Town Hall #40

“Property Taxes 101”

A review, update & 2023 projections


Iowa’s property tax cycle is an 18-month process.

The current cycle began with an assessment of property market values as of January 1, 2021 and was completed with property tax bills sent in August.

This session reviewed the property tax cycle, methods to appeal assessments (and recent outcomes), the upcoming change that will combine residential and multi-residential categories into one, and an explanation of why the Polk County Assessors budget went up over 24%.

Guest Presenter:

Randy Ripperger, Polk County Assessor

Randy Ripperger received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from Central College in Pella, Iowa and has been with the Polk County Assessor’s Office since 1980, serving as Chief Deputy Assessor from 2007 to 2014 and as Assessor since 2014. In 2017 assumed the office of President of the International Association of Assessing Officers (IAAO).


  • Property Tax Cycle Graphic
  • Slide Deck
  • Video of session
    • 02:20 Changes in assessments as of 1/1/2022.
    • 03:10 The assessment appeal process
      • New mediation process & local board of appeal
    • 06:45 Disposition of the 5,130 appeals received
    • 07:45 Appeals to IA Property Assessment Board and the District Court
    • 09:30 “Equalization” explained.
    • 11:10 Residential and Multi-residential classifications to be combined this next year and Des Moines City Managers’ observations.
    • 13:50 The “Rollback” explained.
    • 15:40 The link between agricultural and residential values, and its impact
    • 17:00 The work of the County Auditor in determining taxable vale of each property and the total for each taxing authority.
    • 20:50 Review of Polk County Assessor’s budget increase of 24%
    • 23:00 The danger of a fixed cap on property taxes – DSM City Manager’s observations.
    • 25:50 Projections for 1/1/23 assessment increases: residential +22%.