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In a recent letter, a professional home appraiser noted the current method of assessing homes was from a car. It was confirmed this method takes but 90 seconds. This is not flawed -- it is absurd. Case in point: There are five duplicate homes next to me. When my home was valued in the previous reassessment, the assessed value for these mirror-image homes was from $158,000 to $235,000.
A summer job for me when I was in college in the 1950s was working as an assessor for Mercer County to update farm values. No training was required because we had published forms covering everything from acreage to the building down to the wiring. If the farm owner would not permit you on his property, it was only then you did an inspection without entering the property. If the owner disagreed with our estimates, there was the right of appeal.
I have long advocated that the county hire local realty firms to do the assessment. Who better qualified than those agents who deal with home values on a daily basis? It would be difficult to challenge their findings.
First Published June 25, 2012 12:00 am