Why white vans will soon be seen in neighborhoods throughout Butler County

Tyler Technologies field staff will photograph properties in Butler County from customized white vans that will be clearly marked with signs indicating they are conducting an imaging and address verification project for the county. CONTRIBUTED

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Tyler Technologies field staff will photograph properties in Butler County from customized white vans that will be clearly marked with signs indicating they are conducting an imaging and address verification project for the county. CONTRIBUTED

Vans taking photos will be seen throughout Butler County neighborhoods in the coming months as the auditor’s office begins the 2020 property reappraisal process.

All 160,000 commercial and residential parcels in the county must be photographed as part of the state-mandated reappraisal. To accomplish that task, a countywide property-imaging project will get underway in Morgan Twop. beginning this week.

Butler County Auditor Roger Reynolds contracted Tyler Technologies, Inc. of Dayton to provide detailed, high-resolution street level images for the county’s 2020 general reassessment.

RELATED: Butler County triennial reassessment shows rising property values

Tyler Technologies field staff will photograph properties from customized white vans that will be clearly marked with signs indicating they are conducting an imaging and address verification project for the county.

The imaging crews are expected to be in the area for approximately five months. During that time they will be in communication with the auditor’s office. Information concerning their routes will be provided to 911 dispatch centers.

In addition to street-level imagery, Butler County appraisers will also utilize information provided by high resolution aerial photography and desktop verification during the reappraisal process. This allows appraisers to measure the dimensions of a deck or check that an in-ground pool has been added or removed.

Final assessments in this cycle are expected to be finished by the fall of 2020. Property owners will have an opportunity at that time to ask questions and challenge the valuations.

Most property owners saw their property values increase last year, as a result of the triennial update, median property values in the county went up 7.1 percent, with the biggest increase in Trenton at 13.3 percent — that community was hard hit by the recession but is on the mend — and three communities, Lemon and St. Clair townships and New Miami, didn’t budge at all. So taxes rose this year but at varying levels.

Every six years, the auditor’s office is required to put eyes on or in this instance a camera lens on every parcel in the county to reassess values. The triennial update is not as comprehensive.

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“The triennial update is not based on an individual assessment of the property, it’s based on an overall neighborhood adjustment,” Reynolds told the Journal-News after the reappraisal. “So neighborhoods as a whole get adjusted based on the market trends for that specific neighborhood.”

Chief Deputy Auditor Dawn Mills said for the six-year valuation they don’t knock on doors for a look inside but they have many tools at their disposal — in addition to the photos — to detect changes that might effect the value. She said when a property is sold they consider MLS real estate listings and they also check building permits for property improvements and have other tools at their disposal.

“They (the appraisers) have never, especially during a reappraisal, knocked on all doors. With 160,000 doors that would be astronomical,” Mills said. “But we are required by law to physically visit each parcel.”

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