WALKER -- Not since 1987 have Cass County Assessing Department appraisers handled as few as the 3,900 recommended parcels per appraiser, said Assessor Steve Kuha.
He presented a report to the county board Tuesday on changes he has seen within the department since he became assessor in 1982.
At that time, many cities and townships hired their own independent appraisers. The county was only appraising 7,532 land parcels in 19 of the 67 districts. Each appraiser's workload was 3,012 parcels.
Gradually, beginning in the late 1980s, cities and townships ceased hiring local appraisers and began contracting with the county for appraisal services. The county has handled all districts since 1994.
Today, there are 66 districts, because one township dropped organization in 1995 and reverted to being a part of the unorganized territory of the county.
Six county appraisers are responsible for valuing 33,743 land parcels today. Each carries a 5,623-parcel workload. This is possible in part because of transferring information from hand written books to computerized records in the last decade, Kuha said.
He told the county board he will watch closely renewed efforts in this legislative session by supporters of the "Blue Waters Bill." This legislation is designed to give a tax break to people who own over 200 feet of undeveloped shoreline.
If passed, Kuha told the board, it would shift $3 million in property taxes from the owners of undeveloped lakeshore properties to owners of homes, cabins and businesses.
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