By Susan Redden
The Jasper County assessor’s office last week began sending out notices to the owners of more than 2,200 properties — many in the Joplin tornado zone — alerting them to increases in the value of their properties.
The increases are kicking in as houses are rebuilt and returned to tax rolls after being removed from the rolls following the May 22, 2011, tornado, said Lisa Perry, administrative assistant to Connie Hoover, county assessor.
“A few of the properties are commercial, but most are residential and most are in the Joplin tornado area,” she said.
After the tornado, a landowner could remove his or her home from the tax rolls if it was made uninhabitable as a result of the storm.
Houses are returned to the tax rolls as repairs are completed. Homeowners are asked to notify the assessor’s office when they move back into their repaired or rebuilt home.
Some property values were hiked because the home was returned to the tax rolls for a full year, while it may have been assessed for only part of the year in 2011.
Perry said other values increased because repairs made as a result of the tornado improved the condition of the property.
“If the repairs improved the condition of the house over what it was before the tornado, there would be an increase from that,” she said.
Some of the notices also were because of new construction.
“If homeowners didn’t receive a notice, there has been no increase in their property value, because we didn’t increase the cost tables that we use,” she added.
Jasper County has nearly 60,000 real estate parcels. Normally, the only property value increases that are made during even-numbered years are properties that saw new construction.
Missouri law requires counties to reassess all properties in odd-numbered years.
Property owners who have questions or want to challenge an increase are asked to call the Jasper County assessor’s office at 417-625-4356 or 417-237-1036 by June 15.