Assessor's Duties

The West Fargo Assessment Department is responsible for the assessment of real estate for property tax purposes. Through a continuing process of gathering and reviewing property information along with analyzing construction costs and sales of real estate, the department is able to meet our goal of providing fair, accurate and current values on property within our jurisdiction. The Assessment Department is not responsible for any special assessments. Special assessments are a function of the Finance Department.

The Office of the State Tax Commissioner oversees the valuation of real property in North Dakota; they use a sales ratio analysis to determine if a jurisdiction is maintaining their property valuations at market. Market is basically the price most people would pay for a given property in its present location and condition. The Assessment Department uses a CAMA (Computer Assisted Mass Appraisal) program to aid in the valuation process. Through the use of the program, any identical properties in the City of West Fargo should be assessed at the same value and; therefore, pay equitable property tax on those parcels.

Although, the work of the Assessment Department does not determine the total amount of taxes paid, it does affect the uniform distribution of the property tax burden. Every property's share of the total property tax is based on the Assessor's value. The budgets set by the City, County, Schools and Park Districts are determined by their local needs. The total budget of all local entities is divided by the taxable valuation determined by the assessment officials to obtain the mill levy. The mill levy is then multiplied by the individual property's taxable value to determine a property owner's share of the tax burden.

February 1st of each year is the official assessment date. Changes to property valuations are made at this time. These changes can occur due to new construction, remodeling, exemptions being removed or neighborhood reassessments.

The Assessment Department also maintains ownership, parcel and improvement information along with legal descriptions. This information is updated every April after the Board of Equalization has met for the current year.

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