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Property re-evaluations on target

The current re-evaluation of property by the Lawrence County Auditor’s office is approximately 75 percent completed with fall set as the target for the process to be finished.

Every six years, county auditors in the state are required to re-evaluate property valuations.

For the past year, Lawrence County has been collecting data on the more than 55,000 parcels from field representatives taking photographs of parcels to homeowners filling out questionnaires detailing any changes made in the past six years.

“We are still getting all the data entered,” Lawrence County Auditor Jason Stephens said. “We’re taking care of any of the changes. Like if somebody built a garage, we are making sure the measurements are correct.”

Property tax is the oldest tax in the state, first enacted iin 1825.

“(The Ohio Department of Taxation) helps ensure uniformity and fairness in property taxation through its oversight of the appraisal work of local county auditors,” according to the department. “According to state law and department rules, auditors conduct a full reappraisal of real property every six years and update values in the third year following each sexennial reappraisal.”

There are 39 taxing districts in the county ranging from 43 mills in South Point to 32 in Athalia.

“(Values) can vary where your house is,” Stephens said. “It can be a 20,000 square foot house and what that house if it is in Ironton or South Point or Proctorville, it can be worth different things in different places. We are making sure all of that is correct.

“The auditor’s office doesn’t put on taxes, the voters do. All we do is determine the value of the property. Voters determine the taxes.”