How Land is Assessed

Land assessment is a difficult process to explain to help taxpayers understand it.  Many people think that you just take the total land assessment, divided by the land area and come up with either a per acre price or a per square-foot price.  Then they, very often, compare their property to properties that are bigger than theirs and complain that their per acre or per square-foot price is too high.  The following is an explanation of how land is assessed.  We hope it helps people understand the process.

1)      First you must look at land sales for a particular time frame. Example: for FY2018 assessments, we used 2016 sales.

2)      Adjustments are then made to rates in neighborhoods, if needed.  In Revaluation years (every 5th), all the neighborhood codes on all streets are reviewed and changed if needed and all the prices are adjusted.  In Interim years the neighborhoods may increase or decrease, but usually neighborhood codes on streets do not get changed.

3)      The way that the land schedule works is as follows:  These figures may not be actual prices from our current year.


Neighborhood EG, Standard lot size 45,000 sf.

            Lot size 3 AC

            Primary Lot – 45,000 SF X (price/SF) $10.00 = (value) $450,000

            Excess Acres- 1.97 AC X (price/AC) $50,000 = (value) $  98,500

            Total Land Value                                            =$548,500 (rounded)

            Lot size 45,000 SF

            Primary Lot – 45,000 SF X (price/SF) $10.00 = (value) $450,00

That is a difference of only $98,500 between a lot that is 45,000 SF and one that is 3 AC, in the same neighborhood.  People think that is crazy.  Well, that information is based on the sales that are analyzed.

There is a sliding scale that is used.  Someone buying a lot is not going to pay twice the amount for a lot of 3 AC then they are for a lot of 45,000 SF.  “A lot is a lot”.  If you can have only one house on it, it doesn’t matter, very much, what size it is (according to sales).

If there are two lots in the same neighborhood and one lot is smaller than the standard lot size the smaller lot will pay more per SF.



Neighborhood EG, Standard lot size 45,000 SF.

                                    Lot one – 45,000 SF X (price/SF) $10.00 = (value) $450,000

                                    Lot two – 31,885 SF X (price/SF) $12.674 = (value)$404,100

                                    Difference of $45,900                        Less SF = more per SF

As stated before, these may not be actual prices and values. 

There are many different neighborhoods but this was just an example.  We hope this helps people to better understand the land assessment process.