The Real Estate Division of the Commissioner's Office is responsible for maintaining all real property records for the purpose of assessment and taxation. Transfers of ownership of property are performed by obtaining deed transfers, deeds of correction and other records from the Clerk of the Circuit Court. It is important to maintain timely recordings of transfers to ensure actual owners of property are assessed and taxed. Research must be conducted by the Commissioner's Office on problems, unknown properties, and escheated property which involves in-depth title searches. The Office maintains maps of property within the county, adding new subdivisions, easements, and rights of way. The Office works closely with the public, as well as the Clerk of Circuit Court Office, and Community Development Office. Property records are accessible to the public.
Railroads, Pipelines and Utility property are assessed by the State Corporation Commission or Department of Taxation and reported to the Commissioner of the Revenue for inclusion in the local tax roll. The Commissioner of the Revenue verifies this information and maintains these records in the office.
The Commissioner's Office is also a major component of the county's Geographic Information System. The Commissioner's mapping section maintains the cadastrals and land use layers. The office also provides public access view stations for citizen use.
Special Assessment For Land Preservation:
The Commissioner of the Revenue is responsible for administering the Use Value Assessment Program. This program, governed by State law, permits agricultural, horticultural, forest, and open space land to be assessed at "use value," rather than "market value." The use value is based on the soil type as an indicator of productivity of the land with respect to agricultural or forestal use. Revalidations must be filed annually. The assessment is revised when the use of the land changes from a qualifying use to a non-qualifying use. At that time a "roll-back" assessment is made. The roll-back requires repayment of the deferred tax plus 10% interest for a period of five years plus the current year.
Exemption For Elderly and Disabled:
The Real Estate Tax Relief Program is a program available to senior citizens age 65 and older or permanently disabled persons. It allows these individuals to take advantage of a reduction or total exemption of real estate taxes based on income and net worth. The exemption must be applied for annually. This program is a very valuable one to the community in assisting senior citizens and the disabled.
For more information, contact 540-422-8140.