News for 2011
Smart Data Strategies Selected By Maricopa County, Arizona To Provide Nearly Fifty-Thousand Real Property Audits
Smart Data Strategies, Inc. (SDS), a leading provider of Real Property IntelligenceTM announced today that Maricopa County, Arizona will perform a Real Property Audit that will provide a review and evaluation of the best business practices for the Assessor's office. The three-phase audit will cover some 47,000 residential parcels and their improvements.
Tim Boncoskey, Chief Deputy Assessor states: "We are looking forward to having SDS partner with us again to maintain our status as the premier assessment jurisdiction in America. SDS brings a staff of experienced appraisal and geospatial professionals to the project. We will gain valuable insight and additional technical expertise through this initial audit project."
Susan Marlow, President of SDS states: "Local governments are facing serious financial challenges and we are excited to support Maricopa County with a program that may discover new revenue. This program perfectly aligns with the SDS core values of providing services and software to help government serve the public better."
Smart Data Strategies - Delivering Real Property IntelligenceTM Founded in 1989, Smart Data Strategies, Inc. combines location with information to deliver Real Property IntelligenceTM through beautifully designed and easy to use GIS. The DREAMaps Land Records Management Suite includes tools for real property auditing, assessment analysis, parcel mapping, document management, web-based public portals, right-of-way management, permitting, and management for outdoor advertising, real and personal property. Visit www.sds-inc.com for more information about Smart Data Strategies products and services.
Maricopa County Assessor Keith Russell Promotes Experienced Appraiser To Lead Real Property Unit
The Maricopa County Assessor's Office, which has the responsibility of assessing all property located in Maricopa County, has hired David "Beau" Boisvert to be the new Chief Appraiser for the office. "I have valued Beau's advice and work product ever since I have known him, and I have no doubt that he will continue to assist in leading this office in a sound and professional manner," said Maricopa County Assessor Keith Russell. Mr. Russell was first elected in 2004 and was re-elected in 2008.
Mr. Boisvert has been with the Maricopa County Assessor's Office for the past six years, most recently serving as the Land Division Manager. Prior to working with the Maricopa County Assessor's Office, Mr. Boisvert held numerous positions with the Yavapai County Assessor's Office. He holds an advanced certification as an appraiser from the Arizona Department of Revenue, and has completed training from IAAO, a nationally recognized organization dedicated to training property appraisers. Mr. Boisvert earned his B.S. degree from Southwestern College in 1995. "I am excited by the opportunity to work directly with Mr. Russell and humbled at the honor of heading up the Maricopa County Assessor's real property division."
As Chief Appraiser of the Maricopa County Assessor's Office, Mr. Boisvert will be responsible for the capture and valuation of all locally assessed property in Maricopa County.
View the press release (PDF).
2013 Correspondence to Tax Agents
This correspondence is to advise you of changes that may impact the 2013 appeal season.
For Real Property appeals:
- Our office will continue to reject missing or incomplete Agency Authorization Forms allowing for a 15 day resubmittal period
- We will verify Agent registration status only one time during the appeal cycle. The timing of the verification process will vary from year to year, but will coincide with the Notice of Value mailing date. All then currently-active agents will be entered into our system as verified and active. If our process reveals that an agent's registration is expired, we will send a courtesy letter of our findings. If our determination is incorrect and/or the agent has renewed their registration, our office will need to be notified. When appeals are received, they will only be accepted from verified active agents. All others will be rejected. If an agent transitions into an inactive status after our verification date, it will be up to the agent to re-activate their registration, transfer their appeals to a currently active agent or withdraw their appeals.
- We will no longer attempt to verify the legal status of anyone who signs as the "person who owns, controls or possesses"Â the property(ies) in question. We will check the form for completeness, but will not verify the status of the person signing. That is the responsibility of the agent.
- The ONLY Agency Authorization Form we will accept is the most current version available through the Arizona Department of Revenue. Please consult the Department's website.
For Personal Property and IPR appeals:
- All of the above guidelines will apply with the exception of the 15 day resubmittal period for missing or incomplete Agency Authorization forms. Because the appeal filing period is considerably shorter for these types of appeals, our office will email and/or call the agent asking that the missing or incomplete Agency Authorization be resubmitted. Note: if an Agency Authorization deficiency is discovered at or near the end of the 20 day filing period, the appeal may be rejected due to time constraints. At which time you may file rejected appeals to the State Board.
