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

It's April . . . 

which means we can breathe a sigh of relief now that our "busy season" is over - I'm trusting that your Boards of Review went well and your rolls all balance! This is the time, like many of us, when I clean my office - to get ready to start the assessing process for 2019. I like to start by reviewing who came into the BOR - to see if there is an easily identified problem that can be worked on this year, determine which parcels should be reviewing this year - including sales and building permits and generally getting myself organized. This is the easy part of the job but it is also VERY important.

Another critical task that we as Michigan assessors should do is stay in touch with others in our profession. Attending classes and other functions specifically tailored for assessors is a vital step in assuring you have all the resources you need. Get to know those in areas that surround your jurisdiction, as well as those who have similar locations, so you have someone to go to if something unusual arises. Our colleagues are invaluable - let them help you. If there is one thing I've learned in this profession it's that our fellow assessors are always willing to share what they know. One sure way to meet them is to sign up for MAA classes. The Education Committee in finalizing the schedule of classes for this year's summer and fall sessions so you can plan when and where the classes you are interested in are offered.

A few things I'd like to mention from the February MAA meeting: 1) STC Executive Director Frick reported that the STC adopted the CAMA Standards 2.0 document as requested by the MAA and MAED. However, the decision to form a Committee for keeping the document updated was delayed until August, 2018; 2) Beginning in April, the MAA Executive Board agendas will be posted on our website - this will allow you to see what will be discussed at our meetings and provide the opportunity to comment or attend if there is something that interests you - the MAA Board wants your input so don't hesitate to speak up; and 3) Standards Committee Chair, Tony Meyaard, is beginning to work on a document repository for assessors - it will give MAA members access to sample documents and resolutions that may be needed for the AMAR and other requirements.

This year's conference planning is gearing up and the Conference Committee is working hard to make it the best EVER! I hope you are getting as anxious and excited for it as I am! And as I mentioned in the March issue, the room block is open for the 2018 Annual Conference, August 12-15, 2018, at the Park Place Hotel in Traverse City!!! For reservations, call (231)946-5000 (do NOT use the toll-free number) and tell them you are with the Michigan Assessors Association. If you book your room AND register for the conference by June 30th, you will be entered in a drawing for a FREE stay at the Park Place. Registration for the conference will be available on the website soon - stay tuned for more!

As we move from Winter to Spring, from old to new and from finalizing 2018 assessment rolls to preparing for 2019, I hope your seasonal transition is smooth! REMEMBER: If you have comments or concerns about something MAA is or is not doing, contact your district representative or any board member. Your input is imperative to MAA's success - thank you for being a member!

Amy L. DeHaan, President

News from Around the Country

Newly updated online resource looks at "dark store" assessment and other property tax trends

At Lincoln House Blog / March 14, 2018

Author: MAA Webmaster/Sunday, April 01, 2018/Categories: Article

In a growing number of states, big-box stores are working to reduce their property taxes by pursuing a “dark store” approach to valuation, in which a store’s value is assessed as if the store were closed (or “dark”) even if it is operating, on the premise that the building would have relatively little value to anyone other than the current store’s operator, and would be difficult to sell.

That’s just one of the many property tax trends explored in the newly updated State-by-State Property Tax at a Glance, the most thorough online resource for U.S. property tax information for policy makers, researchers, journalists, the real estate industry, and home owners.

Through a visualization tool, set of narratives, and analysis of the latest policy developments, State-by-State Property Tax at a Glance explains how the property tax works in each state plus the District of Columbia. The site incorporates history from the 1700s to the latest laws and regulations, details on the structure and legal underpinnings of each property tax system, and context to convey how the property tax fits within systems of state and local government finance.

The 2018 update of the site, first launched in December 2016, describes the most important new laws and legal cases affecting the property tax, with details for each state.

For example, the Wisconsin state narratives explores the implications of dark store assessment for state taxpayers. It describes how home owners in Wisconsin communities with a high share of retail development could see their property tax increase from 4 to 17 percent if the dark store approach were applied to all commercial assessments, shifting commercial property taxes to home owners, according to the Wisconsin League of Municipalities.

The updated website provides such details in each of the 52 new narratives, written by experts in each state. These narratives tell the unique story of the property tax in each state and the District of Columbia, and also include a national overview.

The website also has a visualization tool that maps 19 variables for each state and Washington, DC. The newly updated data appear in three interactive charts:

Sources of local general revenue: property tax, sales tax, income tax, other tax, state aid, and federal aid;
Selected property tax statistics: per-capita property tax, property tax as a percentage of personal income, total property tax as a percentage of state-local revenue, median owner-occupied home value, and effective tax rate for a median owner-occupied home;

Property tax features: classified system, assessment by county, rate or levy limits, assessment limits, and circuit breaker property tax relief programs.

The website features a glossary that defines more than 130 property tax terms, providing common meanings as well as state-specific definitions. The resources section links users to state documents and independent research.

The charts in the narratives and visualization tool draw heavily from the Significant Features of the Property Tax database, including the State-by-State Property Tax in Detail tables, which catalog technical property tax data for each state. Significant Features of the Property Tax was developed in partnership with the George Washington Institute of Public Policy.


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2018 IAAO President Dorothy JacksI.A.A.O. President
Dorothy Jacksr, ASA

West Palm Beach, Florida

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April 2018

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