Assessment Process

There are 3 steps in the assessment process:

Discovery - The process of finding each parcel. (Discovery is the first step in the assessment process)
The burden of discovering assessable real estate is the job of the Assessor. By using various resources such as maps, transfer returns, building permits, deeds, newspaper and the Internet, the Assessor finds information on each parcel of land. Updating the maps is also one of the Assessor's responsibilities. Every time a parcel of land is split or combined, the Assessor must update the map to reflect this change.

Listing - Collecting data on each parcel (Listing involves collecting data on each piece of property).
Listing is the process most visible to the public. This is where the Assessor collects data on each parcel by physically inspecting the property. Data such as size, quality of construction, condition, basement finishes, topography,  bedrooms, bathrooms, are collected and analyzed. All data is then recorded on a property record card and transferred to a computer database.

If you disagree with your assessed value, call our office and ask us to review your property. At that time we will set up an appointment to view the interior of your property. There could be an error on your property record that corrects the assessed value.

Valuation - Placing a value on each taxable parcel (Sale data is analyzed and applied to all properties)
Valuation is the process of determining the most probable sale price of each parcel. This is a complex process that involves many steps. The first step is to value the land. Second, if there is a building, the building must be valued.

  • Land Valuation
    All land is valued as if it were vacant land. The value of land is ultimately determined by the demand for that land. Where possible, comparable land sales are used to develop values. Many factors are used to determine comparability. Those factors include: location, size, topography, zoning, available services, deed restrictions, and more. Adjustments are made based upon these factors of comparison.

    When there is a shortage of comparable land sales, the Assessor uses a method called abstraction. In this process, the Assessor separates the value of the buildings and land from the total sale price.
  • Building Valuation
    There are three methods for valuing buildings (improvements): 
    1. The cost approach. The cost approach considers the new cost of buildings, less depreciation, plus land value to estimate market value. This method is used most often in appraising newer buildings, or where few similar buildings have sold. 
    2. The sales comparison approach. This approach is the most common method utilized in appraising single-family residences. In this approach market values are estimated by comparing the subject property with similar properties that have sold. 
    3. The income approach. The income approach converts future income from a building (rent) into present worth (value). This method represents the way investors think when they buy and sell income property in the market.