GOLD BEACH andndash; The Curry County Assessor's office is beginning physical reappraisals of residential, farm and forest properties in the North Bank Chetco River Road and Gardner Ridge areas.

"Appraisers will work door to door through the area, often visiting 20 or more properties per day, to conduct a physical inspection of each property," Assessor Jim Kolen said. "During this process appraisers will knock at every door to request permission to review the property."

He said that, unfortunately, the assessor does not have time and resources to contact property owners in advance to schedule time of visit.

He said the current market is difficult to work with.

"Values have been dropping since 2007, and the number of sales is way down," Kolen said. "We saw the top of the market in the third quarter 2006, then flat until the end of 2007. Prices have been declining since."

He said the transition of the market values is the reason the assessor does physical reappraisal.

"When our inventories get out of date, sales prices as compared to the real market value that our appraisers determine for properties, start coming in all over the place," Kolen said. "Our goal is to keep the sale vs. appraised value ratio within a consistent range whether higher or lower. As long as it is fairly consistent, then we have confidence the property use and characteristics are the same as assessed."

Kolen said it is a common misconception that the assessor conducts reappraisals because the county needs more money.

"In reality, assessed values increases are limited to no more than 3 percent per year. And this reappraisal rarely affects an owner's property tax bill, with only 5 percent of properties having changes that may affect assessed value," he said.

Kolen said appraisers may note new construction, property line adjustments or changes in zoning that did not exist during the last appraisal.

He said he uses a mass appraisal approach to value as opposed to fee appraisal methods.

"In mass appraisal, the assessor's office studies available sales information, construction costs, utility, landscaping and market depreciation to develop a market related cost approach to value," Kolen said. "This approach gives appraisers a value range to work with for all types of residential and farm properties for land and the structures located on the land."

Kolen said the assessor does not do fee appraisals which are generally conducted for mortgage purposes.

"Fee appraisals are very specific to a single property using a much stricter set of standards," Kolen said. "Most will compare a subject property to three or more comparable sales. Frequently, the fee appraiser may have to work for a week or more on each appraisal."

Property owners in this area will not see these new values until they receive their 2013-14 property tax statements in October 2013.

Kolen said that property owners with concerns may contact his office at 800-242-7601 or 541-247-3294.