Beginning this weekend, the Rutherford County Property Assessor’s Office in downtown Murfreesboro will be open the first Saturday of every month as part of a larger effort to give residents more access to the department and its services.
“This is our way of assisting taxpayers who find it difficult to come in during regular business hours due to work schedules,” said Property Assessor Rob Mitchell, who was elected to the position in August 2012.
The office will be open from 9 a.m. until noon on these Saturdays, he said.
The extended office hours is just one of several new initiatives Mitchell has decided to implement since taking the helm last year.
During a recent interview, Mitchell said he is working to make the Property Assessor’s Office more technologically savvy and improve the quality of customer service residents receive when working with the department.
“We are here to serve the taxpayers of Rutherford County,” Mitchell said, “and many of these new programs are designed to build upon the positive steps we have already taken since I took office.”
For instance, he said, the Property Assessor’s Office is also making digital filing of tangible personal property schedules, which are due by Friday, available for the first time.
“This is a great time-saving program for local businesses,” he said, adding it is important to note that personal property schedules must be turned in on time to avoid a forced assessment.
The Property Assessor’s Office is also ramping up efforts to work more closely with other Rutherford County agencies to help residents whose property has been damaged due to disaster, he said.
Given the fact that assessments directly affect how much residents are required to pay in property taxes, Mitchell said he is hoping better communication among various departments will improve the recovery and adjustment process.
“We recognize that many times bad things happen to good people,” he said. “In an effort to provide relief to property owners whose property was severely damaged or destroyed, we have instituted a policy to collect data from emergency responders, insurance companies and restoration contractors to assist us in locating taxpayers who are eligible for help but may not realize it.”
In addition, Mitchell said residents whose property has sustained damage in the past year should contact the Property Assessor’s Office as soon as possible “so that we can adjust the property when applicable.”
Although these are just a few things he is working on at the moment, Mitchell said residents are invited to stop by the Property Assessor’s Office to find out more information about these initiatives, as well as other programs offered by the department.
“Everyone is welcome to call or drop by our office anytime,” he said.