Assessor’s office plans info meetings

Published 11:51 pm Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Suffolk residents will be receiving their 2009 assessments in the mail next month, and the assessor’s office wants to make sure the process goes as smoothly as possible.

Suffolk Assessor Sid Daughtrey will host three community meetings in the coming weeks to discuss the assessment process with residents. The meetings will help residents understand how their property is valued and explain the steps to take if they disagree with the assessment of their properties.

“It’s really an attempt to help taxpayers know why we do what we do and how we do it,” Daughtrey said.

Email newsletter signup

Last year’s assessments generated more than 520 appeals, about 74 percent of which resulted in lower valuations. City Council voted to fire City Assessor Maria Kattmann after the problems surfaced. Daughtrey, who has worked for the city for more than 20 years, was promoted to the permanent position in November.

“We just wanted to get some communication out there,” Daughtrey said Wednesday. “This is why your property is reassessed each year, and if you feel that it’s inaccurate, here’s the process to go through.”

Last year, some residents felt the process was too clogged with appeals and tried to skip steps, Daughtrey said. However, following the process will make it simpler for everyone, he said.

New assessments are scheduled to arrive in the mail the first or second week of April. Daughtrey expects that Suffolk, in general, will see trends similar to what other cities in the area have reported.

“Most people have seen, overall, a slight decrease,” he said of other localities.

Daughtrey and his staff still are crunching numbers, so it’s too early to tell which way Suffolk’s assessments will go.

“We will be getting a firmer grip on those numbers, and presenting that to council at the next meeting,” he said.

The first community meeting is scheduled for March 23, at 6 p.m., in council chambers at the municipal center, located at 441 Market St.

The second meeting is scheduled for March 25, at 6 p.m., at the Bethlehem Ruritan Club, located at 140 Manning Road.

The final meeting is scheduled for March 26, at 6 p.m., at Creekside Elementary School, located at 1000 Bennett’s Creek Park Road. The meeting will be held in the multi-purpose area of the recreation center.

For more information on the meetings, call the assessor’s office at 514-7475 or the Department of Media and Community Relations at 514-4102.