The challenges suburbs face in refilling office space
   Nearly one in five commercial offices were empty at the end of last year. It was the highest rate of office vacancy in more than 40 years, according to Moody’s Analytics — the culmination of a trend that was supercharged by the COVID-19 pandemic and a broad shift to remote work in many fields.
   The growing vacancy problem has been especially worrisome in urban downtowns, where whole economies have been built around the presence of daily commuters.
   But it’s also a concern in suburban areas, where office space tends to be more cloistered than it is in cities but can still generate a substantial portion of tax revenues. Read more
Property tax anger is growing across America
   Americans are growing increasingly frustrated at property tax levels, a new poll shows.
   According to a UChicago Harris/AP-NORC poll, around two thirds of Americans surveyed believe their property tax rate is too high.
   The survey found 69% of adults believe their property tax rates were “unfair,” with 27% saying they were “about right,” and 3% claiming they are taxed too little.
   Republicans are significantly more likely to say local property taxes are too high, with 77% of GOP supporters believing rates are much or a little too high, in comparison to 35% of Democrats. Read more
The frozen housing market may be starting to thaw
   The U.S. housing market has been largely frozen for the last two years, but it's starting to show signs of a thaw as sales activity and mortgage applications pick up, and mortgage rates ease.
   The National Association of Realtors reported last week that pending home sales climbed 8.3% in December from November, hitting 77.3.
   That marked the biggest increase since June 2020, a month that saw a 14.9% spike, and beat out consensus projections of a modest 2% growth. Read more
Feb. 20 WIN’ing Conversations call to review Microsoft Office tools
   Get ready to discuss time management tips and organizational tools during the next Women’s Initiative Network WIN’ing Conversations call at noon on Tuesday, Feb. 20.   
   Carmen Trammell, Leon County (Fla.) Property Appraiser's Office, will review Microsoft Office tools that can be used for organizing your office, time, and life. For example, Microsoft Outlook is not just used for scheduling meetings. Learn more about setting reminders and organizing emails.
   Additionally, Microsoft OneNote is a great tool for note taking and keeping all your important information in one place. With a little practice and knowledge, you can stay on top of your busy schedule and get more done in less time. The call is free. Sign up here.
Voting underway on ratifying bylaw updates
   Voting ends on Feb. 9 on a special election to ratify additions to the IAAO bylaws. The proposed bylaw amendments would allow the board to establish councils and affinity groups.
   The election takes place Jan. 25 - Feb. 9 and a copy of the ballot is available to view. Intelliscan, who has handled past IAAO elections, sent ballots and reminders to regular IAAO members.
   To ensure that you receive the email ballot, add Intelliscan's email address (IAAO@intelliscanvotes.com) to your safe senders list.
Esri Canada Feb. 28 webinar explores blockchain technology and the assessment industry
   Explore the transformative potential of blockchain technology to power the assessment industry and CAMA applications during a webinar by Assessment Analyst/Esri Canada, an IAAO Strategic Partner.
   By using blockchain, a transparent and secure property registry, enabling unique digital identities for each property with comprehensive ownership history and transaction data can be established.
   Ultimately, blockchain technology challenges traditional methods, promising increased transparency, efficiency, and inclusivity within the property assessment industry.
    The webinar, “Where can Blockchain Technology Fit in the Assessment Industry?,” will take place from noon to 1 p.m. Central on Wednesday, Feb. 28. Register here.
IAAO to offer all CAE courses online in 2024
   IAAO is setting up live online courses to allow students to complete the Certified Assessment Evaluator (CAE) designation education requirements in a year. Between live online classes and self-study options, students will have opportunities to take all classes required to earn the designation.
   The CAE requires courses 101, 102, 112, 311, 400 and workshops 151 and 171. Courses 101, 102, and Workshop 171 are available now as self-study courses, and dates for the other courses will be announced soon.
   Start the process now and get on the fast track to a CAE designation!

