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Mailers to go out to update appraisals

The next phase in the ongoing re-evaluation of county parcels is expected to start next week when mailers are sent out to property owners to verify information on file at the county auditor’s office.

Every six years the Ohio Revised Code requires a review of the accuracy of all real property in the state. In Lawrence County that means 55,000 parcels the auditor’s office must re-appraise.

The process started in October when photographers went into the field snapping shots of each parcel in the county. Professional assessors will use those photographs to determine the grade of each parcel.

Starting on Monday mailers will be sent out that list information about each owner’s parcel. Owners are to review the data and verify if it is correct or make the appropriate changes.

“Mailers have always been used,” Lawrence County Auditor Jason Stephens said. “This is the first time we are going to use the website to respond. The mailers help to get their property valuation correct. That is important now more than ever with banks, lending institutions and insurance companies utilizing our website to determine a lot of information more than their taxes.”

The mailer can be returned the way it was sent, via mail, in person or on the auditor’s website at www.lawrencecountyauditor.org.

If the website is used, the property owners will use the username and password assigned to them to access the online data information. Any changes that are needed can be made there. Additional information, sketches or photos may also be submitted, if the property owner thinks that data is necessary.

The property owner must respond to the mailer. If not, a representative from the auditor’s office will go out to talk with the homeowner.

“We try to make it easy,” Stephens said. “They don’t have to mail it in and can use the website 24-7. I am kind of excited about using that technology to make it easy to do. It is an important thing for people’s individual financial situation but also local government. Property tax is the one item of taxes that stays in Lawrence County. In most cases it doesn’t leave their school district. It doesn’t go to Columbus or Washington, D.C. We are doing what we can to make it as easy as possible.”

Next week mailers go out to property owners with multiple parcels; followed by owners of parcels in Windsor, Washington, Decatur, Aid, Mason, Upper, Elizabeth, Hamilton and Lawrence townships the week of Feb. 2; Fayette and Perry townships, Coal Grove and Ironton on Feb. 9; Union Township, South Point, Proctorville, Chesapeake, Athalia and Hanging Rock on Feb. 16 and Rome Township on Feb. 23.