In Iowa, residential and commercial property is assessed at 100 percent market value. Therefore, sale prices and assessed values must stay in sync. If the median assessment to sale price ratio (e.g. assessments divided by sale prices) in any given area deviates from the statutory 100 percent level by a difference of more than plus or minus 5 percent, the Iowa Department of Revenue steps in and mandates an across-the-board adjustment to bring things back into compliance. This is called equalization, and is generally not a good thing because it means all property values are affected, when usually only some are causing the problem.Sales Ratio
A process called "equalization" is applied every two years to ensure that property values are comparable among jurisdictions and according to law.
Equalization is important because it helps maintain equitable assessments among classes of property and among assessing jurisdictions. This contributes to a more fair distribution of state aid, such as aid to schools. It also helps distribute the total tax burden within the area.Important Dates (odd-numbered years)