Fayetteville Arkansas, University of Arkansas--Old Main Overview

Fayetteville Arkansas, University of Arkansas--Old Main Overview
Overview of Fayetteville, AR

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Benton County Reappraisal Process is Complete

I no sooner posted the article (see blog posted July 12) than Benton County completed its appraisal process for property taxes.

Values are up – way up in some cases – and people are not happy. The total value of property in Benton County’ increased from $2.9 billion in 2005 to more than $4 billion this year. That includes increases in value of existing properties as well as new construction.

What many folks haven’t taken in to consideration is the fact that the last reappraisal was in 2005 and values have certainly risen since then, although not at the double-digit rates of the past several years. Instead, they seem to be looking only at the past year or so when values started coming down from their all-time high.

There is so much bad news these days it’s easy to get caught up in the doom and gloom. However, NW Arkansas is still growing and adding jobs, though not as rapidly as in the past.

As I’ve said before, real estate is local. You can’t look at California (or Florida or Nevada), for instance, and assume the same thing is happening here.

Arkansas law does provide important benefits to homeowners.

The increase in assessed value on a person’s homestead is capped at 5% per year. Thus, if the assessed valuation of the owner’s personal residence increased 9% over 2005 value, the 2009 value would be capped at 5%. It would be 2010 before the remaining 4% took effect.

Another advantage helps homeowners age 65 or older and those considered disabled as defined by Social Security Administration. It prevents the taxable assessment on an owner’s personal residence from ever increasing due to a reappraisal. Taxes can go up if improvements are made to the property or if millage rates go up, but not because of periodic increase in value.

In other words, all you have to do is notify the county assessor once you reach age 65 or become disabled and your taxable assessed valuation will be frozen forever (at least as long as you live in the same house).

(I’ve included below links to the application forms for both Benton and Washington counties.)

The new assessments will take effect January 1, 2009 with taxes due October 10, 2009.

Taxpayers can appeal the new valuation to the Benton County Equalization Board. You must make an appointment before August 20.

For more information:

Benton County Assessor’s office: 479-271-1037




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