Feb. 2 deadline for topic proposals for virtual appraisal symposium
   The deadline to submit topic proposals for the 2024 Mass Appraisal Valuation Symposium is Feb. 2. The International Property Tax Institute and IAAO are presenting the virtual symposium on June 26-27 and are currently soliciting program topics. The theme of the virtual event is “Challenges and Opportunities.” Use the online application at www.iaao.org/mavspresent24 to submit the presenter information, topic, and a short synopsis of the proposed topic.
Early registration for GIS/Val Tech ends Feb. 12
   Early bird registration discounts for the 2024 GIS/Valuation Technologies Conference, April 8-11 in Charlotte, North Carolina, ends on Feb. 12. The conference, co-hosted by IAAO and URISA, is focused on using technology to improve the property tax assessment process.
   There are three program tracks with multiple sessions in each: GIS Technologies, Leadership, and Modeling & Valuation. Additional workshops have been set up this year and the optional pre- and post-conference workshops will provide deep dives into many important topics. See the GIS webpage for more information. Registration rates increase after Feb. 12.
Leap into the New Year with Launch Pad
   In the early stages of your assessing career? Launch Pad is the group for you.
   Join fellow early professionals in the field of assessing and find out how you can engage with IAAO and invest in your career.
   Launch Pad is hosting periodic Zoom meetings where we enable discussions on personal growth, career advancement, problem-solving, and getting the most out of IAAO membership. All IAAO members are encouraged to join Launch Pad and “leap” into the new year at the next meeting at 10 a.m. Central on Thursday, Feb. 29. Online registration is now open.
Hot topic: cell towers
   IAAO Connect members are discussing the valuation of cell towers and cell tower attachments. Read more
GOP plan would allow Arizona property owners to get a tax refund over ‘public nuisance’ complaints
   Republican lawmakers want to give Arizonans the chance to recoup some of their property tax payments if cities refuse to enforce laws related to homelessness and panhandling.
   The proposal from Senate President Warren Petersen (R-Gilbert) and the conservative Goldwater Institute would allow property owners to request a refund if cities or counties fail to address public nuisances like illegal camping and panhandling. Read more
Colorado bill would increase property taxes on short-term rentals by four times the value
   The bill would assess how many days a rental would be used, and try to base tax rates around that meter. From the bill’s current language "If, during the previous property tax year, a short-term rental unit was leased for short-term stays for more than 90 days, then it is classified as lodging property.
   Otherwise, it is classified as residential real property. That's where a lot of the fuss is now coming from. Read more

Wisconsin farmland is supposed to be taxed on its use. A new report shows that’s only part of the assessment.
   Like most states, Wisconsin treats farmland differently when it comes to property taxes. State law says that agricultural land is assessed “according to the income that could be generated from its rental for agricultural use.”
   But a new report from the Wisconsin Policy Forum found the way farmers’ property tax bills are assessed is lower than if they were based on income alone. Read more
Appraisal Foundation seeking candidates for Board of Trustees
   The Appraisal Foundation is seeking candidates to fill three public interest positions on its Board of Trustees. One term is a three-year term, and two terms are four years. All terms begin on January 1, 2025.
   The Trustee Nominating Committee has highlighted a need for representation from the following groups: Business Valuer, Fair Housing Advocate, International Valuer, Personal Property Appraiser, and Residential Real Property Appraiser.
     The Board of Trustees provides financial support and oversight to the Foundation's two independent boards, the Appraiser Qualifications Board and the Appraisal Standards Board.
   The board meets twice a year, and, while trustees are reimbursed for travel expenses, they are not compensated for their time.
   Completed applications for Board vacancies must be received by March 1. Contact Board and Councils Program Manager Arika Cole at 202-624-3072 or via email at arika@appraisalfoundation.org with any questions about the application process.

Realtor associations deluged with ‘copycat’ commission lawsuits
   Realtors are being deluged with class-action lawsuits threatening to upend the traditional real estate compensation system, with 16 “copycat” cases filed in the wake of a mammoth $1.78 billion verdict handed down in Kansas City, Missouri, last October against top industry groups. Read more
Marietta, Georgia
• Property Appraiser, Residential I, II, III, or IV, Cobb County Board of Tax Assessors See more
Titusville, Florida
• Director, Customer Service and Compliance, Brevard County Property Appraiser's Office See more
• Sr. Director, Valuation Services, Brevard County Property Appraiser's Office See more
• Manager of Computer Assisted Mass Appraisal, Cook County Assessor's Office See more
Paola, Kansas
• Field Appraiser III, Miami County See more
Kissimmee, Florida
• Commercial Appraiser, Osceola County Property Appraiser's Office See more
• Residential Field Appraiser, Osceola County Property Appraiser's Office See more
Wasilla, Alaska
• Appraiser Supervisor, Matanuska-Susitna Borough See more
International Association
of Assessing Officers
314 West 10th Street
Kansas City, Missouri 64105
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Keith Robison
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