Pottawattamie County property owners to soon get updated valuations

Officials say property valuations aren’t determined by the County directly, but by an independent County Assessor
If you own land in Pottawattamie County, expect your property valuation to go up.
Published: Mar. 14, 2023 at 12:03 PM CDT
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COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (WOWT) - Pottawattamie County residents will begin to get updated property valuations this month, and officials want residents to know how the assessment process works.

The County announced Tuesday that it’s finalizing the budget for fiscal year 2024, and officials claim they are trying to set levy rates as low as possible while property valuations go up.

Home valuations across the county, including here in the Omaha-Council Bluffs metro, have been rising, often leaving a higher tax burden on residents.

“Properties have been selling for top dollar, which can have an impact on the valuations done by the County Assessor,” said Brian Shea, the Pottawattamie County Board of Supervisors Chairman in a release. “We’re doing everything we can to limit financial burdens on our end.”

Pottawattamie County officials say that property valuations are not determined by the County, but rather by the independent County Assessor. Properties are first assessed at the start of the year and then reassessed every two years.

“We truly value the relationship we have with our County Assessor, Penny Ravlin, and her team,” Shea said. “They’re great to work with, and we just want to make sure our residents are familiar with the assessment process and point them in the right direction if there are questions with the updated assessments.”

According to Pottawattamie County Budget and Finance Director Mitch Kay, the County Treasurer’s Office sends tax statements and collects taxes, but no more than 47% of taxes go to the County.

A resident’s taxes can go to school districts, area colleges, cities or other entities besides the County government. In rural areas where the County provides more services and infrastructure, a higher percentage of taxes may go to the County. In cities, less than 20% goes to the County.

“We work diligently to be good stewards with the funds we’re able to utilize and maximize their potential impact,” said Mitch Kay.

County officials say that as they draft the budget for 2024, they’re actively trying to balance tax burdens and services.

“Pottawattamie County is challenged with balancing the cost of providing essential county services and the contributions requested of property owners. The task is increasingly difficult primarily due to the rising cost of materials, labor, and insurance.”

The budget for fiscal year 2024 is scheduled to be approved by the Pottawattamie County Board of Supervisors on April 18.