By Kevin Boneske
HOWARD – A contract with Fair Market Assessments to reassess properties in the village for 2022 was approved June 14 by the Howard village board.
The contract amount of $68,400 calls for four payments of $17,100 next year to update assessment records and bring property values at or near 100% of fair market value in accordance with state law.
Director of Administrative Services Chris Haltom said the village is now on a three-year schedule to reassess property in Howard, with the two most recent market adjustment contracts in 2016 and 2019.
“We think it’s a good time (to reassess property),” he said. “We do see kind of a unique situation here. Commercial properties are kind of coming down in value, and residential properties are going way up in value.”
Haltom said this year assessed values in Howard are estimated to be 88.5% of market values.
Assessor Mike Denor said assessed property values need to be within 10% of fair market value to comply with state Department of Revenue regulations.
Denor said revaluating property every three years results in assessed values having a “small incremental increase, rather than getting hit between the eyes with a double-digit increase.”
Village Administrator Paul Evert said an increase in a property’s assessed value doesn’t mean an increase in taxes.
“Just because the whole village assessed value may double, all that would do is drop the mill rate in half,” he said. “We’re not allowed to collect more taxes because Mike says the village is more than the three years ago assessment.”
Evert said the revaluation seeks equity in property values.
“If there’s one class that’s really dropped and one class that’s gone up (in value), you reflect that, because that’s where you will get the variance in tax bills,” he said.
If a property’s assessed value increases by 10% after revaluation, but the village as a whole goes up 12%, Evert said the property going up less than the overall percentage in Howard will see a decrease in the tax bill.
“The (real estate) market’s hot,” he said. “(The assessor) will actually be looking, though, at a snapshot in time, which is Jan. 1, 2022… If all hell breaks loose in February of 2022, (the assessor) doesn’t probably take that into consideration, or may later in the year or so. That’s how it works… Mike’s not going to help everybody solve their budget problem. That (revaluation) may not necessarily make things worse for people, from a tax bill standpoint. That’s really up to the governing bodies and how much money they levy.”
Denor said the real estate market is “always moving, always changing.”
“We look at each individual house,” he said. “We have it broken down by neighborhoods, but then within each neighborhood, we look at each house to establish a new value. And sometimes certain areas, just for different reasons, show more of an increase or less of an increase than others.”
Denor said revaluation doesn’t increase the overall taxes in a municipality.
“The levies – you know when you get maybe the budgets of the village or the schools – that will make a difference,” he said. “But the net result of any revaluation is uniformity.”