International Research Symposium & Forum

April 4-6, 2018

Boscolo Prague Hotel - Prague, Czech Republic

What makes the International Research Symposium special?

The Symposium is a unique, one-of-a-kind environment serving as the global incubator for sharing new 
discoveries in valuation, showcasing automated valuation model methods and pushing government innovation across the world. The Symposium participants are creators and preeminent leaders of property tax systems striving to build a better world for developing countries and modernizing old world tax collection systems. 

Attendees will be brought up to speed on state-of-the-art best practices and technologies in valuation and property tax by internationally renowned experts in the field. 
Learn more about trailblazing technologies early-adopters are using to improve valuation accuracy and defensibility, including sessions on: 

  • Spatial automated valuation models (AVMs), machine learning, and artificial intelligence
  • Free, open-source software for analysis and mapping
  • Data mining: locating, harnessing, and benefiting from open and big data 
  • More accurate and cost-effective geographical information system (GIS)-based data collection methods that do not require leaving the office (change detection, remote sensing, etc.)

Avoid pitfalls and mistakes made by others with lessons-learned presentations on:

  • Modernizing property tax systems for outdated and potentially vulnerable tax collection systems
  • Implementing new property tax and land records systems in developing countries

The Symposium sessions are packed with pertinence and application. Two separate tracks are available to participants: 

  1. A director and administrator-oriented track with key takeaways for office management, valuation defense, public policy, and staffing.
  2. A technical track with specific training for analysts, modelers, and information technology (IT) professionals

IAAO’s educational delivery is made all the more effective with encouraged interaction and input from a diverse international audience.

2018 Symposium participants include government valuers and property tax practitioners from Prague (Ministry of Finance), Czech Republic, Romania, Slovenia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Demark, Iceland, and more.

Real estate valuation professors from Ulster University (Belfast, Northern Ireland), Oxford Brookes University (Oxford, England) and industry leaders from Institute of Revenues Rating and Valuation (IRRV) and Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) will also be participating in the Symposium. 

IAAO will illustrate the newest additions to the International Property Measurement Standards representing 56 professional organizations in real estate.

Two tracks are available at different times during the Symposium.
Track 1: Administration & Government Innovation
Track 2: Technical Valuation Advances in Action

Half-Day Forum (Optional)

Wednesday April 4, 2018

Improving Valuations with Big Data, Open Data, & Data Mining

1:00 - 4:00 p.m.

As technology continues to advance, data is not only becoming more accurate, but increasingly cheaper to both capture and store. This has led to an abundance of valuable, insightful data the world over. Some data are easily accessible, provided for free at online portals or through familiar software, while other "raw" sources require much more technical consideration to access and then analyze. Taught by Ulster University's Professor Michael McCord, Ph.D., IAAO Valuation Research Project Manager Paul Bidanset (Ph.D. candidate), and IAAO Research Director Margie Cusack, this hands-on symposium will equip attendees with tools in the following areas:

  • What exactly is meant by "big data" and "open data"?
  • Where can this data be found?
  • How can this data be mined to glean insight and paired with existing real estate data to improve both accuracy and defensibility of valuations?

The delivery of this session will include: 

  1. Overview & key takeaways for officials, administrators, valuers, & directors who may:
    a. Defend valuations
    b. Influence hiring/training of staff
    c. Affect policy
    d. Desire a more comprehensive understanding current technology as it relates to the industry
  2. Technical details & instruction for modelers, analysts, & information technology (IT) staff who may:
    a. Create, develop, or fine-tune valuation models
    b. Manage or manipulate database systems used for valuations
    c. Conduct ratio study or other quality assurance (QA)/ quality control (QC) testing of valuations

Presented by:  
Professor Michael McCord Ph.D., Ulster University, Northern Ireland
Paul Bidanset Ph.D. candidate, Valuation Research Project Manager, IAAO
Margie Cusack, Research Manager, IAAO
 
Dr. Michael McCord is a Reader in Property Market Research within the School of the Built Environment at Ulster University. Having enjoyed his academic studies, Michael gained a thirst for research which led him onto a Ph.D. pathway where he obtained Ph.D. in Property from the School of the Built Environment, University of Ulster, winning Best Ph.D. Thesis in School of the Built Environment (2010).

His principal teaching areas are in the fields of real estate market analysis and econometrics, property finance and capital markets. His current research interest's centre on house price dynamics, market modelling, property taxation and investment analysis related to capital markets. Michael has a sizeable portfolio of esteemed commissioned research projects, peer reviewed journal publications, book chapters and international conference papers. He serves on the editorial boards, and is an expert reviewer for a number of prestigious international journals. He has received international recognition for his research endeavors, receiving an Outstanding Reviewer Award for the Journal of Financial Management of Property and Construction in 2013 and receiving a best paper award at the ARES conference in Hawaii in 2014.

Paul Bidanset currently serves as the IAAO's Valuation Research Project Manager.  He is in the final year of his Ph.D. candidacy at Ulster  University in Belfast, Northern Ireland, where he has developed a new AVM for mass real estate appraisal under the supervision of doctors Billy McCluskey, Peadar Davis, and Michael McCord. His expertise primarily focuses on using GIS and modeling to improve valuation accuracy, uniformity, and defensibility for government property taxation. He's been published in journals and mass appraisal textbooks across the globe, and is the 2017 co-recipient of the IAAO's distinguished research award and the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy's C. Lowell Harris Fellowship. 

Margie Cusack serves as the Research Manager for the International Association of Assessing Officers, creating original research and publications studying emerging trends and best practices for application in assessment administration.

Margie brings real-world experience in property tax administration to IAAO research. Prior to this position, Margie was the Director of Real Estate for the Cook County Clerk’s Office. Margie was responsible for calculation of approximately $14 billion in local taxes derived from approximately 1.86 million properties. Margie’s thirty years of property tax administration specialized in GIS system expansion, property valuation and tax policy development. Prior to leading the Clerk’s Office Taxation Unit, Margie was the Chief of Valuations at the Cook County Assessor’s Office. Margie led government transparency efforts and recently created an integrated Land Management system that is transferrable to use at any government level.

4:00 - 5:00 p.m. 

