County residents brace for property reappraisal

Friday, April 21, 2017

Marshall County residents will soon be finding out what the state thinks their property is worth.

According to Assessor of Property Michelle Campbell, the state will mail out the results of five years of work next week.

Property owners will be receiving copies of the state’s new valuation cards for their properties.

This year is a reappraisal year for residential and commercial property in the county, the last one occurring in 2012.

Campbell said, that while the numbers weren’t final yet, that she expected the total valuation of county property, which was approximately $530 million in 2012, to increase somewhere between 10 and 15 percent.

Campbell’s office spends the five-year cycle updating information on and evaluating each of the county’s approximately 18,000 properties.

Her office also tracks building permits and real estate transactions in order to build a picture of the changes in the county.

Her office does a quarter of the county each year, leading up to the fifth year of the cycle when the state Division of Property Assessment conducts the reappraisal.

“It’s a lot of data,” said Campbell, “it’s a lot to handle but we’ve done it.”

Appraisal numbers are based on how the real estate market is trending in the area.

Hundreds of real estate transactions from each year are considered by the state office and valuations are set based on the current market rates.

The appraised value will be set and property taxes will be assessed on a percentage of that value.

Residential properties are assessed at 25 percent of appraised value.

A home that appraises for $100,000 would pay taxes on the $25,000 assessed value.

The current property tax rate for Marshall County is $3.22 per $1,000 of the assessed value.

Commercial and industrial property is taxed at 40 percent of the assessed value, and personal property for business, like equipment, is taxed as well.

By state law, local governments cannot bring in more property tax revenues during a reappraisal year than they did the previous year.

Therefore, the State Board of Equalization will tell the county and its municipalities what their tax rate should be for the year, normally a lower rate, in order to offset the increases in value.

While some people could see their payments increase, since the overall amount of taxes must be the same, others will see equivalent decreases.

Owners who disagree with the new appraisal, or who find a mistake in their new property card, do have the right to appeal.

Campbell emphasized the appeals process for owners who think their new assessment is in error.

Starting May 1, until May 12, her office will be fielding informal appeals on the new valuations.

Residents can call or email her office, especially if there is an error, like inaccurate square footage, that can be corrected.

Her office normally has two phone lines, and Campbell said she is hoping to add another two lines during the appeal process.

The formal appeal process begins June 1 and runs through June 14, when the county board of equalization will hear appeals from owners who feel their new appraisal is incorrect.

Campbell stressed that anyone with an issue needed to appeal during the May or June opportunities. Otherwise, the new assessment will be set for the year.

She also added that the property appraisals are generated by the state, and that she serves as an advocate for county taxpayers, if their reappraisal needs to be corrected, if the state guidelines allow it.

A final county valuation will be recorded by the state once the appeals process is concluded.