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Letter: Information sought by assessor is voluntary

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The City of Bismarck Assessing Division is responsible for valuing all taxable property within City limits. This is an ongoing process of gathering and reviewing information, measuring and listing new construction, and analyzing sales of real estate to provide accurate and current values annually. The values are used by the Burleigh County Auditor to calculate property taxes for various taxing entities such as cities, the county, school districts, and the park district.

Valuations are set annually and are then presented for approval to the City’s Board of Equalization, Burleigh County’s Board of Equalization, and the State of North Dakota Board of Equalization. For the City’s portion of the property taxes, the City uses the approved property values multiplied by the City Commission-approved mill levy to calculate property taxes.

The City of Bismarck Assessor’s office collects rental income and expense information on various commercial properties to more accurately determine the fair market value of similar properties in the marketplace.

The income approach to value is one of three recognized methods used in valuing commercial property in addition to the sales comparison approach, and the cost approach. Using all three approaches to value commercial property will assist the Assessor’s office in setting more accurate, fair, and equitable valuations. Many jurisdictions in North Dakota utilize this same approach to provide equity to their valuations.

The information requested is voluntary. There is no requirement for the commercial property owner to provide this information to the Assessor’s office. Any information received is kept confidential and helps to determine market rents and typical expenses allowing the Assessor’s office to consider the income approach when valuing these types of properties. This request is made annually to assist with the analysis to continue to fairly value commercial property in the City of Bismarck.

To learn more about how property assessments are made please visit:

Allison Jensen, Bismarck city assessor


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