Homeowners asked to be aware of assessors

Sunday, April 13, 2014

With reassessment ongoing in 2014, county officials are asking residents to be aware and courteous of Putnam County Assessor's deputies who may be visiting their properties.

In light of recent incidents involving homeowners threatening deputy assessors on their property, Assessor Nancy Dennis and county leaders are examining the assessment process to ensure the safety of the county employees and the peace of mind of citizens.

When workers are out doing reassessment, they should always have paperwork to identify who they are and what they are doing on private property. They also all have identification badges.

Dennis has previously had a policy of having her deputies leave her business card at the door once reassessment is completed.

Some other steps officials would like to institute include having the assessors wear fluorescent vests to make them easily identifiable, as well as magnetic signs to place on their vehicles.

The county commissioners have also requested that deputy assessors begin calling 911 Dispatch in the morning to tell the dispatchers where they will be working that day and what kind of vehicle they will be driving.

With this information noted, a dispatcher can easily answer the questions of any concerned caller who may see an official out doing reassessment. Citizens can feel free to call 911 if they see an unknown person on their property.

However, citizens must also understand that reassessment is required by Indiana state law and that the presence of assessors on private property is completely legal.

The assessors should be treated with the courtesy and respect that any service worker deserves, county officials said.

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  • You can't be surprised that folks respond poorly to people creeping around their homes. I awoke and found an older, unmarked, questionable looking vehicle in our driveway and two unidentifiable men standing by our bedroom window .... how would you respond? The steps proposed are only common sense. A public press release should've been made prior to them going out. I can print a business card and id badge in a few minutes that says I'm anything. I find it troubling that the postion is that the Assessor believes the public's response is inappropriate considering the circumstances. If you would've done proper due diligence to protect your staff - most wouldn't respond poorly while you fullfill your statutory duties.

    -- Posted by jorge on Mon, Apr 14, 2014, at 12:42 AM
  • Because Heaven forbid the assessors MAKE THEMSELVES KNOWN that they're wandering around on private property. Is knocking on the door REALLY such a strain? No, it isn't.

    Vests, ID's and vehicle markings all fall under the category of DUH. People still have the right to privacy, and personal property (for now) and as such its up to the assessors, NOT the property owner to "handle the situation better."

    -- Posted by stranded67 on Mon, Apr 14, 2014, at 4:04 PM
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