Organized to improve the standards of assessment practice; to provide a clearing house for the collection and distribution of useful information relative to assessment practice; and to promote justice and equality in the distribution of the tax burden.

MAA President's Message

Conference Committee and the 2017 MAA Annual Conference
The 2017 Conference Committee members are chosen each year by the current president but many committed members of the committee stay on year to year and are old hands at this work.  They are involved because they want to provide the best conference experience for our members and their families and I think because they have a little fun planning as well.  There are a number of meetings, social opportunities and activities to plan for and a myriad of small and large details that have to be completed.  It really does take a village to pull it all off.  The 2017 Committee Co- Chairpersons are Stacey Bassi and Tony Meyaard heading up the group and planning all the festivities.  

Soaring To New Heights
The 2017 MAA Annual Conference will be held in Southwest Michigan for the first time in 20 years.  The Conference Committee is excited about the opportunity to bring the conference back to Kalamazoo, which incidentally is my home town.  The Radisson Hotel is an outstanding conference facility with a beautiful ballroom for our large gatherings and really exceptional educational space.  It is located in central Kalamazoo adjacent to a pedestrian mall.  The downtown area has an eclectic mix of eateries, breweries, and wine tasting establishments as well as some nice shopping.  There is some interesting older architecture in the downtown area and for those so inclined, some established walking tours with accompanying historical literature are available.  There are also museums, art establishments and entertainment in the downtown area.  

Some of the attractions the Greater Kalamazoo area has to offer are many really nice wineries, Kalamazoo’s Craft Beer Trail, The Gilmore Car Museum, The Kalamazoo Nature Center and the Kalamazoo AirZoo, where the opening night reception will be held.  This will be a fun night for the whole family.  The AirZoo houses many rehabilitated historical airplanes, jets and some articles from space flight.  The museum will be ours for the evening and we will have food, music and even some rides as you view the history of flight from hot air balloons to space flight as a part of the AirZoo experience.  There are flight simulators as well as the carousel and ferris wheel type rides for the young and the young at heart.  Bring the family for this fun filled evening. Extra tickets for the event to cover food will be available at Sunday Registration.

The conference itself will offer the Annual Business Meeting, Awards breakfast, President’s Reception and Banquet as always.  The after banquet entertainment will be provided by the band “Jedi Mind Trip”, a great rock band covering music hits from the 70s & 80s.

There will be some interesting and unique educational classes and some returning favorites.  We have two Agricultural classes offered on consecutive days one dealing with the administrative issues of Agricultural property such as classification, the qualified agricultural exemption and administration of other agricultural programs and the second will center on valuation issues unique to agricultural property.  There will be two commercial offerings, the first being a breakdown of commercial construction at a site in the downtown area and the second being a tutorial on correctly entering commercial and industrial buildings into the BS&A system and will cover the segregated, unit in place, calculator and income methods.  There will be a course on methods and strategies for valuing waterfront property.  We also have the always relevant courses on New, Loss, Additions and Losses and Current Assessment Topics.  Finally, there will be a new course offered on the issue of property tax exemptions with emphasis on the administration of the charitable exemption.  There will be general discussion and guidance as well as examples of sample applications and administration processes and procedures used by many municipalities.

The Conference Committee is working hard to make this a memorable experience for all.  I am really looking forward to it and hope to see you all there!

Until next month,...

~ Ruth Scott, President


Randy J. Ripperger, CAE
I.A.A.O. President
Randy J. Ripperger, CAE

Des Moines, Iowa

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