Appraisers to visit all properties

Jefferson County Chief Tax Appraiser Louisa Pennington said she and her staff will begin a physical review of all properties in the county, including those inside city limits.
“The DOR (Department of Revenue) rules and regulations state that we have to touch every property within a three-year time period,” she said. This is a real property review and is a way to ensure properties in the county are properly assessed. 
“We’re going to start on the north end of the county and work our way down,” she said. 
Residents should start seeing appraiser staff by the second full week in October.
“By the 9th. We’re probably going to start in the Avera area,” Pennington said. “We’ll still look at exempt properties. Because even though they’re exempt, we still have to put a value on them and value them correctly. We’ll also be working on an exempt audit.”
The chief appraiser said workers will be in a county truck with a Jefferson County Assessors emblem on both sides. Everyone will have an identification badge with them. 
“We’ll try to send two people. It will speed things up. They may be walking; so, you may not have a vehicle in your driveway. We will make every effort to notify the property owner when we arrive on the property. We will be taking measurements of houses and outbuildings,” Pennington said.
“We’re happy to explain what we’re doing. Nobody has a problem with that. So many people don’t know what we’re doing. They don’t realize what it is that we do. We are on county time, using county funds to get this job done; and, we don’t want to waste taxpayer dollars,” she said.
“I do want people to realize we have a budget. We have stayed within that budget every year, actually coming below that budget every year. And we want to continue to do that. This is going to be something that is going to be taking people out of the office. Things they were doing in the office are not going to take a back burner; but, we will have a shorter amount of time in the office to work on things because we’ll be out in the field doing other things we need to do.”
Pennington said she and her staff will be out on site during normal business hours, not before 8 a.m. or after 5 p.m. They will not be out on weekends or any holidays when the office is closed. 
“If anyone has any concerns at all, give the office a call,” she said. The office number is 478-625-8209.