On Wednesday afternoon last week, the sun was shining, but County Assessor Domingo Martinez and Chief Appraiser Daniel King were holed up in the basement.

“We don’t always have time to sit down and explain all this stuff to reporters,” Martinez told SFR. “People take classes on this.”

Martinez met with SFR to respond to questions about his office’s

for homes purchased through affordable housing programs.

After more than an hour, the bottom line emerged: Martinez’ office is still playing catch-up with its new-last-year computer system. When the office started updating property values, affordable homes were first on the list.

“It’s going to take two to three years to get everything reflecting [true] market value,” King told SFR. “We had to make a decision: What are our priorities?”

They began with three types of properties: splits, sales and affordable housing. The rationale, King says, is that the old system didn’t accommodate affordable housing programs, so they had to reload every affordable property anyway.

That doesn’t mean the valuations are 100 percent correct, though. King says he’s using broad trends to predict home values until appraisers can visit every house in person—a process Martinez has said will begin in 2011.

Even though the protest period for this year’s assessments has expired, King says homeowners in the affordable housing programs who believe their values are incorrect can contact him (505-986-6300).

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