2014 Assessment Information

FROM THE ASSESSOR:

The housing market in the City of Douglas is experiencing a rebound with an average increase in assessed valuations of 7% for 2014. After multiple years of declining values, it appears as if the market has turned the corner. Most residential assessments in the City of Village of Douglas will increase in 2014. The changes are determined by the average relationship of sale price to assessment in a given area. Many sales have indicated the need for increases much greater than the average, while others are less. If property sales are limited or non-existent in an area, the average change from surrounding neighborhoods will be taken into consideration to determine the percentage change in assessment. As mandated by law, the sales used to determine the 2014 assessments occurred between October 1, 2011 and September 30, 2013. The listing of the sales used is available on the City website. (Please note, based on strict guidelines issued by the State, foreclosure sales are typically not considered when determining assessments.) Both commercial and industrial properties sales remain relatively flat. The majority of these parcels will see small increases or decreases in their assessed valuations for 2014, depending on their location.

As required by the constitution (Proposal A Amendment), there is a predetermined rate of change used as the basis for determining taxes. The CPI (consumer price index) this year is 1.6%. This rate will be applied to the 2013 taxable value to determine the 2014 taxable value. If the assessed and taxable values are the same, and the assessed value is reduced more than the CPI, these two values will continue to be equal. The CPI does not apply to properties that have sold or made improvements during the year.

Assessment Change Notices (State Form #L-4400) are mailed the last week of February. Please review this notice carefully. In addition to value changes, it indicates Principal Residence and property transfer status as well as property classification. The Board of Review will meet, on an appointment basis, Tuesday, March 11 and Thursday, March 13, 2014 to hear appeals. If, after you receive your Assessment Change Notice, you believe the assessed valuation of your property does not accurately reflect market value, please call 269-857-1438 to schedule an appointment.

Assessment data is available in the City’s website. You are encouraged to review your property characteristics to confirm our data is accurate.

Also, new this year, the State has approved exemption from property taxes for qualified Disabled Veterans. Please contact the Assessor, or review the Disable Veteran Exemption 5107 Affidavit to determine if you qualify. Supporting documentation must be provided with the Affidavit for consideration.