Social Networking Hour

 

IAAO International Research Symposium – Agenda

Thursday April 5, 2018

8:30 - 8:45 a.m. 
Welcome by Symposium Host, IAAO President, Dorothy Jacks, Palm Beach County Appraiser, CFA, AAS

Dorothy Jacks serves as the elected Property Appraiser in Palm Beach County, Florida. With a staff of 250, her responsibilities include the day-to-day valuation operation for over 630,000 parcels. Dorothy worked in the office for 27 years prior to her election in 2016. Dorothy also serves as President-Elect of the International Association of Assessing Officers (IAAO) a worldwide mass appraisal and valuation organization with over 7,000 members in 27 countries. She will become IAAO President in 2018. Dorothy is a Past-President of the IAAO’s Florida Chapter.

8:45 - 9:30 a.m.

Case Study: Imaging, Scanning and Discovery in New Providence, The Bahamas


DJ Johnson, Director of Special Project-Appraisal Services and Tim Bross, Senior Solutions Consultant, Tyler Technologies, US

David Johnson is currently Director of Special Project - Appraisal Services business unit. He joined the company in 1980 and has held many roles including President of Appraisal Services, Senior Vice President and Western Regional Manager.  Mr. Johnson has successfully executed all phases of the appraisal process in numerous U.S. states. Mr. Johnson has completed IAAO courses I, II, III, 301, 302, 305 and various training classes sponsored by the Company.
Mr. Johnson is a is certified as an Assessor II in the State of Wisconsin and as a Senior Appraiser in the State of Arkansas and a member of the International Association of Assessing Officers (IAAO).

Tim Bross is a Sr. Solutions Consultant with Tyler Technologies. He joined the company in 2003 and is responsible for product demonstrations to prospective clients. Mr. Bross has a degree from Ohio University and is a member of IAAO.


9:30 - 10:00 a.m. 
Track 1: Administration & Government Innovation       

Pseudo Property Taxes: Are they Fair Uniform and Equitable

Richard Grover, Senior Lecturer, Department of Real Estate and Construction, Oxford Brookes University, UK 

The paper looks at a number of charges, fees, and obligations that fall particularly on property developers when undertaking development. It examines whether they can be regarded as taxes rather than fees for services provided and the extent to which they satisfy the normal efficiency criteria for the evaluation of taxes. It considers the role of valuers in determining these charges and identifying ability to pay. The audience will gain a further understanding of the ways in which local governments raise revenue from a variety of fees and charges on property development, the extent to which they meet the normal criteria with which taxes are evaluated, and how developers' ability to pay these can be assessed.

Richard Grover is an economist and a Member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors He is currently a part-time Senior Lecturer in Real Estate in the School of Built Environment at Oxford Brookes University teaching real estate economics and property valuations mainly on programmes accredited by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors. Before retiring and taking up this part-time appointment, he was assistant dean of the faculty. His main academic interests are in the property markets of transition countries, property rights, and property taxation. He has undertaken a number of projects for FAO and the World Bank, most recently in Serbia, Turkey, and Moldova, where issues of pseudo property taxes have arisen and is currently working on a project on Transferrable Development Rights.

Track 2: Technical Valuation Advances in Action

Detecting Bias Samples in Assessment

Robert Denne, Partner, Almy Gloudemans Jacobs & Denne, Chicago USA

Both in monitoring assessment performance and in developing models to permit mass appraisal via the sales comparison approach it is essential that samples of sale prices (and other market information) be representative -- free from biases.  The proposed presentation will describe some of the steps that can be taken to achieve that goal some developed by the author and recommended in IAAO standards. Concrete, measurable steps can be taken to address issues known to be of significant concern, but often addressed only by exhortation and appeals to do the right thing.

Robert Denne’s career in assessment started with 19 years on the staff of IAAO, where among other positions he directed its research and consulting activities and served as deputy executive director.  Thereafter he consulted in assessment as a sole practitioner, as a consultant to large consultancies working domestically and internationally in the areas of property taxation and assessment, and ultimately as a partner in Almy, Gloudemans, Jacobs & Denne.  He specializes in QA/QC programs including assessment ratio studies, in the review of CAMA systems, and in CAMA and GIS technology.

10:00 - 10:30 a.m. 
Break 

10:30 - 11:15 a.m. 
Big Data – an Intersecting Role for the Valuer in the 21st Century

11:15 a.m.-12:00 p.m.  
The Development of the Property Taxation System in Romania

Michaela Spiridon, Ministry of Finance, Bucharest, Romania 

The Romanian system of property taxation has been changed since the enforcement of the new Romanian Fiscal Code, in 2016. This is a recognition of the importance of property taxes in funding and increasing financial autonomy of local authorities. Still, there have been and still are many issues to be addressed. The presentation will explain the old and the new property taxation system in force in Romania, the challenges to be taken, the weak points and the strong ones, the influence on local revenues, the political challenges, and future options of development.

Mihaela Spiridon is a graduate of International Economic Sciences in 1998, at the Academy of Economic Studies of Bucharest, Romania. She has served as a tax expert at the Romanian Ministry of Finance since 1999, responsible for researching and drafting legislation concerning local taxes and fees (including property taxes). She has been a participant/lecturer in national and international courses, workshops and conferences on fiscal matters since 1999, focused on property taxation. In addition, she was a member of the team nominated to write the Romanian Fiscal Code, adopted in 2003, responsible for the section referring to local taxes and fees, and a member of the team nominated to rewrite the Romanian Fiscal Code (the new Fiscal Code was adopted by the end of 2015).

12:00 - 1:15 p.m. 
Lunch  

1:15 - 2:15 p.m. 
Track 1: Administration & Government Innovation   
Multipurpose Benefits of Mass Valuation System 

Neva Žibrik M.Sc., Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Slovenia and 
Albina Aleksiene, State Enterprise Centre of Registers, Ljubljana, Lithuania         

Lithuania’s and Slovenia's Practice of Mass Valuation and the multipurpose use of its results corresponds to the recommendation of the International Guidance. Mass valuation allows estimating market values that are cheap to calculate and if accurate enough they can be used for many purposes. The multipurpose real property mass valuation system, which is implemented in both countries, plays an important role by providing adequate tax platform and the use of mass valuation results for other public needs. The analysis of some years of experience shows that the appearance of mass valuation system which was originally associated only with the real property tax reform, stimulates the interest of the society, businesses, public and municipal institutions in values estimated by mass valuation technique, contributing to the market transparency and awareness of the spatial value. Mass valuation allows estimating market values that are cheap to calculate and if accurate enough they can be used for many purposes. The use of mass valuation results for different public needs stimulates the interest of the society in values estimated by mass valuation technique, contributing to the market transparency and awareness of the spatial value.  

