The overall function of the Jamestown Assessment Department is to maintain a record of property ownership boundaries and to appraise all property in Jamestown. This encompasses many varied tasks and responsibilities but all serve that overall objective.
Property Ownership Maintenance
This is accomplished by analysis of the various instruments by which property rights may be acquired, transferred, or disposed of. This department collects all such instruments that have been legally recorded. The status of property ownership is reflected in the city on a real time basis.
Therefore, each year’s tax bill for a property reflects the ownership according to the most recently recorded property transfers. Tax bills normally are sent by the Stutsman County Treasurer in mid-December.
Extensive analysis of the factors affecting the value of all classes of property is conducted by this department. Once the forces that affect property value are quantified, new and existing properties are appraised on an individual basis. This is done by appraising all new properties as they are constructed and periodically reappraising existing properties by type or location.
Market forces that affect the value of real estate over broad subclasses of property are dealt with by the Assessment Department through a process called value trending. This involves applying value changes uniformly across various classes of property based upon careful statistical analysis.
Property taxes are determined by each local political body (city, county, school, etc.) by setting their budget. This determines how much revenue must come from property taxes. That amount is then levied against the total taxable value of property in Jamestown. The work of the Assessment Department results in determining the distribution of each property’s share of that tax burden. In order to calculate gross taxes on a property, the following formula is used:
Assessor’s Value X Assm’t Ratio X Assm’t Factor X Mill Levy = Gross Tax
The Assessment Ratio is 50% for all properties. The Assessment Factor is 9% for residential and 10% for all other classes of property. The mill levy changes every year.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why has my value gone up?
Property values are based on market values which fluctuate with general economic conditions such as interest rates, inflation rates, and supply and demand. By North Dakota state law, as property values change in the market place, those changes must be reflected in the assessor’s estimated market values.
How does the assessor determine the estimated market value?
It is based on an assessment date of February 1st of each year. The City of Jamestown Assessor’s office uses a mass appraisal process for estimating market values. This system involves the comparison of properties with actual market sales from similar type properties. Cost analysis is used to determine square foot values which are applied to similar type properties. To support these values, the comparable sales approach is also used. Different types of property may show different value changes.
Does the estimated market value increase at the same rate on all properties?
No, it does not. There are differences between individual properties and between neighborhoods. In one area the sales may indicate a large increase in value in a given year. In another neighborhood there may be very little or no change in value. Different types of property within the same neighborhood may show different value changes. There are numerous factors to be considered in each property, which will cause value changes to differ.
Can the estimated market value change even if the assessor has not been inside my property?
Yes. The assessor keeps records on the physical characteristics of each property in the City. Even though the assessor may have been unable to go through your property, the estimated market value will still be reviewed based on existing records and sales of similar property.
What will happen to my estimated market value if I improve my property?
Generally speaking, improvements that increase the market value of a property will increase the assessor’s estimated market value. The following are typical improvements that will increase the estimated market value of your property:
- Added rooms or garages
- Updating kitchens and bathrooms
- Porches and decks
- Extensive remodeling
Will my value go up if I repair my property?
Good maintenance will help retain the market value of your property. Generally, your estimated market value will not be increased for individual minor repairs such as those that follow. However, a combination of several of these items could result in an increase in your estimated market value.
- Repairing or replacing the roof
- Repairing original siding
- Painting/decorating entire house
- Replacing plumbing or electrical fixtures
- Replacing most or all the windows
- Replacing outdated basement finish with modern finish
What can I do if I think the estimated market value is too high?
You have the right to appeal the estimated market value. Contact the assessor.
What is a special assessment?
A special assessment is a type of improvement which benefits the property.
How often are special assessment street resurfacing projects done?
Street resurfacing projects are done annually, rotating over the seven areas or sections established within the City.
How long of a time period will the special assessments be on my annual tax statement?
Special assessments are spread over a minimum of seven years to a maximum of 20 years, depending on the type of work completed. The annual street improvement project is spread normally over seven years.
Do I have the option to pay off my special assessments early?
Yes, you would need to call City Hall at (701) 252-5900 for a pay off amount.