DULUTH — Appraisers from the St. Louis County Assessor’s Office are beginning field work this week. And, for the first time since the pandemic began, they are asking property owners to allow an interior inspection.

State law requires physical inspections be done as part of the assessment process at least once every five years.

This year, St. Louis County assessors will be visiting properties in the following areas: much of the western portion of Duluth, Aurora, Gilbert, Biwabik, McKinley, Ely, portions of Hibbing; and several townships, including Solway, Brevator, Grand Lake, Industrial, White, New Independence, Northland, Cotton, Ellsburg, Biwabik Township, and Unorganized townships 56-16, and 57-16.

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Gary Meader / Duluth News Tribune

Any St. Louis County appraiser visiting a property will be driving a clearly marked county vehicle and have county identification on them, a news release said Friday.

They will request permission to view the interior of homes and structures, which the property owner may decline.

If a resident is not at home at the time, the appraiser will leave a business card to let them know they have done an exterior inspection of your property, and provide an opportunity for the property owner to request an interior inspection.

The appraisals are done to ensure property data is accurate. Assessors determine a property’s estimated market value and classification. They do not set property tax rates, the county said.

Properties not receiving a physical visit this year may still see change in property values based on sale prices of comparable properties in their area, the county added.

All assessment work in 2022 is used to set estimated market values for 2023, which are then used as a basis for property taxes due in 2024.