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To ensure records are accurate, the county assessor’s office conducts physical property inspections, which in Los Alamos happens about every five years.
“We are on a yearly cycle and we divide the community up into five areas so each area is inspected about every five years,” County Assessor JoAnn Johnson said.
Appraisers from Johnson’s office are conducting the regulatory required inspections from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday-Friday, in the White Rock 1 and 2 additions and the White Rock Canyon subdivisions.
Inspections for the White Rock area should wrap up by Dec. 31, Assessment Specialist Betty Martinez said.
“We are verifying our records as to what’s on the property,” Martinez said. “We also take a current photograph from the street and take a walk around the property to keep the information we have about the property current.”
The county assessor’s office locates, identifies and values all taxable property in Los Alamos County in accordance with New Mexico state laws. This includes both real and personal property. Properties are appraised periodically in order for property owners to share in the cost of having schools, paved roads and fire and police protection, in proportion to the amount of money the properties are worth, according to the assessor’s office.
The property tax is part of a balanced revenue system and is a more stable source of money than sales and income taxes because it does not fluctuate when communities have recessions, officials said.
When the community spends tax dollars on better roads, parks and schools then property values rise.
To find the value of a piece of property, assessors must determine what similar properties are selling for, what it would cost today to replace it, how much it takes to operate and keep it in repair and what rent it may earn.
There also are other dollar facts affecting its value, such as the current rate of interest charged for borrowing the money to buy or build properties like it.
For information, call the Assessors Office at 662-8030 or stop by the office at 2451 Central Ave. Suite C.