Homeowners who have experienced flood damage may be eligible for reassessment.
"Disasters that do any type of damage to a home brings the potential for the property to be reassessed," Clay County Assessor Mark Barnhart said.
The Assessor's Office has a Form 137R, which is a petition for survey and reassessment for real or personal property that was partially or totally destroyed, available for residents to fill out.
"Even if a homeowner had minor damage done to their property by the flood, they should fill one out along with applying for assistance from FEMA," Barnhart said. "There is a possibility that every case may not be approved, but they should make the attempt because you never know what you may be eligible for."
While the form may be submitted at any time during the year, Barnhart encourages residents to file their petition for reassessment as soon as possible.
"After the form is brought into the office, we have to set up a physical survey of the damage so we can accurately determine the new assessment, if there is one," Barnhart said. "The inspection is mandatory for us to figure out the true amount of destruction."
Barnhart added that homeowners are also responsible for providing additional information when submitting the petition.
"In order for us to justify scheduling an inspection, we have to have evidence of the damage first," he said. "They can bring in pictures, video, repair bills, articles from the newspaper or anything that documents the damage."
Each situation is considered on a case-by-case basis. So if one home in an entire neighborhood has received damage, that home will be the only one analyzed.
"For example, if during the storm, a tree fell on an individual's home, they can still file," Barnhart said.
However, there are some limitations as to what types of property can be petitioned for reassessment.
"An individual has to reside on the property to qualify," Barnhart said. "So if an individual has a place on the river that they go to fish occasionally, but they reside at a home in Brazil that was not damaged, they cannot file for the home on the river because it is not their primary residence."
Personal property items that are taxable, such as vehicles and farm equipment, are also eligible to be added to the petition. Other personal items like furniture and appliances, which are not taxable on property taxes, are not.
With the flood and damage occurring earlier this month, the effect of a reassessment on property taxes will not be seen until the 2009 property tax bills are sent.
"We have until Dec. 31 to complete the inspections and tax adjustment orders each year," Barnhart said. "Our deadline to send in our official assessments for the county is March 1 of every year, and any changes after that will show up on the following year's tax bills."
With the assessment of flood damage ongoing, Clay County Emergency Management Director Bryan Husband encourages residents to continue sending in information.
"The disaster deadline is still open so those who have damage still have time to report it," he said. "In theory, a storm could come in this weekend that causes damage to more homes and they could add their application for assistance as well."
Husband said a couple of FEMA representatives went from town-to-town in Clay County Thursday, helping residents fill out the paperwork for potential assistance.
"The end of the application period has not been set and we don't want to leave anyone out that may be eligible to receive state or federal assistance."
To fill out a 137R form for reassessment, visit the Clay County Assessor's Office on the first floor of the Clay County Courthouse, or call the office at 448-9013 for more information.