County looks to future property tax assessment
Ryan Ehli, Vanguard Appraisals Inc., Cedar Rapids, Iowa, met with the Pierce County Board of Commissioners on Sept. 4 to set the tone for the future in property tax assessment. If the county would decide to sign on with the company, the company would essentially do the data collection and set up equitable standards by which all properties could be fairly appraised for the county.
The North Dakota Legislature mandated that each taxable home in the county must have a card with photos, and a description of each home (number of rooms, etc.). This system would make the property in the county easier to appraise fairly, because there would be criteria and data to use for assessment.
The initial software for the project comes with a price tag of $32,750 then later comes maintenance fees to keep the system updated. Vanguard Appraisals would not be able to start on Pierce County until 2015. Agreeing early to hire the company, gives the county and any cities involved the time to add this expense to their budgets.
Data currently available on properties are lacking such information in some cases as land dimensions, insufficient property information to calculate replacement costs, and limited ages on some structures. The way the assessment process works, according to Ehli, there is no current way to adjust values uniformally to achieve fulll and true value.
What the company does is develop a plan and collects and analyzes the data, computerizes it so that all property data is stored in one database, and can easily measure the level and equity of the assessments.
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