Valley City

The Assessor's duties and what they mean to you

What are the Assessor's duties?

The Assessor is charged with several administrative and statutory duties.  However, the primary duty and responsibility of the Assessor is to assess the true and full market value of all real property within their jurisdiction, except that which is otherwise provided by law.  This would include residential, commercial, industrial and agricultural classes of property.

General Misconceptions About the Assessor's Work

The Assessor does not:

The Assessor is concerned with value not taxes.  Each of the four branches of government in Valley City (the School Board, City Commission, County Commission, and Park Board) adopt their own budgets during public hearings and establish their own tax rates (Mils) in order to meet their particular budgetary needs.  These four tax levies are then combined into one tax rate for the community.
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What is Market Value?

Market value is an estimate of what price your real estate would sell for on the open market.  The open market is sometimes referred to as "arms length transactions".
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How Does the Assessor Estimate Market Value?

To estimate the market value of your property, the Assessor generally uses the following three approaches.

The first approach is to find properties that are comparable to yours which have sold recently.  Local conditions peculiar to your property are taken into consideration.  The assessor also uses sales ratio studies to determine the general level of assessment in a community, in order to adjust for local conditions.  This method is referred to as the SALES APPROACH and is usually considered the most important approach in determining the value of residential property.

The second approach is the COST APPROACH and is an estimate of how many dollars, at current labor and material prices, it would take to replace your property with one similar to it.  In the event that a building or addition is not new, then appropriate amounts for depreciation and obsolescence would be deducted from the replacement value.  Value of the land is then added to the building value to arrive at the total estimate of value for the property.

The INCOME APPROACH is a third method used for income properties, such as an apartment or office building.  This approach values your property according to its ability to produce income and what another investor may pay for the property in order to gain its income.
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Exemptions and Credits

North Dakota law provides for a number of exemptions and credits, including Homestead Credit and Real Estate Exemptions.  It is the property owner's responsiblitiy to apply for exemptions as provided by law.  If the property you were occupying as a homestead is sold, or if you cease to use the property as a homestead you are required to report this to the assessor in whose jurisdiction the property is located.
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