The sales ratio study shows whether assessments within a given area actually average 33 1/3 percent of the market value. If the study results in something other than 33 1/3 percent, a blanket percentage change (increase or decrease), called an “equalization factor” or “multiplier”, is applied to all non-farm property to bring the level of assessments to 33 1/3 percent.
In addition to its value in determining inter-county equalization factors, an assessment/sales ratio study is a useful tool for local assessing officials in their efforts to achieve assessment uniformity; Comparison of median assessment levels for townships or property categories within a county can reveal a lack of uniformity among categories or geographic areas within the county. This lack of uniformity can often be remedied by intra-county equalization, which may raise the average assessment level in some townships, areas, or categories and lower it in others, until all are at the average assessment level of the county.
In addition to supplying information about average assessment levels, the study can also provide knowledge of the degree of uniformity, or degree of divergence from the average, in the assessments of individual parcels within a district. The closeness of individual assessments to the average assessment level is just as important to a property owner as the level itself.