About the Assessors Department
Purpose and Function
FY 2018 Residential Property Rate: $19.68 per $1000 of value
FY 2018 Commercial Property Rate: $39.28 per $1000 of value
The Assessor's Department assesses real estate, personal property and motor vehicles for tax purposes. The department annually produces tax bills, with the assistance of the departments of Information Technology and City Collectors, on about 42,000 real estate parcels, 3,0 personal property accounts and over 100,000 vehicles. The main objective is to establish assessed values that are accurate, fair and equitable.
The Assessor's Department also provides a variety of forms of tax relief to property owners. State law specifically designates certain exemptions for individuals who meet defined criteria. The Board of Assessors, upon application, may also abate assessed values.
Services to the General Public
The Assessor's Department provides assistance to the general public by providing access to Tax Maps and Property Field Cards. Tax Maps contain lot sizes and dimensions. Property Field Cards provide a detailed description of all information pertinent to the assessment of each and every taxable parcel.
Most daily customer traffic is from members of the real estate community. Appraisers, realtors, lawyers and banks regularly obtain information from the department's public files.
Services to City Employees and Other Departments
The Assessor's Department maintains files on property ownership and characteristics, which are used by such Departments as Planning, Code Enforcement, DPW, and Police and Fire. Collectors and Treasurers utilize the ownership file for billing operations.
The Assessor's Department also maintains a web site that contains much of the pertinent information that the public, realtors, and appraisers may want on all real estate parcels. See the Department Website link below.