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Property evaluations on target

The Ohio Revised Code-mandated property evaluation for county parcels is on track, according to Lawrence County Auditor Jason Stephens.

“It is going well,” Stephens said. “We have most of the data gathered. We had a meeting last week to make sure we had an inventory of all commercial property. What is new or abandonned. That part of the process is under way.”

Counties are required to re-assess the valuation of residential, commercial and industrial properties every six years.

The process began with volunteers going out in the field to photograph all of the more than 55,000 parcels in the county. Next taxpayers were required to fill out a questionnaire to show any upgrades or significant changes in their property.

More than 35,000 questionnaires were sent out with approximately 4,000 returned via the auditor’s website.

“We are reviewing churches to make sure that the sanctuary is exempt,” Stephens said. “The ones that may slip through the cracks are the country churches that may not have office staff resources to take care of that.”

The property owners often forget to report to the auditor’s office if they have torn down a structure on their property giving them an incorrect tax bill.

“The evaluation keeps everything current and with technology makes the real estate market more efficient,” Stephens said.