If you are a business owner in Ward County, you may be getting a knock on your door from Vanguard Appraisals Inc.
They are a company from Iowa, that Ward County hired to conduct inspections of commercial businesses around the region.
Bonnie Campo talks with Ward County Tax Director, Pamela Axtman, to get a better idea of what these reappraisals are all about.
As North Dakota populations grow, more business are coming to nearby communities. And on the other hand, others are shutting their doors from that new competition. To help decide how much of a property tax a business owner should pay in this changing business climate, reappraisals are necessary.
(Pam Axtman, Ward County Tax Director) "The reason for the reassessment is to make sure that all the assessments are based on accurate information on our files. This is a mass reappraisal. Our office does not have the staff to go out there and do a mass appraisal like this."
So they hired someone to do it for them. The project began yesterday with a small team and should go one for a few months.
(Pam Axtman, Ward County Tax Director) "They will out there doing a door to door inspection. They will be going through the building to see what the use is. They will also be measuring the outside. They will also be doing a market analysis, based on sales ratios. We have a lot new construction out there. We have a lot of business that are being sold and are being repurposed into new businesses, and so our records are probably not accurate on what the use of that property was."
She says the assessments have not been conducted in quite some time. This process ensures everyone will pay their fair share of the property tax. Ward County and Vanguard want to keep business owners safe during these inspections.
(Pam Axtman, Ward County Tax Director) "There is four of them out there now, there will be five come next week. They will have name badges on for identification purposes. Their vehicle I.D.s, license plates and their names, and badge numbers are also on file at the Ward County Sheriff's Department if anyone has any questions."
Once the data is collected and compared by Vanguard, business owners should receive a letter in their mailboxes around January 1st, with the final estimations of their business. In Minot, Bonnie Campo KX News.