Slightly more than a month removed from the most recent property tax collection, Clay County officials are preparing for the 2009 collection.
The Department of Local Government Finance (DLGF) recently approved the 2008 Ratio Study submitted by the Clay County Assessor's Office, potentially putting the county on track to return to the regular tax collection dates in May and November.
Ratio studies measure the accuracy and equity of property assessments alongside sale prices.
"A ratio study has to be conducted every year to make adjustments for the sales occurring in any given year," Clay County Assessor Mark Barnhart told The Brazil Times. "We conducted the study this year, but DLGF will be in charge of it next year."
Currently, the Assessor's Office is busy making corrections to property cards to ensure each property is receiving the appropriate property tax cap on the 2008 pay 2009 bills.
"We hope to finish them shortly after the first of the year," Barnhart said. "Then we roll the real estate values to the Auditor's Office, which are then sent for DLGF to determine if the figures match up."
Also, Tyler Technologies/CLT Division, Dayton, Ohio, which was hired to compile the first parcel-by-parcel reassessment in more than a decade, is completing the scheduled assessments for 2008 and will be moving on to its regularly scheduled 2009 townships soon.
"In 2009, they will be assessing the property values in Cass, Van Buren, Perry and Sugar Ridge townships," Barnhart said.
The parcel-by-parcel reassessments of all townships in Clay County are to be completed by 2011, which is when the next general reassessment is to be done.
However, for the time being, Barnhart believes the county may be able to return to the typical tax collection schedule, barring any setbacks.
"I hope we are back on schedule," he said. "But, it is all up to the DLGF and whether or not we have any of our numbers sent back to be corrected."
For more information, contact the Clay County Assessor's Office at 448-9013.