Administration & Government Innovation 

Piloting Innovative Approaches to Valuing Commercial Property for Taxation Purposes:  Occupier Assisted Valuations (OAV)

Terence Fahey, Managing Valuer, Valuation Office Ireland, Dublin Ireland 

The core function of the Valuation Office Ireland is the establishment and maintenance of a uniform and equitable valuation base on which rates are levied (€1.5 billion). The Valuation Office is currently undertaking a National Revaluation Programme and is exploring ways of modernising the delivery of it’s valuation service. In this regard the 2015 Valuation (Amendment) Act provides for Occupier Assisted Valuation. Occupiers will now be required to submit their own valuation for rating purposes which is in contrast to the traditional revaluation  approach of direct assessment. OAV will be piloted in January 2018 and ratepayers will be provided with indicative values and guidelines. The objective is to accelerate the delivery of the National Revaluation Programme, minimize matter of fact errors leading to reduced levels of appeal and increase transparency through enhanced communication with the ratepayer. The challenges include explaining the rating hypotheses to ratepayers, achieving adequate compliance levels and providing sufficient support to enable ratepayers meet their obligations. While there will be an enhanced level of engagement by occupiers, ultimate responsibility for ensuring that the valuations are accurate rests with the Valuation Office Ireland. OAV is a pilot and the Valuation Office Ireland remains open minded about whether or not it will prove to be successful.

Terry Fahey
is a Managing Valuer at the Valuation Office Ireland and has in excess of 16 years experience in the area of statutory valuations. He holds an honours degree in Property Economics from Dublin Institute of Technology. Terry is currently responsible for the delivery of a new pilot project Occupier Assisted Valuations (OAV) which will begin in January 2018.

Track 2: Technical Valuation Advances in Action
Changes in Traditional Data Collection and the Increased Use of Technology in Assessment

Joe Astroth, Ph.D., Cyclomedia Technology Inc. USA Inc. and Alexander Hepp, Director, AssessmentCyclomedia Technology Inc.

The use of remote desk-top appraisal is becoming an option that jurisdictions have to consider implementing where current staffing resources are limited and or diminishing. The increased use of Imagery (Drone, Ortho and Oblique Aerial and street-level) and remote desktop appraisal to supplement traditional data verification is a powerful option. The session will focus on numerous valuation jurisdictions including Maricopa County, Arizona, USA, a leader in technology implementation and others demonstrating how changes in these technologies have evolved and allowed for changes to be successfully implemented. Examples from both government and private sector technology will be showcased.  Desk-top Verification Software solutions providing the ability to detect changes in structures and the use of High Resolution panoramic street-level imagery that benefit multiple agencies within a jurisdiction like New York City and Washington D.C. will be also be demonstrated.   

Alex Hepp’s background in Tax Assessment and GIS goes back nearly thirty-years when he started working for a company that teamed in assisting Revaluation companies’ complete projects nationwide.  In his current role as the Director of Assessment with Cyclomedia Technology, his primary responsibilities include Business Development, partner integrations, project management, and most importantly being the voice of the Customer. Alex attended his first IAAO Conference in St. Louis over 25 years ago.  In 2011 he was the Recipient of an IAAO Presidential Citation. Alex is the 2018 Conference chair for URISA’s GIS-Pro Conference being held in Palm Springs, California. Alex also serves on the GIS/CAMA Conference Committee. Alex has presented numerous papers at various Tax Assessment and GIS conferences in the United States, Canada and Europe. 

2:15 - 3:00 p.m. 
International Property Measurement Standards

Gary J. McCabe, CAE, Chief Assessor Brookline, MA USA and IAAO Representative to the International Property Measurement Standards Coalition (IPMSC) and member of the IPMSC Executive Committee. 

Gary McCabe will explain what the IPMSC is and why IAAO has joined the coalition of more than eighty-five organizations world-wide.  He will also present the aim, goals, and scope of the standards and provide a summary of the standards development work done by the Standards Setting Committee (SSC).  He will then lead a discussion of the impact the standards will have on the local, national, and global real estate market participants. He will demonstrate how the use of IPMS will benefit assessors, appraisers, mass-appraisers, property owners, investors, and tenants. Assessor acceptance of IPMS based measurements can move disputes beyond building descriptions to more productive valuation issues. The audience will obtain a greater understanding of IPMS and IAAO’s relationship and role with the IPMSC as well as insights on the current and future impact of IPMS on the need for transactional transparency and real estate performance comparability in an increasingly global market.  

Mr. McCabe was appointed Chief Assessor and Chairman of the Board of Assessors for the Town of Brookline in August 2007.  Brookline is a neighboring municipality to the City of Boston, with a population of 55,000 residents. It has 17,700 taxable properties, with a taxable assessed value of $23.3 billion and a 2018 tax levy of $211 million.

Prior to his assessing work with Brookline, MA, Mr. McCabe held the position of Property Tax Director for American Tower Corporation, a Boston based, multi-national, publicly traded company on the New York Stock Exchange.  Prior to his service at American Tower, Mr. McCabe served as a property tax manager at Deloitte & Touche, LLP in Boston.  Mr. McCabe has also served the Commonwealth of Massachusetts as the Chief of the Bureau of Local Assessment within the state Department of Revenue.  

