Daily Dupaco

Friday, April 08, 2011

Rising property taxes will fall on some eastern Iowans' shoulders

By Emily Kittle

Many Dubuque County property owners could find their home values rising in the face of a formula-triggered reassessment.

By state law, median property sale prices must fall within 95 to 105 percent of their assessed value; median ratios, of late, have dropped below that range.

Dubuque County Assessor Dave Kubik says the reassessed values will vary - some could rise as high as 6 percent, others might decline in value. Most won't see big changes, though.

Want to see your new assessed value? Visit www.dubuqueassessor.org next week, when the figures will be posted. Increases will start accruing July 1 and will show up on bills in September 2012.

Here are some ways to tweak your budget, if your property tax bills go up. Tami Rechtenbach, director of member services at Dupaco Community Credit Union, offers two critical tips to keep you on track:

  • Set up a separate savings account; call it your "Property Tax Account." Then, calculate how much you need to save to pay your bill: take your bill and divide that number by 6 (if you pay it twice a year) or 12 (if you pay it annually). That amount should go into your account each month. Make your first deposit this month, and find out whether that money can automatically be taken out of your paycheck, so you forget it's there.
  • Revisit your budget to find out how much money you're spending elsewhere. Look closely at your income and all of your expenses. To get started, use Dupaco's budget worksheet or budget calculators.
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