History of Assessors

Striving to maintain uniformity and equitability in the assessment process has been one of the major goals of assessors throughout Iowa since the Iowa legislature passed the "County Assessor Law" and formally created the office of assessor in each county in Iowa effective January 1, 1948.

Previously, assessments were made by a myriad of city, town and township appointees.

Because the legislature wanted qualified, knowledgeable individuals, they made passage of a comprehensive examination of the appraisal process and the laws concerning taxation of property a requirement for eligibility for appointment. They wanted the office free from political influence so they made the position an appointed one. To make it representative of all government, they created the Conference Board. The Conference Board, made up of representatives from the county, cities and school districts, is responsible for appointing the assessor, authorizing appointment of deputies and adopting the assessor's budget.

In 1948, Iowa assessors were charged by law with several administrative and statutory duties, the primary one being to assess all real property in their jurisdiction.

Out of the challenge to achieve fairness in the assessment process through uniformity and equitability, the Iowa State Association of Assessors was born.

The ISAA became and continues to be a very active and positive force in striving for equitable assessments.

Throughout the years, committees have worked to study and devise guidelines for the assessment of property, to strengthen the educational process and to work legislatively to bring about improvements to assessment and taxation laws.

Recognizing the need for educational opportunities to make them better qualified to achieve quality assessments, members of the ISAA founded the Institute of Iowa Certified Assessors for the purpose of developing the professionalism of assessment personnel and establishing and maintaining standards of performance for members. They are the primary educational unit for Iowa assessors, annually conducting courses and seminars to meet the educational needs of assessors and their personnel.

Through the dedicated involvement of some of its members, the ISAA has strengthened their professionalism through their involvement with the International Association of Assessing Officers. This is a worldwide organization of assessment professionals whose mission is to promote innovation and excellence in property appraisal and property tax administration.

Iowa Assessors are supported and strengthened in their efforts to insure quality assessments by the guidance provided by the Iowa Department of Revenue and Finance.

The association's legislative efforts have been enhanced by the continuous hard work and support provided by the Iowa State Association of Counties.

The involvement with and support of the Iowa League of Cities have also enhanced the association's efforts.

Assessment professionals throughout Iowa are grateful to the individuals who, through their tireless effort and support, have worked to strengthen the assessment profession and meet the goal of providing uniformity and equitability.