His professional memberships include the International Association of Assessing Officers (IAAO), holding the Certified Assessment Evaluator (CAE) designation.  He is a Senior National Instructor for IAAO and has served on numerous committees.  Mr. McCabe received several awards from IAAO, including Member of the Year, Associate Member of the Year, Distinguished Research & Development Award, Outstanding Technical Essay Award, and Professional Development Lifetime Achievement Award.  Mr. McCabe was appointed the IAAO’s representative to the International Property Measurement Standards Coalition (IPMSC) for 2017-2018.  He was elected to the IPMSC’s Executive Committee for 2018.  Mr. McCabe is also a member of the International Property Tax Institute (IPTI). Mr. McCabe holds an AS.BA degree in Business Administration and Civil Engineering from Northeastern University in Boston, MA.

3:00 - 3:15 p.m. 
Afternoon Break 

3:15 - 4:00 p.m.  
Track 1: Administration & Government Innovation    
Pragmatism or Principles 2: Property Taxation Valuation in Finland

Kauko Viitanen, Ph.D., Professor of Real Estate and Economics, Aalto University, Finland and Dr. Mika-Petteri Törhönen, Lead Land Administration Specialist, Global Land and Geospatial Unit, The World Bank USA 

The presentation discusses international best practice in mass property valuation and property taxation in comparison to the case of Finland and reveals shortcomings relevant globally. It raises a number of issues with the equality and accuracy of the property taxes stemming from the ancient split of property taxes to separate land and building taxes, valuation that targets condominium buildings instead of apartments, restricted access to apartment market information, reluctance to change the system, etc. Earlier work by the World Bank, FAO and the Centre of Registers of Lithuania defined pre-conditions for successful value-based recurrent property taxes including access to quality price data, efficient tax administration, and appropriate valuation infrastructure. Finland has reliable land and property records, ample geospatial data, transparent markets and strong valuation infrastructure that adhere to international standards, and all these are applied to property taxation valuation. Importantly, it is becoming also increasingly recognized that apart from the property taxation application, mass valuation systems have the potential to be used for a multitude of purposes.  The presentation's conclusions on the way forward in Finland are relevant globally for countries and cities introducing recurrent property taxes in the era of covering digital records and transparent property markets. The presentation gives views about obstacles to change the property taxation system even if the infrastructure for that is good and problems with the present system obvious. 

Kauko Viitanen is Professor of Real Estate Economics and Valuation at the Dept. of Built Environment at Aalto University, D.Sc., FRICS, Head of the Dept. Former associate prof. of land management, almost 40 years work experience in public and private sector. He is/has been chair of the Board of Real Estate Valuation at the Chamber of Commerce in Finland, the Finnish Association for Real Estate Valuation, the Finnish Doctoral Program for Built Environment, and the Com. 9 Valuation and Management of Real Estate at the International Federation of Surveyors (FIG). His interest areas are in real estate economics, valuation, land management, land policy, real estate development, plan implementation, urban land readjustment, property taxation, and future studies

Dr. Mika-Petteri Törhönen
is Lead Land Administration Specialist, Global Land and Geospatial Unit, The World Bank, USA.

Track 2: Technical Valuation Advances in Action

Discovering “Insightful” patterns within your data using Business Intelligence Tools and GIS

Daniel J. Fasteen, Ph.D., CAMA & Systems Manager Dakota County, MN and Brent Jones, PE, PLS, Global Manager Land/Cadaster, Environmental Systems Research Institute (ESRI), USA

Business intelligence (BI) tools are progressively being adopted within the valuation profession. Whether integrated with CAMA or extracted separately, the interaction of graphs and charts with GIS further enhances the ability of valuation professionals to explore patterns and visualize relationships inherent within their data to improve analysis and make important decisions. Web GIS technology enables these new capabilities. New capabilities that business intelligence delvers within the context of web GIS and valuation will be discussed and demonstrated.  An interactive discussion is anticipated. 

Daniel J. Fasteen, Ph.D. is the CAMA and Systems Manager for the Dakota County (Minnesota, USA) Assessor’s Office. Daniel has been in the property valuation profession since 2010 where his interests include automated valuation models (AVM’s), integration of GIS and CAMA technology, as well as technology adoption in the Assessor work environment. Dan has a Master’s degree in Geography and a Ph.D. in Research Methodologies and Applied Statistics, both from the University of North Dakota. Daniel currently serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Property Tax Assessment & Administration and served as Chair of the IAAO Research Subcommittee.

Brent Jones is based in Washington D.C. and oversees Esri’s worldwide strategic planning, business development, and marketing activities for land records, cadastral, surveying, and land administration.  As a recognized technology innovator, Jones specializes in modernizing existing land administration systems and designing new GIS-based cadastral management platforms for small and large governments around the globe. He is a member of the URISA board of directors, past president of the Geospatial Information and Technology Association and a current member of the United Nations Committee of Experts on Geospatial Information Management sitting on the Expert Group on Land Administration and Management. Established in 1969, Esri creates systems that drive all components of land and cadastral administration, including addressing, registration, taxation/valuation, planning, and development.

4:00 - 5:00 p.m. 
Track 1: Administration & Government Innovation   

The Need for a Good Appeals Process

Gordon Heath, BSc President, (Hons) Institute of Revenues, Rating & Valuation's (IRRV) UK

This presentation will look at why an assessment of a property value to be used for tax purposes should be subject to potential appeal by the taxpayer and the possible reasons for an appeal.  The ways in which the number of appeals might be minimised will be discussed with particular reference to the experience in Britain.

Gordon Heath, BSc IRRV(Hons)
, is the Institute of Revenues, Rating & Valuation's President 2017-18. Having graduated in mathematics with astrophysics, Gordon was in local government for 21 years, including 11 years as Head of Revenues in the London Boroughs of Redbridge and Croydon. Since 1997, he has run his own business as an independent consultant. 

Gordon is a well-known public speaker, lecturer and consultant on local taxation matters and has served on various Government consultation groups in the UK.  He is the co-author of various of the Institute’s publications and a regular contributor to the Institute’s “Valuer” magazine.

