April 17, 2024

Residential revaluation results coming soon

Union County Assessor office will share results of the county wide property evaluation with respective city councils beginning this month.

Union County Assessor Mindy Schaefer is scheduling times on city council agendas to explain the results of the residential revaluation of properties that started in summer of 2022.

Contracted with Vanguard, residential properties throughout the county were reviewed for taxing purposes. It had been since the 1980s when the last residential property evaluation had been completed making the county use outdated numbers.

“Assessments are based on markets and we know homes had been selling for crazy prices,” she said after the conference board meeting Thursday. “Assessments take huge jumps.”

Schaefer is expected to begin her meetings with city councils by the end of the month. She said property owners should be receiving similar information in the mail by the end of the month.

Schaefer said she was pleased with how county residents responded to working with Vanguard. She said 47% of 2,716 property owners allowed Vanguard to conduct an interior inspection. That is less than half the total number of properties inspected. There were 1,185 properties that were estimated; that is when the owner was not at home and did not respond to contact information. Schaefer was pleased 646 property owners, or 11%, refused to provide any information.

Schaefer explained her proposed budget for fiscal year 2025. Expenses are at $470,931 which include $60,000 to be saved for the next residential revaluation. She is hoping the next revaluation can be done in 2035 and desires to save a certain amount of funds each year to pay for it. She speculated the cost for the revaluation in 2035 will cost about $1 million. That evaluation will not include agriculture.

The proposed expense for fiscal year 2025 is $197,866 less than fiscal year 2024 because of the revaluation.

The fiscal year 2025 levy is .720 per $1,000. That is a reduction from .730. The fiscal year 2025 levy is expected to raise $11,076 more than this year.

Schaefer said the fiscal year 2024 budget was altered by $73,657 because of having less staff for five months, not using court administration costs and not purchasing a computer.

Included in her proposed budget was a salary equal to the county auditor, treasurer and recorder. Schaefer does not have representation on the county compensation board which suggested a 6% increase plus $3,000 for the auditor, recorder and treasurer. Schafer said, based on her pay, that would be an 8% increase.

Schaefer’s conference board is made up of a representative from every taxing entity in the county; towns, the county and school districts. The board scheduled its public hearing for the fiscal year 2025 budget at 5:30 p.m., March 4, in the courthouse.

John Van Nostrand

JOHN VAN NOSTRAND

An Iowa native, John's newspaper career has mostly been in small-town weeklies from the Rocky Mountains to the Mississippi River. He first stint in Creston was from 2002 to 2005.