Reassessment is a tedious, long process that keeps the Aiken County Assessor’s Office quite busy.

Assessor’s Office staff members have been visiting properties across the county to certify appraisal values since the spring but County Assessor Rick Jantzen said they haven’t even begun “to scratch the surface.”

The process occurs every five years and in the near future, the Assessor’s Office should be getting a little more help. Aiken County Council approved adding two appraiser positions when it passed this year’s budget in June.

Jantzen said additional staff will be extremely helpful especially since there are approximately 104,000 residential and commercial parcels total in the County.

Currently, the office has nine assessors though one of those spots is vacant. Each assessor is assigned to one of eight sections of the county and the ninth assessor covers all commercial properties, Jantzen said.

With two new appraisers, they can divide the county into ten sections rather than eight.

The reassessment process is broken down into two phases. Right now, the Assessor’s Office is pursuing property reviews which will hopefully be completed by the end of 2014, Jantzen said.

“We just need to make sure our property records are accurate and up-to-date,” Jantzen said.

The second phase will be the final valuation.

Jantzen wants to remind residents that his appraisers wear uniforms and badges, as well as drive County vehicles when surveying properties.

Jantzen added that County staff do not go into the homes – appraisals are based on the outside of a building and appraisers look to see if any improvements or additions have been made during their assessment.

The data being collected will be used as part of the County’s next round of reassessment, scheduled for 2016.

For more information about assessment, call the County Assessor’s Office at 642-1583.

Amy Banton is the County reporter for the Aiken Standard and has been with the publication since May 2010. She is a native of Virginia and a graduate of Randolph-Macon Woman’s College.