Administration & Government Innovation   

The Assessor as Data Collector 

Paul Sanderson, President, International Property Tax Institute (IPTI) UK

The traditional role of the property tax assessor has been to gather large amounts of data for use in the valuation of properties for property tax purposes. In addition to the collection of the data, it needs to be stored, retrieved, analysed and continually updated. Given the increasing importance of "big data", there is a wider role that the property tax assessor can play in making property attribute and transaction data available in a way that adds real value to society. The assessor has a great many options these days to utilise modern technology to present property attribute and transaction data in a variety of ways that meet the needs of others. If the data held by the assessor can be made available in a way that enables it to be analysed by others with different interests, it will reinforce the importance of the assessor. Making the assessor’s data available to others, for example, the emergency services, can not only improve knowledge and awareness, but also save lives. We are living in such an exciting time with so much rapid technological development it requires us to review the way in which the property tax assessor can contribute to the increasing data needs of modern society.

Paul Sanderson JP LLB (Hons), FRICS, FIRRV
is the President of the International Property Tax Institute (IPTI).  IPTI is an independent, not-for-profit organisation specialising in the use of property tax to support the provision of good quality local services.  IPTI has a network of experts around the world who specialise in all aspects of property tax including policy, administration, assessment and collection.  In addition, IPTI runs conferences, workshops, seminars and provides education courses to assist those dealing with property tax whether as taxpayers, professional advisors, assessors, collectors or academics. Prior to becoming President of IPTI, Paul was the Director at the UK Valuation Office Agency (VOA) responsible for providing professional advice and technical guidance across a wide range of valuation and property issues.  Paul has also worked as a specialist consultant to both the World Bank and United Nations in providing professional advice to support various urban infrastructure and other property-related projects in developing countries. Paul also provides professional advice to G L Hearn, one of the UK’s leading independent property consultancies. Paul has over 45 years’ experience in property valuations for a variety of purposes and he has been involved either as an expert witness, advocate, or client/supervisor for some of the most significant UK cases involving valuation litigation. Paul is a Past President of the Rating Surveyors’ Association (RSA) in the UK, a Fellow of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and a Fellow of the Institute of Revenues, Rating and Valuation (IRRV).

Track 2: Technical Valuation Advances in Action

LiDAR powered Assessment Databases Worldwide

Michael Lomax, R.I. Director of Assessments, ESRI Canada and 
Hedieh Alvan, Ph.D. GIS Analyst at Assessment, ESRI Canada

Property Tax Assessment agencies worldwide are under great pressure to deliver high levels of service with fixed financial resources while ensuring their valuation products are accurate and uniform in application. Achieving those goals requires significant gains in efficiency of business systems and processes. LiDAR is a remote sensing technology that calculates distance by measuring with high accuracy the reflection of laser from a target surface. The focus and objective of this presentation is to explain and demonstrate how LiDAR is used to make high resolution maps and can be used in conjunction with a CAMA system to produce more accurate and equitable property assessments.  Focused integration of LiDAR and CAMA systems provides rich analysis while delivering functionally powerful workflows. However, this arena is vastly unexplored, and this presentation will present Research and Development project findings on workflow best practices, and provide the audience with next steps in how they can leverage the power and capabilities of combining LiDAR with CAMA.

Michael Lomax is the Director of Assessment for Esri Canada and leads a group that develops and implements GIS Centric Assessment & Real Estate software solutions. Michael has over 25 years of experience in the Property Assessment Industry.   Previously Michael worked for the Government of British Columbia (B.C. Assessment Authority) for 22 years and for 12 of those years was Deputy Assessor in the Provincial Government.  A member of the International Association of Assessing Officers (IAAO) Education Committee in 2008-2011 and the International Committee 2012 – 2013 Michael has provided significant guidance and leadership to the IAAO in the form of Assessment Education and International outreach strategies.  Michael has received 2 Presidential Citations in 2011 and 2013 from the IAAO for his work in the assessment industry and the association. 

For the last 9 years Michael has been the course Instructor for BUSI443 Assessment Administration & Mass Appraisal Course at the University of British Columbia.

Hedieh Alvan, Ph.D., is the GIS Analyst for Esri Canada and is involved in development and maintenance of Spatial-based tools and databases. Hedieh has over 10 years of experience in the GIS-based solutions, development and spatial data manipulation. Previously, as a researcher in university, Hedieh studied the possibility of monitoring earthquake-related precursors on above and under earth’s surface resulted in several publications in well-known ISI journals. Hedieh has also 3 years of experience in LiDAR data extraction and modelling for accurate survey of buildings or change detection of man-made structures which can be used for urban management purposes.
With an engineering background (BSc and MSc) and a Ph.D. in GIS and Remote Sensing as well as experience in coding and mathematical /geospatial modeling, Hedieh, has always tried to put together the newest methods and findings to find the best solutions.  

5:00 - 5:15 p.m. 
Closing Remarks by IAAO President Dorothy Jacks, CFA, AAS

5:15 - 6:30 p.m. 
Evening Reception

Friday, April 6, 2018

8:30 -8:45 a.m. 
Introduction by IAAO President, Dorothy Jacks, Palm Beach County Appraiser, CFA, AAS

8:45 - 9:15 a.m.  
Advances in GIS Technology Supporting Valuation and Tax Organizations

Brent Jones, PE, PLS, Global Manager Land/Cadaster, Environmental Systems Research Institute (ESRI), USA

The advances in GIS technology and the continued rapid development of new capabilities has consistently demonstrated globally that GIS is the platform for land administration.  This presentation will discuss new technology and the changes in how we plan, develop and deploy modern land administration systems.  Most countries in the world are working towards modernizing their land administration systems – cadastre, national mapping, valuation and taxation.  Ongoing challenges include—keeping authoritative land information current, complete, accurate, and secure while providing access to data across multiple networks to multiple stakeholders. Complex, highly customized workflows can be cumbersome, inefficient, and costly to maintain. Hard coded, custom systems are very costly to maintain, update, and sustain and are vulnerable to security breaches. Attendees will understand the new capabilities of off-the-shelf technology, the advantage of open standards, and how to begin the transition to a modern system. Attendees will learn the availability of global data sets, cloud capabilities and the change in approach to land administrations from building to configuring.  An interactive discussion is expected.

Brent Jones is based in Washington D.C. and oversees Esri’s worldwide strategic planning, business development, and marketing activities for land records, cadastral, surveying, and land administration. As a recognized technology innovator, Jones specializes in modernizing existing land administration systems and designing new GIS-based cadastral management platforms for small and large governments around the globe. He is a member of the URISA board of directors, past president of the Geospatial Information and Technology Association and a current member of the United Nations Committee of Experts on Geospatial Information Management sitting on the Expert Group on Land Administration and Management. Established in 1969, Esri creates systems that drive all components of land and cadastral administration, including addressing, registration, taxation/valuation, planning, and development.

