This is the third in a series of articles analyzing key sections of 2013 legislation that significantly changed Iowa’s property tax system. In this post, we address procedural changes impacting property taxpayers, including changes to the timing and methods for filing appeals with local boards of review and the State Property Assessment Appeal Board (PAAB).
The new law requires city and county assessors to provide notices of adjustments to the assessed value of real property by April 1 of the year of assessment (instead of April 15 as under the old law). Additionally, the new law states that a property owner who disagrees with the assessed value may first request an informal review of the assessment by the assessor on or before May 4. While informal settlement discussions between assessors and taxpayers were permitted under previous law, the inclusion of these provisions in the new law may encourage increased use of this settlement procedure.
Property owners wishing to file a protest with the local board of review may now do so between April 7 (instead of April 16 under the previous law) and May 5. Beginning in 2014, boards of review may allow electronic filing of protests.
A property owner who has appealed to the local board of review and is dissatisfied with the decision may still appeal either to the district court in the county in which the property is located or to the PAAB. The law extended the “sunset date” for the PAAB to July 1, 2018. Additionally, under the new law, the date for filing an appeal with the PAAB is no longer tied to the postmark date of the local board of review’s decision. Instead, PAAB appeals must now be filed within 20 days of the date the local board of review adjourns for the year or May 31, whichever date is later. Beginning in 2014, appeals to the PAAB may be filed electronically.