MOUNT VERNON — Soon, probably in August, representatives of the Knox County Auditor’s Office will fan out across the county, inventoring every parcel of property in the county. It’s the beginning of Phase I of the 2014 property reappraisal, a process that will take about two years.
County Auditor Jonette Curry said the company hired to do the survey, John G. Cleminshaw Inc., out of Stow, is in the process of hiring and training the field auditors now. Local people are being hired for the positions.
They will attempt to contact every house and will walk the property, listing every structure. They will eliminate listings for structures that have disappeared since the last reappraisal and add listings for any new structures. They are to identify themselves and will have identification from the auditor’s office.
If they don’t make contact with anyone at the property, the workers will leave a door card, asking the resident to fill it out with information on the interior of the home and send it in (the auditors do not go into homes). Or, this year for the first time, the information can be filed electronically on a form that can be found at the auditor’s website.
“If we physically can’t get to the property, Curry said, “We can go to the GIS aerial shots and see what structures are on the property.”
Curry added that in townships with zoning, they can also check those records for construction or demolition since the last reappraisal.
Once the survey of properties is done, Phase II will commence. In that phase, Curry said, the auditors will again go out in the field, although they will not review properties on which they did the original survey, and verify that the information on the property cards is correct.
“We still do this on actual cards,” Curry said.
Phase III is then done in the auditor’s office. This is the pricing of the lands and buildings, based on sales completed in 2011, 2012 and 2013, and current construction costs. The values used are approved by the state.
The state will also complete the Current Agricultural Use Value, which is the program which allows farmland owners the opportunity to have parcels taxed according to their value in agriculture, rather than full market value.
“This is all a standard process based on the Ohio Revised Code,” Curry said. “Some counties are going to digital formatting, using the aerial views, but we still physically go out to the property.” She added that the county may someday “go digital,” but the law still calls for a physical visit to the property.
In Phase IV, the new property values will be sent by mail to each property owner. This should take place in October 2014 and each property owner will receive a value change notice which will include contact information and dates for any questions concerning the new values.
The taxes based on this reappraisal will then be due in January 2015.