Employees from the Valencia County Assessor’s office will be out working in the field to reappraise properties throughout the county.
Valencia County Assessor Beverly Dominguez Romero said employees would be in the northern part of the village of Los Lunas, between N.M. 314 and Los Lentes Road, beginning Monday, Aug. 10.
“According to the International Association of Assessment Officers standards, we have to physically inspect every property every five years,” Romero said. “The (state) assessors affiliate follows those practices and standards.”
Appraisers from the county will be looking for things such as new buildings and additions on properties that the county doesn’t already have on record for tax assessment purposes.
Employees will be in clearly marked vehicles with government plates, wearing shirts with the county logo and carrying identification and business cards, Romero said.
“People might see us driving slow down a street taking pictures of each property,” she said. “Not only do we want to pick up things that might be missing, but we’d like to have a picture of each property.”
Anything new that is found will be added to a property’s assessment at full value, but existing improvements will only receive the annual 3 percent increase allowed by law, the assessor said. The following assessment year, the value of all improvements will be increased by the 3 percent.
Romero said the employees would not come to a property owners door unless they see something new on the property.
“If they aren’t there or there is a locked gate, we have hangers we’ll leave behind, asking them to call us and set a time we can come back,” she said.
New improvements on a property will be measured for square footage from the outside only, Romero said, and employees won’t ask to come into a private home.
“We never go inside; there’s no reason to go in,” she said. “If we can’t get onto the property, we’ll leave the door hanger behind. We’re not going to hop a fence.”
If a property owner cannot be contacted, employees will photograph any new structures and find a way to measure at a later time, Romero said.
Reappraisals in the village of Bosque Farms were completed in late July, Romero said, and once Los Lunas is finished, employees will head south toward the city of Belen.
Romero said she has notified the Los Lunas Police Department and Valencia County Sheriff’s Office of the activity so officers are aware.
“This whole process will probably take about a year and a half,” she said.
If a property owner has a question about reappraisal, or property values in general, they can call the Valencia County Assessor’s Office at 866-2065.
Julia M. Dendinger began working at the VCNB in 2006. She covers Valencia County government, Belen Consolidated Schools and the village of Bosque Farms. She is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists Rio Grande chapter’s board of directors.