Ascension Parish Assessor M.J. “Mert” Smiley Jr. has started working on his office’s new sections program.

Smiley, a former state representative from St. Amant who was elected to the Assessor’s Office in October 2011, officially took office last month and pledged to make the office as modern and efficient as any in the state. He said in a news release that the new program would “assure that all homes, properties and businesses in our parish are properly assessed.”

Crews will be dispatched to all of the parish’s rural areas in order to assess properties “that have not been revalued in years to make sure that all of our properties will be assessed fairly and equitably.”

The reassessments are mandated by the state Legislature and the Louisiana Tax Commission.

The crews will take photos and measurements and also visit with property owners to obtain additional information that will aid the reassessment process. Smiley said the process will take “a considerable amount of time and effort” and didn’t provide a timetable for its completion.

“We ask the citizens to be patient and helpful when our field crew visits their property,” he said.