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image By Dave Funk, Candidate for Polk County Supervisor, SD-03

It’s September 1, and your oversized property tax bill is now due. How do I know your property bill is oversized?

Because, once again, your property tax bill was calculated using an assessed value that is bloated and completely out of line with the real value of your home.

A snapshot of sales data for the last ten years[1] shows a 16.51% decrease in actual average home prices between January 2008 and January 2010. So, if home prices have gone down, why have our assessed values increased between 9-14% over the same period?

The answer is tax revenue. Hiking taxes to feed a $58 million budget surplus in hard economic times is not going to help Polk County “Lead the Way” to prosperity in Iowa, and raising assessed values while telling us they haven’t raised “tax rates” is not a recipe for honest, fair, and open county government. It’s also bad for the businesses that provide jobs to our neighbors here in Polk County.

A case in point: Principal Group has repeatedly sued over their oversized property tax bill in court—and won. Thankfully for Principal, they have lawyers who were able to recover the $93,183 in Polk County property taxes that the court decided Principal didn’t rightfully owe (though, with legal bills piling up, one wonders how long Principal will choose to stick around and provide jobs to Polk County residents).

Polk County citizens shouldn’t have to keep lawyers on speed dial just to keep their property taxes in line. The County Assessor answers to the Board of Supervisors. As Supervisor, I will make sure that this unfair practice stops so that families don’t have to go to court to get a fair shake in Polk County.


[1] Data obtained from Iowa Real Estate Solutions, LLC

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