Sunday, June 26, 2016
     

The duty of the Ottawa County Appraisers office is to discover, list and appraise all real estate and personal property subject to taxation in Ottawa County.  The first step in this process is a clear and readily usable mapping system to locate the areas within the county.  Maps are available on a scale of one inch equals four hundred feet for rural areas and one inch equals one hundred feet in incorporated towns.  The photography for these maps was flown in 1986.  These maps can be viewed in the office from 8:00 AM to 5 PM Monday through Friday.  Copies of these maps may also be purchased.

Real Estate Parcels are visited once every six years with the information verified.  If no one is home at time of visit a card is left asking the homeowner to supply the information by mail.  Personal property owners are sent a rendition each year showing what the appraiser has listed for them.  If they have sold or made any additions they are asked to note these changes and return the rendition by March 15th.  A penalty will be added on all renditions that are not returned by this date.

All real estate parcels are viewed each year and a new value established.  The new values will be sent to the owner around the first of April each year.  If a property owner feels that the value is incorrect or has general questions they have thirty days to appeal the value.  There are two other times in the year that values may be appealed.  They are when first half taxes are paid or second half taxes are paid.  This gives a property owner three different time frames they may appeal their value.  While there are three different time frames in which to appeal you may only appeal the value once within a tax year.  Items a property owner may want to consider in their decision to file an appeal are 1.) Is the property worth its appraised value?  2.) Is it equitable with similar properties?  3.) Does the property suffer from a defect that would not be able to be observed from the outside?  If the answer to these questions is no then a property owner should consider filing an appeal.  The best chance of success lies in good preparation.  Simply saying my value or taxes are too high will not result in a successful appeal.  If you feel the value is too high you may obtain a list of houses that have sold recently prior to your appeal to support your appeal.  If your house has damage, photos of this damage would be helpful, any estimates you have for repair of damages or defects would also be of assistance.  This office is only interested in having a value that would be consistent with the sale price of your property if it sold not in the highest value possible.  The department of revenue evaluates the work done by the appraisers office on a yearly basis.  One standard of measuring the quality of our work is the sales ratio study.  Comparing each valid sale's appraised value with the actual sale price does this.  Being overvalued penalizes you as much as being undervalued.

Our office hours are from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM with the office being closed from 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM for lunch.  If you have any questions our phone number is (785) 392-3037 or email otappraiser@nckcn.com