9:15 - 10:00 a.m. 
Property Taxation and Valuation in the Czech Republic and the Way Forward

Alena Holmes, JUDr, Director, Property Taxes, Road Tax and Valuation Department, Ministry of Finance of the Czech Republic, Prague

This presentation will discuss the history of the property taxation process in the Czech Republic. Real estate property tax, consisting of tax on land buildings, was introduced as of January 1, 1993. At that time, there was practically no real estate market, and no data base of real estate market prices was available. Hence, the tax rate is consequently not derived from real estate market values.  Ministry of Finance did several attempts to switch to ad valorem tax.  Last one was pilot study on value maps. It was proposed to use the “Tax Bases Map” to determine the tax base of land. Tax Bases Maps draw up individual municipalities in order to strengthen the fairness of Real Estate Property Tax, to utilize knowledge of the local situation and information on realized land prices. There will be a brief description of current Czech property tax system, its administration and sources of information and valuation of property. The conclusion will look at the way forward. In many Central and Eastern European countries are persisting area based property tax systems and recently is more and more taken into consideration possible way of market calibration of area tax base. 

Alena Holmes graduated from the Faculty of Law at Charles University, Prague in 1982, and as a Juris Doctor in 1983. Until 1991 she worked as a consultant for companies involved in the building sector. Since 1991 she has been employed at the Czech Ministry of Finance, initially as an officer in the Property Taxes’ section, then as the Head of the Real Estate Tax Department from 1993. Alena has been the Director of the Property Taxes Department since 1996 and was the Czech Republic’s EU negotiator in tax matters from 1998 to 2001.  Alena has been involved in several international projects, namely the Know-how Fund, the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy (she was Fellow in 1998) and the EU - Leonardo da Vinci II project. She has been a member of International Fiscal Association since 2003. She is a member of Board of Advisors of the International Property Tax Institute, Canada. Alena is the author or co-author of many books and papers on property taxation. She also lectures on the subject. 

10:00 - 10:30 a.m. 
Break 

10:30 - 11:15 a.m.
Unregistered/Informal Land Valuation and Taxation – a new frontier for property/land revenue generation in the developing world

James Kavanagh, Land Group Director, Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), London, UK

A new major RICS Research report has highlighted how land & property valuation operates in the informal land markets of three major and rapidly expanding developing world urban areas, Accra Ghana, Jakarta Indonesia and Lima Peru. This report underlines how valuation practices, often heavily customized, work in informal/unregistered markets, how taxation revenue is affected and how valuation practice needs to develop a more pragmatic & reasonable approach If it is to bring ‘market value’ concepts to nations outside of the OECD nations.

James Kavanagh MRICS C.Geog is a Chartered Land Surveyor & Chartered Geographer. James studied at DIT Dublin, Ireland and University of London. With over 25 years’ experience in the global land and property sectors, he has worked on some of the largest projects in Europe before spending several years working on formal and informal land rights issues whilst working for the United Nations (UNRWA). James is currently Director of Global Land & Resources with The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). He is the author of numerous land & property journal articles, has presented professional and technical papers at numerous global conferences (World Bank 2017, FIG 2016, UNECE 2017) and regularly lectures on professional practice. James is also the co-author of several land and property industry standards, professional guidance notes and specifications including most recently the Valuation of Mineral Bearing Land, Measured Surveys and Rights of Light. He is a member of the Land Technologists Group along with World Bank, USAID, Cloudburst Group, Devex, Land Registry and Thomson Reuters.

11:15 a.m. -12:00 p.m.  
Track 1: Administration & Government Innovation   

Replacement Cost and Depreciation: A National or Local Affair? 

Ruud M. Kathmann, Manager, Netherlands Council for Real Estate Assessment, The Hague, Netherlands and 
Ben Bervoets, Non-residential Property Valuation Specialist, Netherlands Council for Real Estate Assessment, The Hague, Netherlands 

This presentation will explain how the replacement cost method is applied by municipalities in the Netherlands using nationally collected data on both building costs and depreciation. For real estate where there is no genuine market, such as schools and hospitals, the Act for Real Estate Assessment requires the use of the replacement costs method. As many municipalities are too small to collect all relevant data needed for this valuation method, a central organisation is established to collect, assess and distribute this data. By using electronic messenger services that connect the municipal valuation systems with the central database, the local appraiser can easily import the data to do the valuation. This enhances efficiency, but also uniformity in the valuations. During our presentation we will discuss how municipalities benefit from the national data and how the Netherlands Council for Real Estate Assessment monitors the quality of the valuations.

Ruud M. Kathmann (1961) has studied geodetic engineering at the Delft University of Technology and graduated in 1985. He is a member of the management team of the Dutch Council for Real Estate Assessment. From this position Ruud is closely involved to the development of the System of Base Registers. In The Netherlands Ruud is considered to be one of the leading specialists on the areas of geo-information, mass-appraisal and e-government.

Ben P.P. Bervoets received a master degree in public administration in 2015 at the Leiden University. Prior to that he obtained a bachelor degree in real estate management. Ben has a lot of experience in the execution of mass appraisal projects in several Dutch municipalities. At the Netherlands Council for Real Estate Assessment Ben is a specialist in the field of non-residential property valuations. For this organization Ben is a permanent representative at TEGoVA, The European Group of Valuers' Associations.

Track 2: Technical Valuation Advances in Action
Proximity Effects of Walking Distances to Public Spaces on Property Value

Daniel Fasteen, Ph.D. CAMA and Systems Manager for Dakota County, MN USA

This research will explore network distance and time within a geographically weighted regression model to further explain the effects that roads and trails have on access to public spaces in the valuation of properties. Accounting for network based distance and/or time may provide jurisdictions with more accurate, equitable, and defensible property values. Proximity to public spaces provides several benefits as well as hindrances that often have either a positive or negative effects respectively on property value. The quantification of those effects is often measured using hedonic regression models by way of location indicator variables, spatial lagging, or straight line distance and/or time variables, among others. These methodologies have shown to provide varying measurable effects of walking distance on property value, however not many studies account for the particular layout of road and trail networks inherent in most neighborhoods. This research will explore network distance and time within a geographically weighted regression model to further explain the effects that roads and trails have on access to public spaces in the valuation of properties. Accounting for network based distance and/or time may provide jurisdictions with more accurate, equitable, and defensible property values.

