Protesting and Appealing An Assessment

If you are not satisfied with the assessment of your property, you must first file a protest to your local board of review. If you requested an informal assessment review under Iowa Code section 441.30 but are not satisfied with the result of the review, you must still file a board of review protest before appealing to PAAB. Visit our Protest and Appeal Grounds page for more information about the grounds for protesting an assessment. 

Protests must be filed between April 2 and April 30 of the year of assessment with your local assessor's office using the Petition to Local Board of Review form. If the property is located in a county that has been declared a federal disaster area, then you have until June 5 to file your protest. Please contact your local assessor's office for more information about filing a protest with your local board of review. 

NOTICE: Board of review protests cannot be filed through PAAB's electronic filing system. 

For additional information about filing a board of review protest, review materials from PAAB's April 2021 webinar

If you are not satisfied with the decision of your local board of review, you may appeal to PAAB or to the district court in the county where the board of review holds its sessions. §§ 441.37A, 441.38. You may not bypass the board of review. 

The following information describes the process for filing an appeal with PAAB. 


WHEN

Appeals must be filed on or before the following dates, as applicable:

  1. If the board of review adjourned on or before May 31, your appeal must be filed on or before June 20.  
  2. If the board of review adjourned after May 31, your appeal must be filed within 20 calendar days of the board of review's adjournment.  Bechtel v. Warren County Bd. of Tax Review, 455 N.W.2d 925 (Iowa 1990).  

If the 20th day falls on a Saturday, a Sunday, or a holiday, an appeal will be timely if filed on the next available business day.

Filing occurs on the date the appeal is:

  • delivered in-person to PAAB; 
  • delivered to a courier service for immediate delivery to PAAB; 
  • mailed to PAAB by first-class mail with proof of mailing; or 
  • filed to PAAB using PAAB's eFiling system. 

NOTICE: It is your responsibility to ensure your appeal is timely filed. The above deadlines are established by statute and cannot be extended or modified. To avoid issues with mailing or the electronic filing system, do not wait until the last day to file your appeal.  


HOW

Appeals may be filed by using either of the following methods:

  1. Electronic filing:  Appeals can be filed through PAAB's electronic filing system using the instructions for filing an appeal using PAAB's eFile system. Ensure you follow the instructions so that your appeal is correctly filed. Failure to follow the instructions may result in your appeal not being correctly submitted. PAAB does not accept appeals filed by email or fax.  

  2. Paper filing:  Complete the Appeal from Board of Review Action form and then mail or deliver the form to PAAB. Please follow the instructions on the form.


WHAT

You need only file the Appeal from Board of Review Action form at this time. Because of the volume of documents PAAB receives during the appeal filing period, we request that you do not attach any other documents. You may submit additional information to PAAB at a later date.

  • NOTICE:  The local board of review is not required to supply PAAB with any evidence or information you submitted with your local board of review protest.
    • If you would like PAAB to consider any information/evidence you provided to the local board of review, you must file it as an exhibit to PAAB at a later date. It is your responsibility to ensure copies of exhibits and any other documents you file with PAAB are served upon the local board of review or its legal representative. 

Equalization orders are issued by the Iowa Department of Revenue in reassessment, or odd-numbered, years. You may review information about the Equalization process, review the Iowa Property Tax Overview, and/or review Iowa section Code 441.49.

Taxpayers are given notice of equalization orders on or before October 8 through publication of notice in local newspaper and by written notice if there is a valuation increase. The local board of review shall reconvene in special session from October 10 to November 15 to hear equalization protests. For a protest to be considered by the board of review, it must be filed from October 9 to October 31. Protests should be filed using the Petition to Local Board of Review - Equalization Session form

The board of review may adjust all or part of the percentage increase that resulted from the equalization order but the reduction cannot be greater than the value added to the assessment by the equalization order.

If you are dissatisfied with the local board of review's decision, you may then appeal to PAAB within 20 days of the date of the board of review's decision.  Appeals may be filed by completing the Appeal from Board of Review Action form or through PAAB's eFile system.

Reconsideration of PAAB's Order

Before filing for judicial review of a PAAB ruling in the district court, a party may choose to file an application for rehearing or reconsideration of PAAB's final order. The application should be filed within 20 days after the final order is issued. A party may still seek judicial review in district court of PAAB's order after it issues a decision on the application. See Iowa Administrative Code Rule 701-126.9 for additional information.


Appealing to District Court

Outlined below is information regarding filing for judicial review to the district court from a decision and final agency action of PAAB. This is not a legal or technical document and is issued for general informational purposes only. For detailed legal or technical information you should contact an attorney.

Appeals filed prior to January 1, 2018: If you are dissatisfied with PAAB's decision, you may appeal to the district court where the property is located within twenty (20) days of the postmark of PAAB's decision. PAAB's decision is the result of a contested case and is considered final agency action. Appeals should be filed as petitions for judicial review of final agency action under Iowa Code section 17A.19. Appeals should list the PAAB as respondent and must be served on the PAAB Secretary within 10 days of filing in court. The appeal must also be served on the opposing party to the contested case. Appeals are reviewed by the district court for correction of errors at law.

For reference to applicable Iowa law see Iowa Code §§ 441.37A(1) & (3)(b); 441.38; 441.38B; 441.39; and 17A.19 available under Statutory Law.

Appeals filed after January 1, 2018: If you are dissatisfied with PAAB's decision, you may appeal to the district court where the property is located within thirty (30) days of filing of the PAAB's decision. PAAB's decision is the result of a contested case and is considered final agency action. Appeals should be filed as petitions for judicial review of final agency action under Iowa Code section 17A.19. Appeals should list the PAAB as respondent and must be served on the PAAB Secretary within 10 days of filing in court. The appeal must also be served on the opposing party to the contested case. Appeals are reviewed by the district court for correction of errors at law.

For reference to applicable Iowa law see Iowa Code §§ 441.37A(1) & (3)(b); 441.37B; and 17A.19 available under Statutory Law.