What's A Property Assessor?

There are two elected offices in county government that are the most important to the operations of county government. The office of Trustee and the office of Property Assessor. Don't misunderstand, all the elected offices fill a very important role in county government but without the Trustee and Assessor, local government comes to a halt very quickly.

The Trustee's office is essentially the county's check book. Every penny that comes in and every penny that goes out, passes through the Trustee's office. Most of the money passing through the Trustee's office comes from our property taxes. Enter the Property Assessor.

The property Assessor does not set the tax rate nor does the Assessor collect taxes. The Assessor can not arbitrarily raise your taxes nor lower your taxes, at least not legally. The Assessor's job is to assess the value of your property which determines how much property tax you will pay to the county.

The Assessor determines the value of your property through a number of different process. The assessor will use onsite visits, statistics, and computer-generated tools to determine each property's value. While on-site visits do happen often, the property assessor does not necessarily enter any of the buildings on the property. He will rely on detailed notes taken about the property, and its distinguishing characteristics. Still, property assessment is not an exact science, and the property owner is generally entitled to an appeal, where he can present more detailed evidence that contradicts the previous assessment.

The property assessment is used to calculate the owner’s tax bill, but the property assessor has nothing to do with the calculation of taxes. The assessor also does not decide the rules by which the property is assessed, or establish property tax laws. Those regulations are determined by state and local legislatures.

The vast majority of county revenue comes through property taxes. Those tax dollars are based on each property's tax assessment.

So you can see, the job of Property Assessor is a vital component to the operation of county government.