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Ascension Parish Assessor M.J. 'Mert' Smiley.

GONZALES — Ascension Parish Assessor M.J. "Mert" Smiley Jr. has closed his offices until further notice to comply with local and state guidelines aimed at limiting the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Earlier this month, the assessor ended walk-in traffic at his offices. Now employees will be working from home but answering the office telephone numbers Monday to Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., the assessor said in a statement Wednesday.

Over the past several years, the assessor said, he has upgraded his office's systems so they operate more easily online and recently added a new website application for homestead exemptions. The Assessor's Office website has a new tab for the applications, the statement says. 

The new online form integrates into the Assessor's Office's existing "paperless workflow system for review and approval, which makes the entire process completely electronic," the statement says.

"Our thoughts and prayers continue to remain with those needing healing from the Coronavirus and for everyone’s protection from this virus," Smiley said in a statement. 

The office numbers are (225) 647-8182 and (225) 473-9239. Callers can leave a message after hours. The Assessor's Office website is http://www.ascensionassessor.com

Email David J. Mitchell at dmitchell@theadvocate.com

Follow David J. Mitchell on Twitter, @NewsieDave.