Assessor & Property Values

Beacon Real Estate
Homestead Tax Credit
Military Tax Exemption
Story County Sales List
Property Tax Estimator
Forest and Fruit Tree Exemption

Story County Assessor’s Office

(Excluding the City of Ames)

IMPORTANT 2023 ASSESSMENT NOTICE INFORMATION                                                                                                

The “2023 Assessment Notice”  is for the value of your property as of January 1, 2023. The 2023 assessment is the result of market sales and conditions which have taken place since January 1, 2021. During this time period there has been a high demand for property and a low inventory of property for sale along with low interest rates.  In addition, the increased cost of construction has affected the market value of property during this time period. Due to these conditions, values of all classes of property have increased nationally and in the State of Iowa over the past two years.  The estimated change in assessed value will vary depending upon the location, age, design, type of construction and the condition of the property.

 Iowa law requires all real estate to be equalized every two (2) years which is in the odd numbered year. The assessed value in each county has to be within a range of value which is five (5%) per cent above or below the median value as established by law for that particular class of property.  The median value is a midpoint type of average.   This means the assessed value has to be between a range of 95% to 105% of value as set by law. If the assessed values are not within this range of value as required by law, the Iowa Department of Revenue will issue equalization orders which will either increase or decrease the values of each class.  The equalization orders are to help maintain equality between school district boundaries when they cross over county lines.  

 Iowa law requires that the classes of urban residential, rural residential and agricultural dwellings, commercial, multi-residential (R3+), and industrial real estate are to be assessed at the property's fair market value. It is being estimated that the average residential assessed value in the State of Iowa will increase on an average of 22%.  Story County residential property and multi-residential property (R3+) (excluding the City of Ames) will see an increase in assessed value in the 25% to 30% range with some properties seeing a higher increase. Commercial and industrial property will see similar increases (+25% to +30%) in value depending upon the location, type of business, age, and condition of the property.

 Agricultural property, which includes the land and outbuildings, is valued according to its productivity and net-earning capability.  The assessed valuation as of January 1, 2023 is arrived by taking a five (5) year average of the crop yields, the prices paid for the crops, the expenses occurred with the production of these crops, and the government payments paid to the farm operator.  From this information a net income per acre value after real estate taxes is calculated and this figure is capitalized by seven (7%) percent to arrive at an average assessed value per acre.  The soil survey is utilized by establishing a dollar value per CSR2 rating and this is used to calculate and distribute the assessed value of the farmland.  The average increase of agricultural land and outbuildings will increase by 26% in Story County by utilizing the 2017-2021 production years.  The average assessed value for land and outbuildings in Story County is $1,960 per acre.

 The 2023 assessed value will be used to calculate property taxes which will be payable the fall of 2024 and the spring of 2025. In 1978 there was an “Assessment Limitation or Rollback Factor” which was created to help cushion inflation. This factor is applied each year based upon allowable growth by class statewide. The end result is the taxable value which is used by the levy rate to calculate the tax due for each parcel of property.  

 Currently the assessment limitation factor for the residential, ag dwelling and multi-residential (R3+) class will pay on 54.6501% of the assessed value. The commercial, industrial & railroad class pays on a 2-tier assessment system; they pay on 54.6501% of the first $150,000 per unit and pay on 90% of the value over the $150,000. Agricultural property pays on 91.6430% of the assessed value. The current rollback factors are for the 2022 assessments and there will be new assessment limitation factors for the 2023 assessments based on statewide growth per class.  The 2023 assessments are for taxes which will be payable the fall of 2024 and the spring of 2025.

The taxable valuation is used by the various taxing entities such as schools, cities, county, townships and area community colleges to adopt budgets. This determines the tax levy, which is the rate of taxation required to raise the money budgeted to provide the services by each respective taxing entity. The taxes you pay are proportionate to the value of your property compared to the total value of the taxing district in which your property is located.

One needs to remember that assessed values are just the basis for which property taxes are calculated. Property tax laws, assessment limitations (rollbacks), and local budgets by the taxing bodies that provide public services are what determines the amount of property tax you pay. There is often confusion that tax rates will increase by the same percentage as valuation but that is not the case. 

 Assessors do not look to raise revenues for taxing bodies, do not determine tax rates, and do not calculate or collect property taxes. The 2023 assessment will be used to calculate the taxes which will be payable the fall of 2024 and the spring of 2025. Your assessment will be subject to a new limitation rollback factor, and new budget requirements by the various taxing entities. Also, the 2023 assessments may be subject to legislation which may affect the process of calculating property taxes payable the fall of 2024 and the spring of 2025.

 Appeal information is provided at the bottom of your 2023 assessment notice on how a valuation informal review or petition can be filed if you feel your property is not assessed at market value.  Information may be obtained from the assessor’s office (515-382-7320) or from the assessor’s web site at

 Assessment & Sales data may be obtained on our Story County Real Estate and Beacon GIS Web site at

 Thank you in advance for reviewing the assessment and taxation process described in this letter.


 Wayne Schwickerath

Story County Assessor, CAE-RES-ICA-ASA

Welcome Message

As Assessor of Story County, I would like to take this opportunity to welcome you to our assessor website. This site has been prepared to help you better understand the functions and services provided by the assessor’s office. Our goal is to provide you, the public and taxpayers of Story County, with information that will assist you in understanding the assessment process.

Following is a brief list of the types of information which is available on our assessor website:

  • Aerial Photography
  • Assessment Laws & Procedures
  • Credits & Exemptions
  • GIS & Map Data
  • Photographs
  • Plot Plans
  • Property Record Card Data
  • Sales Data
  • Sketches
  • Valuations by Parcel

It is my responsibility to ensure that all real property is treated fairly and equitably in accordance with Iowa law. My staff and I are committed to serving you in an efficient and professional manner. Please contact a staff member or myself with questions regarding your assessment or other assessment related matters.

Property Tax 101

Agricultural Property Taxes

Mission Statement

It is the mission of the Story County Assessor’s Office to provide fair, accurate and equitable assessments to all property owners in Story County, Iowa.