MASON CITY – Newly-appointed City Assessor Dana Naumann on Tuesday was given the final go-ahead on a $1 million dollar project to re-appraise all commercial, industrial and residential property in Mason City.
A meeting of the Mason City Conference Board was held Tuesday. The Conference Board is made up of three entities: The entire City Council and Mayor; the Cerro Gordo County Board of Supervisors; and the Mason City School Board. The Conference Board gave Naumann the green light to go ahead and get started on the project, which will take years to complete. Naumann, who was appointed last November, said that no such project has been done in Mason City in at least 20 years.
The project will be funded by new taxes for Mason City property owners under the City Assessor. Naumann said Wednesday that the cost to a $100,000 property owner will be about $11 per year for the next five years. This fall’s property tax bill will show the first increase.
“When I was hired, this was already a project they (the Conference Board) wanted to undertake,” Naumann explained. “It needs to get done, in the interest of fair taxing for property owners. Some are paying too much, some are paying too little.”
Naumann said that she looks at the “aggregate” of property sale amounts in Mason City versus the total assessed value of properties that have sold. The re-appraisal of properties would attempt to bring the sale price of a property even with its assessed value.
A software change will be the first step in the project. All commercial properties should be fully re-appraised by January 1, 2016. All residential properties should be fully re-appraised by January 1, 2018.
“It’s a long project,” Naumann said. “It’s pretty involved.”
Once the project is complete, Naumann explained, the other three taxing entities involved (Council and Mayor; Supervisors and the Mason City School Board) “should have more property value to levy against.” Therefore, they may have an opportunity during budget cycles to lower their own tax rates.
It was said at Tuesday evening’s Mason City Council budget meeting that Mason City property owners are set to see about a $37 per year tax rate increase overall (on a $100,000 property), when adding city property taxes together with the new taxes from the City Assessor to complete this project.