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Language of Assessment: Terms D - L

Deed - A written, legal instrument that conveys an estate or interest in real property when it is executed and delivered (see also quitclaim deed and warranty deed).

Depreciation -
1. In appraising, a loss in property value from any cause; the difference between the reproduction or replacement cost of an improvement on the effective date of the appraisal and the market value of the improvement on the same date.
2. In regard to improvements, depreciation encompasses both deterioration and obsolescence.

Fair Market Value - The amount of money a well-informed buyer would pay and a well-informed seller would accept for property that has been on the open market for a reasonable amount of time, assuming neither buyer nor seller is acting under pressure.

Geographic Information System (GIS) - One type of computerized mapping system capable of integrating spatial data (land information) and attribute data among different layers on a base map.

Improvements - Buildings, other structures, and attachments or annexations to land that are intended to remain so attached or annexed.

Legal Description - A delineation of dimensions, boundaries, and relevant attributes of a real property parcel that serve to identify the parcel for purposes of law. The description may be in words or codes, such as metes and bounds or coordinates. For a subdivided lot, the legal description would contain lot and block numbers and a subdivision name. For those that are not platted, it would be a township, range, section, and any applicable quarters, or quarter-quarters.
Level of Assessment - is the percentage of the fair market value that determines assessed value. The level of assessment for industrial use properties was 11.5%, all other properties were a 9.5%. The level of assessment is set by the legislature and is subject to change.