MAA President's Message
I'm sure everyone is busy working on the conversion to the MVP module for the 2019 assessments. This has consumed quite a bit of time for me but I'm finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel! Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately?), I have used Unit-in-Place pricing for many items in the commercial and industrial classes, so I have had to review most of those records. It has taken a lot of time but it was good to re-look at many of the items and how they were valued. And, while pricing in the residential class is much higher (to be expected), there were only minor fixes to be made there. I can tell you though that my staff and I will certainly be glad when it's done.
On to some Good News -
I attended the August 21st State Tax Commission meeting, and spoke to the Commission about MCAO testing and certification escrow. Current STC policy has been that a MCAO Self-Study candidate who is a "no show" for the test was automatically required to enroll in the MCAO program - at a cost of $1,000 and the potential to delay certification for up to a year, depending on when the program is offered and the timing of the application process. With the current shortage of assessors, and the potential exacerbated shortage in the next 5-10 years, I requested on behalf of MAA members, that the Commission give these future MCAO's one additional opportunity to take the exam - at a cost, rather than possibly deterring them from pursuing certification at all. Fortunately they agreed. Now, a person in the MCAO Self-Study program who misses an exam, for any reason, has the option to take the exam at a later date. And, while the cost for the 2nd exam is $250, it is much less punitive than $1,000 and a delay in attaining certification.
Many professions offer the option of paying a fee to keep a "license" in escrow - meaning you continue to hold the license but it is inactive and you are unable to work using it. Similarly, if you hold degree in Accounting, as an example, but never work in that field - you still have a degree in Accounting. In Michigan, if you retire and wish to keep your assessor certification, you must take continuing education and pay a renewal every year. For some, this may be difficult - especially if they've become residents of another state for retirement. It seemed unfair that someone, who had worked so hard to attain their assessing certification, would "lose" it once they retired. The Commission agreed, and asked staff to bring back language that would allow certifications to be placed in escrow, effective for next year. There will be a cost associated with this, and there will be a way to get a certificate out of escrow should it be needed.
These two changes to STC policy may be small, but it is progress and hopefully they will have an impact on MAA members now and in the future. The MAA Board continues to work on how to best deliver education to you - the Education Survey results are being reviewed and we are hoping to be able to make some positive changes as soon as next year! In the meanwhile, I hope you have completed the required continuing education hours for the 2019 year!
Amy L. DeHaan, President