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Suggestions for Completing a Protest to the
Johnson County Board of Review


Board Of Review Members


Sara Tack has 22 years of employment in the local construction industry and has been a resident of Johnson County and committed to the vitality of Johnson County.

She has spent the last eight years in project management and has been responsible for numerous projects for private clients as well as those in the public sector. Sara monitored budgets and performed cost control; monitored market trends and government regulations for local commercial contractors. This provided an extensive exposure to the design and construction industry in a role as project manager along with experience managing multiple large-scale construction projects and negotiating contracts. She currently works as a Business Manager for Modern Piping.

Rex Brandstatter has lived in Coralville his entire life and is 5th generation member of a Johnson County/Coralville family. He attended City High and graduated from The University of Iowa in 1972.

He became a licensed Iowa Realtor in 1974. Rex has served as an adult leader in the Boy Scouts of America, served on the board of the Johnson County Historical Society, and the Sons of the American Legion.


 
John Brinkmeyer is a fourth generation member of the Brinkmeyer Family Century Farm. He attended Lone Tree Community School and graduated from Iowa State University in 1971. Following graduation, he became part of Brinkmeyer Farms, Inc. which was a hog and grain operation. Although John is now retired, he continues to manage the corporation and continues to live on the family farm.

John is a past member of the Johnson County Extension Council, and the Johnson County Pork Producers of which he served two terms as president. He is a member of the Lone Tree Lions Club and a transporter of Cornea Tissue.



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Contact Information

  • Forms may be mailed to: Johnson County Board of Review, Suite 205, 913 S Dubuque St, Iowa City IA 52240. The envelope must be postmarked on or before April 30th.
  • Faxed or e-mailed forms are not accepted.
  • Office hours are Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • The Assessor's office is located in Suite 205 of the Johnson County Administration Building, 913 S Dubuque St, Iowa City


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 -- change -- notice to property owner.
  • The protest can be filed between April 2nd and April 30th, inclusive.
  • The appeal must be filed with the assessor or mailed and postmarked by 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
      Sec 441.37
      Ground 6, Reference: Iowa Administrative Code Sec 71.20(4): There has been a change of value of real estate since the last assessment. The board of review must determine that the value of the property as of January 1 of the current year has changed since January 1 of the previous reassessment year. This is the only ground upon which a protest pertaining to the valuation of a property can be filed in a year in which the assessor has not assessed or reassessed the property pursuant to Iowa Code section 428.4. In a year subsequent to a year in which a property has been assessed or reassessed pursuant to Iowa Code section 428.4, a taxpayer cannot protest to the board of review based upon actions taken in the year in which the property was assessed or reassessed (James Black Dry Goods Co.v.Board of Review for City of Waterloo, 260 Iowa 1269,151 N.W.2d 534 (1967); Commercial Merchants Nat’l Bank and Trust Co.v.Board of Review of Sioux City, 229 Iowa 1081, 296 N.W. 203 (1941)).

      Iowa Administrative Code Sec 71.20(4) - Appeals to boards of review.

      a. A board of review may act only upon written protests which have been filed with the board of review between April 16 and April 30, inclusive. In the event April 30 falls on a Saturday or Sunday, protests filed the following Monday shall be considered to have been timely filed. Protests postmarked by April 30 or the following Monday if April 30 falls on a Saturday or Sunday shall also be considered to have been timely filed. All protests must be in writing and signed by the taxpayer or the taxpayer’s authorized agent. A written request for an oral hearing must be made at the time of filing the protest and may be made by checking the appropriate box on the form prescribed by the department of revenue. Protests may be filed for previous years if the taxpayer discovers that a mathematical or clerical error was made in the assessment, provided the taxes have not been fully paid or otherwise legally discharged. The protester may combine on one form assessment protests on parcels separately assessed if the same grounds are relied upon as the basis for protesting each separate assessment. If an oral hearing is requested on more than one of the protests, the person making the combined protests may request that the oral hearings be held consecutively. A board of review may allow protests to be filed in electronic format. Protests transmitted electronically are subject to the same deadlines as written protests.

      b. Grounds for protest. Taxpayers may protest to a board of review on one or more of the grounds specified in Iowa Code section 441.37. The grounds for protest and procedures for considering protests are as follows:

      (1) The assessment is not equitable when compared with those of similar properties in the same assessing district. If this ground is a basis for the protest, the protest must contain the legal descriptions and assessments of the comparable properties. The comparable properties selected by the taxpayer must be located within the same assessing district as the property for which the protest has been filed (Maytag Co.v.Partridge, 210 N.W.2d 584 (Iowa 1973)). In considering a protest based upon this ground, the board of review should examine carefully all information used to determine the assessment of the subject property and the comparable properties and determine that those properties are indeed comparable to the subject property. It is the responsibility of the taxpayer to establish that the other properties submitted are comparable to the subject property and that inequalities exist in the assessments (Chicago & N. W. Ry. Co.v.Iowa State Tax Commission, 257 Iowa 1359,137 N.W.2d 246(1965)).

      (2) The property is assessed at more than its actual value as defined in Iowa Code section 441.21. If this ground is used, the taxpayer must state both the amount by which the property is over-assessed and the amount considered to be the actual value of the property.

      (3) The property is not assessable and should be exempt from taxation. If using this ground, taxpayers must state the reasons why it is felt the property is not assessable.

      (4) There is an error in the assessment. An error in the assessment would most probably involve erroneous mathematical computations or errors in listing the property. The improper classification of property also constitutes an error in the assessment. If this ground is used, the taxpayer’s protest must state the specific error alleged.
      A board of review must determine:
      1. If an error exists, and
      2. How the error might be corrected.

      (5) There is fraud in the assessment. If this ground of protest is used, the taxpayer’s protest must state the specific fraud alleged, and the board of review must first determine if there is validity to the taxpayer’s allegation. If it is determined there is fraud in the assessment, the board of review shall take action to correct the assessment and report the matter to the director of revenue.

      (6) There has been a change of value of real estate since the last assessment. The board of review must determine that the value of the property as of January 1 of the current year has changed since January 1 of the previous reassessment year. This is the only ground upon which a protest pertaining to the valuation of a property can be filed in a year in which the assessor has not assessed or reassessed the property pursuant to Iowa Code section 428.4. In a year subsequent to a year in which a property has been assessed or reassessed pursuant to Iowa Code section 428.4, a taxpayer cannot protest to the board of review based upon actions taken in the year in which the property was assessed or reassessed (James Black Dry Goods Co.v.Board of Review for City of Waterloo, 260 Iowa 1269,151 N.W.2d 534 (1967); Commercial Merchants Nat’l Bank and Trust Co.v.Board of Review of Sioux City, 229 Iowa 1081, 296 N.W. 203 (1941)).

    • Select 'Yes' for 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

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. Using this reason may upset your neighbors. If you are successful in convincing the Board of Review your neighbors are under assessed compared to your assessment, the Board may resolve the inequity by raising their assessments, not lowering yours. Remember, they must set assessments at market value.

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 grounds #4. 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.

Failure to provide this information in a timely manner may result in denial of your protest.



Tom Van Buer, Johnson County Assessor
Suite 205, 913 S. Dubuque Street
Iowa City IA 52240
Phone 319 356-6078