Daniel J. Fasteen, Ph.D. is the CAMA and Systems Manager for the Dakota County (Minnesota, USA) Assessor’s Office.  Daniel has been in the property valuation profession since 2010 where his interests include automated valuation models (AVM’s), integration of GIS and CAMA technology, as well as technology adoption in the Assessor work environment. Dan has a Master’s degree in Geography and a Ph.D. in Research Methodologies and Applied Statistics, both from the University of North Dakota. Daniel currently serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Property Tax Assessment & Administration and served as Chair of the IAAO Research Subcommittee.

12:00 p.m.-1:15 p.m. 
Lunch

1:15 - 2:15 p.m.  
Track 1: Administration & Government Innovation 
Modernizing Property Tax Systems, the City of Port-au-Prince

Cliff Lipscomb Ph.D., MRICS and Ruel Williamson, FRICS Greenfield Advisors, GA USA 

The devastating earthquake in Haiti in 2010 left the City of Port-au-Prince tax assessment system in disarray. Without the ability to deliver tax bills, the City cannot collect property tax revenues. By partnering with a software vendor and local on-the-ground support, our team is putting in place a solution that has the flexibility to account for different revenue streams. By the end of the project, we expect to provide enough capacity building so that the City can take over the complete administration of its property tax assessment system. Additional implications of this project include capacity building with respect to fire and police services, garbage services, and water and sewer infrastructure.  Attendees will learn best practices on re-designing property tax systems from scratch in a third-world country where political support for the project is strong.  

Clifford A. Lipscomb is the Vice Chairman and Co-Managing Director at Greenfield Advisors as well as Managing Director of Bartow Street Capital LLC (Greenfield’s investment banking entity). He is a Chartered Valuation Surveyor with more than 20 years of experience in economic and statistical analysis, survey design, consulting, and teaching.  His research has won numerous awards, including three Best Paper awards from the American Real Estate Society, one Best Paper award from the Pacific Rim Real Estate Society, and the 2014 International Association of Assessing Officers’ (IAAO) Bernard L. Barnard Outstanding Technical Essay Award.  His most recent book is Real Estate Analysis in the Information Age: Techniques for Big Data and Statistical Modeling (Routledge).  Previous employment includes Valdosta State University, George Mason University, and the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.  He holds baccalaureate degrees in Economics and Sociology from Berry College as well as a Ph.D. in Public Policy from the Georgia Institute of Technology. 

Ruel Williamson is a Senior Executive with more than 25 years of progressive experience in corporate sales, corporate management, professional services, information technology, and GIS.  He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Finance and an MBA in Business Administration and Management from Emporia State University. Prior to joining Greenfield Advisors, he was president of Mind Pearl, LLC, where he worked with clients across the globe to create, market, and implement tax assessment processes and technology that allowed jurisdictions to improve their efficiency and accuracy. 

Mr. Williamson has been responsible for building high performance teams, increasing productivity, and closing major enterprise government projects. He is a member of the International Association of Assessing Officers where he is a member of the Editorial Board. Mr. Williamson is also a Fellow of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors.  He has worked with clients throughout the world, including: United States, Guam, U.S. Virgin Islands, England, Northern Ireland, Canada, Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica, Kenya, Haiti, UAE, China, and South Africa. 

Mr. Williamson delivered and operational review and completed a supply and demand study for the Dubai Land Agency, provided an operational review of all land administration systems in Medellin, Colombia and for Mercy Corps, and participated as part of a World Bank team working on tax reform in Kenya.  Mr. Williamson’s other experiences include leading and closing a $17 million integrated property tax project for the Trinidad & Tobago Ministry of Finance and reviewing and attesting to the 2016 property tax roll in Ontario, Canada for the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation.  

In addition, Mr. Williamson has taught general business classes at Emporia State University as a graduate student, was a guest lecturer at Renmin University in Beijing, China, and he has presented numerous academic papers to the World Bank and other leading organizations around the world.  He has a Masters of Business Administration from Emporia State University, Emporia, KS and a Bachelor of Science, Finance, Emporia State University, Emporia, KS. He is a Fellow (FRICS) of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors

Track 2: Technical Valuation Advances in Action

Transformation and Spatial Attributes in Regression Modeling

Kevin Keene, Director of Mass Appraisal and Analysis, and James Williams, CPE Office of Property Assessment, City of Philadelphia, PA USA

All models used by Philadelphia OPA employ spatial attributes. This presentation shows how we measure and transform spatial attributes and use them in our models. Demonstrations include how spatial attributes relate to other location variables in providing explanatory within the model, and measures of effectiveness. The presentation also includes identification of 12 candidate attributes and tests for the best measurement of each.  The most effective measurement was determined, and data was transformed for use in both linear and non-linear valuation models. Results of this research and testing resulted in the decision by Philadelphia Office of Property Assessment to include spatial attributes in all valuation models. We are currently in our third major revaluation project using these models, which have created major improvements to the quality of our assessments that will be described to the audience and can be used globally.  

Kevin M. Keene is the Director of Mass Appraisal and Analysis, Office of Property Assessment, City of Philadelphia.  In his 25 years of practicing mass appraisal, Kevin has planned or directed 15 major revaluation projects in Philadelphia, including residential, non- residential, and land valuation and using a wide variety of methods, including regression models.  He also runs ratio studies and assessment performance analyses for the city, and has been a leader in program development, data structuring and analysis and training.

James Williams, MSc, CPE is a Mass Appraisal Supervisor with the Philadelphia Office Of Property Assessment  and has been with the Philadelphia Office of Property Assessment for 20 years and has held several positions that include Clerical, Residential Assessor, Analyst and now Mass Appraisal Supervisor. His Education includes a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management, as well as a Master’s Degree in Real Estate Property Management. He is a Real Estate investor and licensed Real Estate Agent in Pennsylvania with millions of dollars in transactions and is also a licensed Certified Pennsylvania Evaluator.

