Assessment Process

The property tax is an ad valorem tax, or a tax based on value. It is the primary means by which local government pays for services such as police and fire protection, schools, roads, parks, courts, etc. It involves two separate processes: the assessment process and the budget process. After these processes are completed, the county auditor calculates the appropriate mill rate for each taxing district (township, school district, fire district, etc.). Those rates are applied to each taxable property by multiplying the taxable value times the mill rate to determine the property tax.

True and Full Value x .50 = Assessed Value

Assessed Value x .09 (Residential Factor) OR .10 (Commercial Factor) = Taxable Value

Taxable Value x Mill Rate = Gross Tax

All real property is subject to taxation, unless expressly exempted by law. The appraisal process begins with identifying, listing and valuing all real property located in Traill County. The appraisal process is a systematic and logical method of collecting, analyzing and processing data into an estimate of value. An appraisal is an estimate of value of an adequately described property on a specific date.

All property is valued according to the assessment date, Feb. 1. All real property is valued at true and full value. For residential and commercial property, true and full value also can be referred to as market value. It is the value most people likely would pay for a given property in its present condition. For agricultural value, true and full value equals its productivity value as defined by North Dakota statute.

The assessor must notify property owners when the valuation increases by 10 percent and $3,000. In April of each year, the assessments are reviewed by the city or township boards of equalization. Within the first 10 days of June, the county equalization board reviews the assessments of cities and townships. During August of each year, the State Board of Equalization reviews the assessments as finalized by the various counties.

The tax director's office also monitors sales of property to conduct statistical studies for assessment accuracy and equality. A majority of the sales information is available to the public. The most recent years are located on the taxation page under Parcel Data.