Subcommittee #1 – County and City Implementation Issues
Minutes from meeting of October 16, 2003
The initial meeting of subcommittee #1 was called to order by Representative Jim Kurtenbach at 1:00 p.m. at the State Historical Building. Subcommittee members present were Representative Kurtenbach, Dick Stradley, and Jerry Shepler. Twenty-one interested guests were also in attendance.
Representative Kurtenbach reviewed the charge for subcommittee #1 as identifying issues around the implementation of the:
- land tax
- square foot of value tax
- 2005 base year conversion
- equalization process
- assessment limitations
The counties identified as participating in the study, in accordance with HF 692, are Cerro Gordo, Warren, and Woodbury. Dickinson County also volunteered to participate and is accorded the same opportunity as the other three, assuming funding is available.
At a minimum, the subcommittee will need to:
- identify pertinent data that must be collected
- analyze the data from an historical perspective to evaluate the impact of HF 692
- propose valuation methods and a methodology for incorporating the land tax
- utilize inflation indices proposed in HF 692 or alternative indices that may be proposed to adjust values to a base year index
- analyze the proposed method of equalization, i.e., county-by-county adjustment of inflation indices, or propose a method for equalization
- analyze the use of assessment limitations, i.e. the “rollback”
- analyze the use of levy limits
- propose a budget to the 2004 Iowa Legislature for the completion of the committee’s charge
In discussing the elements of data to collect from the test counties, it was mentioned that square footage, value of existing structures, and information on other structures would be needed. The subcommittee will probably look at a sampling of properties rather than the entire population from each jurisdiction. Attached garages and valuing the land separately from the structure were also discussed. Dan Lehman, representing Incode/CMS (a software vendor to the counties), agreed to provide the subcommittee with a data library to assist with determining collectable data.
The inflation factor would be a method to roll back to 2005 (base-year) values. A question asked was whether it might be as effective to simply rely on professional judgment of the assessor to accomplish this rolling back.
Other items mentioned at this meeting included levy limitations, effective tax rates, the need to address a potential shift of the tax burden to commercial properties, and different square foot rates.
All subcommittee members and others were encouraged to submit suggestions as to specific data requirements or other issues for the subcommittee to address.