As a member of IAAO, James is a CAE candidate.

2:15 - 3:00 p.m.  
Accounting for Energy Efficiency in Ad Valorem Property Tax Valuation Models

Mark Hall, Founder Revalue.io, CA USA
and Paul Bidanset, Ph.D. candidate, Valuation Research Project Manager, IAAO 

Energy labeled buildings have shown a statistically significant increase in market value compared to similar buildings within proximity, as much as 13-33% and $4.68 per foot in some cases. Capital markets have also grown from $3B in issuance 2012 to $150B in 2017.  A study of the effects of "Energy Efficiency Labels" on sales price, value and tax rates has been developed to support ad valorem property tax valuation methodologies and justifications to include energy efficiency. Using over 100,000 real property records from San Francisco and New York, we analyze how sold price and assessed value of properties with and without energy efficiency labels affect property tax rates and in turn valuation methods.  Over 24 jurisdictions in the United States have enacted Energy Benchmarking and or Audits, some require associated energy efficiency improvements. Meanwhile, Energy Performance Certificates (EPC) and Labels have been mandated in the United Kingdom since 2011, much like the Belfast City Council law mandating energy performance report s for buildings prior to lease or sale, and fines levied continuously until compliant. As energy efficiency continues to be a concern among economically and environmentally conscious buyers and tenants, governments around the world will need to understand how account for it in ad valorem property tax valuations - ensuring equity, fairness, and defensibility are not compromised. This session will address appropriate ways to account for energy performance in mass real estate appraisal using cutting edge spatial valuation models"

An Oakland, Calif., native, Mark Hall graduated from Morehouse College in Atlanta, GA and subsequently attended the UC Berkeley Project Management Program.  A former Capital Improvement Project Manager for the City of Oakland, Mark is currently the founder of www.Revalue.io, an energy efficiency technology company and charter member of the Real Estate Standards Organization.  Mark is an avid traveler and runner, visiting 8 countries in 2016 and running his first full 26.2-mile marathon, with the goal to complete his next marathon internationally.

Paul Bidanset currently serves as the IAAO's Valuation Research Project Manager.   He is in the final year of his Ph.D. candidacy at Ulster University in Belfast, Northern Ireland, where he has developed a new AVM for mass real estate appraisal under the supervision of doctors Billy McCluskey, Peadar Davis, and Michael McCord. His expertise primarily focuses on using GIS and modeling to improve valuation accuracy, uniformity, and defensibility for government property taxation. He's been published in journals and mass appraisal textbooks across the globe, and is the 2017 co-recipient of the IAAO's distinguished research award and the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy's C. Lowell Harris Fellowship.

3:00 - 3:15 p.m. 
Break 

3:15 - 4:15 p.m.   
The New Property Taxation System in Denmark

Lasse Skakkebæk Lindegaard, Head of Valuation Models Division, Ministry of Taxation, Skatteministeriet, Denmark 

A report from the general auditor in 2013 stated a severe criticism of the property assessment system in Denmark,  leading to a freeze of all assessments in 2011 prices. A following review by external experts concluded, that a quick fix was not possible, hence pointing to a full revamp of the system. Since 2014, we have had a temporary center for implementing new property assessments in Denmark under the Ministry for Taxation. We have finalized a full new property assessment legislation in 2017 as well as a new taxation scheme starting in 2021. In 2018, we will go live with an entirely new custom built, cloud based, assessment system, assessing the property and lot values of almost 1.7 million Danish owner-occupied homes. As a prerequisite for increasing the quality of the assessments, we have improved the quality of the basic cadastral and building register, including geo-referencing of all Danish addresses. In addition to existing sources, we have built a large database with geographical data on all properties. For the assessment, we have built a supporting GIS-tool with integrated oblique and street-view images. The tool is expected to increased efficiency in the valuation process as well as provide a tool for identifying special properties i.e. in bad conditions as well as odd properties. The presentation will explain our setup and provide provisional findings and recommendations.

Lasse Skakkebæk Lindegaard is Head of Division for a team of 15 AVM-builders in the development program for a new property assessment system in Denmark. With a background from credit risk modelling and as a trained economist, he has spent more than three years developing and implementing a cloud based assessment system going live for owner occupied dwellings in the spring 2018. Lasse has a passion for applying new statistical methods and machine learning principles in a meaningful way.

4:15 - 4:45 p.m.  
Getting AVMs and Single Appraisals to Play Nice

Ingi Finnsson, Director of Valuations and Economics, Registers, Reykjavík, Iceland  

This presentation will demonstrate how automatic valuation models can contain factors that can be adjusted by a site visit or even by data supplied by the owner to improve the accuracy of the automatic valuation. These factors can be hand adjusted at first but then adjusted by the models once enough data exists to do so. Due to limited resources and a relatively large land area, Iceland appraises most properties annually using automatic valuation models (AVMs). If individual owners aren't happy, they can get a second opinion based on a site visit. Appraisers can meet most demands by adjusting factors in the AVM and thereby allowing the individual property to be automatically valued in the future. 

This presentation will go over a few valuation formulas for residential, commercial and holiday homes to demonstrate the methodology. The initial models had hand adjusted factors based on expert opinion and construction cost factors, later these factors can be estimated by the automatic valuation models themselves. Using both AVMs and single appraisals can be a cost-effective way to provide accurate property values that can be maintained. The presentation hopes to inspire others to stop thinking about AVMs and single appraisals as mutually exclusive solutions but rather as complimentary solutions to the same problem.

Ingi Finnsson is the Direct of Valuation and Economics for Registers Iceland a Government agency in charge of all property valuation for tax and fire insurance purposes in Iceland. Ingi has a Master’s degree in Industrial Engineering from the University of Iceland, he has worked for Registers Iceland for 9 years, first as a CAMA modeler but he has been involved at every step of the valuation value chain, from data collection to inspections to managing public relations and working with the legal framework. 

4:45 - 5:15 p.m.
Closing discussion and remarks lead by IAAO panel

International Research Symposium Partners