Recent changes in state legislation is transferring the assessment duties of township assessors to the county assessor in townships with fewer than 15,000 parcels.
This will eliminate 966 of Indiana's 1,010 township assessors, placing more on the shoulders of the 92 county assessors.
However, the effect on Clay County should be minimal.
"The majority of the county's township assessors are also the trustees," Clay County Assessor Mark Barnhart said. "Brazil Township is the only one with a separate trustee and assessor."
Barnhart said the Brazil Township Assessor is the only one truly being eliminated from the job, but he is planning ahead to compensate for the potential extra workload.
"The township assessor's main duty was to assess the value of mobile homes because they know what's going on a lot better than the county since they are focused on just one area," he said. "Also, with the change, I will probably hire one or two more people to work full-time, and contract work to the other trustees when it comes time to evaluate property values."
Barnhart said this idea would work well since most of the township trustees are also accustomed to the assessment process, it should help keep a sense of normalcy in the county.
This particular change should not affect the county's budget much either.
"All of the costs for assessment come from the County General Fund," Clay County Auditor Mary Jo Alumbaugh said. "So there is no real savings to the county, it is just a matter of rearranging dollars to fit what is needed."
Since assessment information is sent out of the County Assessor's Office to begin with, there will be no major change in sending them to residents.
"We are hoping to be able to hire a couple more people to help out, along with additional temporary hires when the time calls for it," Alumbaugh said. "Regardless of who the responsibility is on, the job of assessing county property still needs to be done."
For questions regarding assessment, contact the Clay County Assessor's Office at 448-9013.