If you have any questions, please call Frankie Woodard @ 602-506-3080
Joe Propati, Chief Appraiser
Assessor Keith E. Russell's Presentation to Property Tax Appeal Committee
Assessor Keith E. Russell's Office Receives Special Achievement Award for Exceptional Application of Geospatial Technology
San Diego, California - July 14, 2011 - The Maricopa County Assessor's Office received a Special Achievement in GIS (SAG) Award at the Esri International User Conference (Esri UC) in San Diego, California held July 13, 2011. This award acknowledges vision, leadership, hard work, and innovative use of Esri's geographic information system (GIS) technology.
The Maricopa County Assessor launched the award winning BETA format online mapping and parcel viewing service on February 14, 2011 as part of its mission to promote government transparency and good stewardship. The new parcel viewer provides more information to the public about property characteristics, classifications, and values. County information and public-sourced information then are sourced into an end-user driven map navigation and querying application; putting the critical information instantly at the public's fingertips. The BETA version will be transfer to full production with new enhancements such as zoning by parcel, on Friday, August 12, 2011.
"I believe in government transparency, and this site combines the best features that the County has on parcels with the best features that are readily available, free of charge, on the web in the private sector (BingTM maps bird's eye and GoogleTM maps street view imagery)," said Assessor Russell.
Organizations from around the world honored at the Esri UC, span industries including agriculture, cartography, climate change, defense and intelligence, economic development, education, government, health and human services, telecommunications, and utilities.
"The SAG Awards highlight extraordinary achievements and efforts to improve our world," says Esri president Jack Dangermond. "Each year I look forward to being part of this ceremony. It is a tradition that means a great deal to Esri and to GIS professionals."
For more information about the 2011 Special Achievement in GIS Award winners, including project information and photos, please visit www.esri.com/sag.
View the press release (PDF).
Assessor Keith E. Russell Holds First All Digital Property Valuation Appeal Meeting
Phoenix --- On May 31, 2011, the Maricopa County Assessor, Keith E. Russell, MAI, held an all "electronic" digital, (i.e., no hard-copy paper exchanged) 2012 property valuation appeal meeting with Ad Valorem Valuation Services (AVS) on behalf of their clients.
To increase efficiency and communication with the tax agent community the Assessor's office introduced the ability for tax agents to file appeals electronically via the internet. By utilizing the newly rewritten and deployed Bulk Appeal application, the tax agents can now submit their appeals and all of the supporting documentation electronically. This eliminates the need for tax agents to print on paper and make arrangements to have those documents delivered to the Assessor's office.
"I am pleased to continue my outreach to the tax agent community and to provide a new service that will increase both their efficiency and ours in serving the public," said Assessor Keith E. Russell. "A paperless appeal process has been a goal of mine," he continued, "And today that goal was achieved."
For the 2012 appeal season, six tax agencies utilized the Bulk Appeal system to submit appeals. A total of 5,418 files were submitted comprising 1,401 individual property appeals. "The Assessor's Office is continually striving to make the appeals process as convenient and efficient as possible for the property owners of Maricopa County," stated Assessor Information Technology Director Stephen Hamman.
Steve Laas, Director, Specialty Tax from Duff & Phelps, LLC in Austin, Texas said of the new process, "You guys are great. Thanks for the help. I love the ease of use of the system."
Once the digital appeal from an agent reaches the Assessor's office, an Electronic Document Management Software (EDMS) system is used to create electronic property appeal folders with the electronic documents submitted by the tax agent and then to route documents to the appropriate division and staff for completion of the property valuation review process. The actual property valuation meeting, between the Assessor and property agent, will be conducted using desktop computer monitors. At the conclusion of the meeting, both parties will sign a single paper declaration form. Within 48 hours, the agent will receive an electronic copy of the preliminary findings or the determination at the meeting.
The EDMS system, known as Onbase, provides a more efficient and effective case management system for Assessor staff, better visibility of staff workload for management, the transfer of electronic documents to the public, and aligns with Maricopa County's Green Initiative by eliminating the need to print paper documents. The development and deployment of this system received a 2010 National Association of Counties (NACo) Award for effective and innovative programs which contributes to and enhances county government in the United States.
For the 2012 Tax Year, out of 1.5 million property valuation parcel notices mailed, the Assessor received 14,447 property valuation appeals concerning 48,045 parcels. This is a decrease of 1,797 appeals or 11.1 percent and 22,793 parcels or 32.2 percent from the number of appeals filed by property owners for Tax Year 2011.
Assessor 2012 Tax Agent Meeting presentations
Tax Agent Outline (PDF).
2012 Valuation Overview (PPT).
2012 Notice of Valuation - Press Release
All types of property in Maricopa see double-digit declines for the 2012 tax valuation year
Phoenix --- On February 25, 2011, the Maricopa County Assessor's Office will send out approximately 1.5 million 2012 tax year valuation notices to all property owners in Maricopa County. For the second consecutive year, all property types will show doubledigit declines in their median values.
