as much as the assessor says it is. All you have to do is fill in the two blanks, the amount of the over assessment and its actual value. However, you should do more than just claim what it's worth; you should be prepared to offer evidence that persuades the Board of Review you are right.

    Any of the following would be good support for this choice:

    • An appraisal; attach or provide a copy to the Board as soon as possible.
    • A copy of a recent listing of your property. (If it's less than the assessment.)
    • A copy of a sales agreement or evidence of a recent sale.
    • A list of from three to five sales of properties comparable to yours that indicate your property would not sell for the assessment.
    • Pictures or inspection reports showing deficiencies that may not be obvious from an outside inspection, such as termite damage or a problem basement wall.

  • That there is an error in the assessment as follows: _________________________________

    If the assessor's office has made a mistake in describing your property, use this grounds. If for example you have removed your garage and it is still assessed, file on those grounds Minor corrections may not reduce your value.

Additional Suggestions for Completing a Commercial Protest to the Board of Review

The Board of Review requests that all protest(s) filed on property classified commercial, industrial or multiple family that has any portion leased, should have, in addition to the information required on the protest form, an operating statement (s) for the last 3 years and current rent roll or rent schedule.

The statements should be dated and signed by the owner or agent. This information is necessary in order that the Board might give full consideration to all facts relating to the value of the property. The Board of Review and the Assessor's Office will hold the requested information confidential.

It is imperative that this information be provided with the protest form, or at least one week prior to the hearing, to allow for an appropriate analysis of the information.