Property owners affected by recent storms don’t have to wait for an official disaster declaration to have their property reassessed, Supervisor of Assessments Jeff Simpson said.

While property owners affected by the April 2 storms that led to Effingham County being included in Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s disaster area declaration are eligible for reassessment, Simpson said homeowners affected by Easter Sunday storms also are eligible.

“There doesn’t have to be an official (disaster) declaration for reassessment to take place,” Simpson said.

County Emergency Management Agency chief Russ Thomas has said he doesn’t believe the county will receive disaster area status as a result of the Easter storms, which included two tornadoes that touched down in southeast Effingham County.

While disaster area designation isn’t necessary for reassessment, Simpson said property owners must have incurred significant structural damage to be eligible for the reassessment.

“There needs to be substantial damage,” Simpson said. “Shingles blown off will not qualify, but a roof being blown off will.”

Simpson added property owners should submit their reassessment applications as soon as possible.

“We’ll take them any time, but we’d like to get the ball rolling while the damage is fresh in their minds,” he said.

Property owners who think they may be eligible may pick up the PTAX 245 form for reassessment of disaster-affected property at the assessor’s office in the Effingham County Building in Effingham.

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