The largest median change occurring for the 2012 assessment is in apartment values with a 33.55 percent drop. The second largest median change is in vacant land with a decrease of 21.28 percent; next we see a 17.06 percent drop in condominium values; then a 15.09 percent decline in commercial; then a 12.3 percent reduction in mobile units; and finally, single family median residential values fell 10.97 percent. It should be noted that single family residential units are seeing their fourth straight year of decline. Please note these changes are a reflection of county-wide changes and specific areas or communities will be different.
"It is the goal of my office to fairly value all property types in Maricopa County in conformance with state statutes", said Maricopa County Assessor Keith Russell. "We are aware of the overall declining values experienced by most property owners, and the notices property owners will receive in their mailboxes reflect these changes" said Russell.
For the 2012 tax valuation roll, approximately 97.4 percent of the single-family residences, which had no improvement changes, will remain the same or see a decrease in their FCV assessment (981,000 homes out of a total of approximately 1,007,000 homes). Homeowners will not be affected this year by the changes in the "Jobs Bill"Â recently enacted by the Arizona Legislature.
"Maintaining public trust is a challenge in a declining market. The best way to maintain this trust is to provide the public with as much information as possible,"Â said Maricopa County Assessor Keith E. Russell. "This month, my office previewed a new parcel viewer (map), which provides more information to the public about property characteristics, classifications, and values," said Russell. "I believe in government transparency, and this site combines the best features of current technology along with increased demographic information with the best features that are readily available, free of charge, on the web in the private sector (BinTM maps bird's eye and GoogleTM maps street view imagery),"Â said Russell.
The new parcel viewer is available at: http://maps.mcassessor.maricopa.gov/. The current maps will continue to be available during the public preview phase of the new maps until the end of April 2011. The public is encouraged to spend time on the new system and provide the Maricopa County Assessor's office with their feedback.
Assessor Russell reminds all property owners who receive a valuation notice to look carefully at the information contained in the notice. If a property owner wants to appeal, they need to appeal by the administrative appeal deadline. This year, the deadline is April 26, 2011 (by statute, this is 60 days from the mail date).
Assessor Keith E. Russell, MAI launches new on-line mapping services
Phoenix --- Today, the Maricopa County Assessor's Office launched Phase I of new online maps for Maricopa County. The new maps will be accessible at http://preview.mcassessor.maricopa.gov/maps/default.aspx. The current maps will continue to be available during the public testing phase of the new maps starting today until the end of April 2011.
"This new parcel viewer will provide more information to the public about property characteristics, classifications, and values," said Maricopa County Assessor Keith E. Russell. "I believe in government transparency, and this site combines the best features that the County has on parcels with the best features that are readily available, free of charge, on the web in the private sector (BingTM maps bird's eye and GoogleTM maps street view imagery)," said Russell.
Maricopa County GIO Marta Dent remarked, "The Assessor's GIS website was an excellent tool for Maricopa residents and now it has been improved tenfold with state of the art technology that makes it better, faster and very user friendly."
A key player in the new map offering Assessor GIS Manager Russ Heisinger said, "In my years with the County, I have seen us go from paper maps to digital mapping coordinated to the earth. Now, this functionality ties all those achievements into an end-user driven map navigation and querying application that puts the critical information instantly at the public's fingertip."
The Assessor partnered with Environmental Systems Research Institute, Inc. (Esri) to develop the Maricopa County parcel viewer using their new release ArcGIS 10. Esri has had a long-standing relationship with Maricopa County and has been the premier software for spatial analysis in the Assessor's Office.
Here are some of the new features you can look forward to:
- A single-line search feature
- Owner Name
- Parcel Number
- Subdivision Name
- Personal Property Account Name and Number
- MCR Name and Number
- US Postal Service 5-digit Zip Code
- Retractable Data Field Windows
- Five (5) years of valuation data, will be displayed, instead of three (3)
- Legal Class description, instead of a numeric
- Property Use Code description, instead of a numeric
- A Valuation Source Code to describe who determined the value of a property (ie. assessor analysis, appeal decision, court decision, etc.)
- Sketches of the perimeter of improvements on a parcel
- Links to BingTM Bird's Eye and GoggleTM maps street imagery if available
- Imagery fades from map to satellite
- Full screen and dual screen availability
- Mouse-wheel enabled to zoom functionality
The Assessor and ESRI completed the project on-time and utilized one-time funds within his FY 2011 budget allocation from the Board of Supervisors to complete this project.
View the press release (PDF).