Last month, several individuals who own commercial property in Barry County received notice that their property taxes will increase this year. According to June Smith, county assessor, the increase is due to the regular reassessment that is completed every two years.
"This is reassessment year, so we were required to equalize commercial properties," said Smith. "This was not a flat blanket increase."
In order to reassess and equalize the value of commercial properties, the county's two field employees visit each location to assess the condition of the property. The assessment information is used to establish comparative property values.
"They visit every property every two years and take down information on the property's condition, age and square footage," said Smith. "They go over the property record card and look for any additions or deletions.
"They also assess the upkeep of the property," said Smith. "If the building is leaking or has a cracked foundation or if the upkeep is down, the value will go down."
This year, Barry County's commercial property values increased around 1.3 percent.
"We try to keep our values as low as we can and as equal as possible," said Smith. "On May 9, we sent notice to all commercial property owners who would see an increase this year."
The notices were designed to give each property owner information on what their property is worth according to the appraised value, which the state requires each assessor's office to base on market values.
Property owners with questions about the reassessment or property tax increases are encouraged to call Smith at 847-4589.
Barry County's next reassessment will occur in 2011.