to roll back big downtown property assessment cuts
   The Pittsburgh Public Schools has gone to court to fight the huge property assessment reductions awarded to three downtown skyscrapers, including the U.S. Steel Tower, the city’s tallest building.
   The assessment on U.S. Steel Tower was slashed by $91.6 million for the 2023 tax year and by $81.2 million for 2022.
   District officials filed appeals with the board of viewers in Allegheny County Common Pleas Court to challenge the cuts approved by the county’s board of property assessment appeals and review. Read more
Democrats split on charging public or timber industry for Oregon’s wildfire protection
   Democratic lawmakers are split over whether a greater share of the hundreds of millions of dollars needed to protect the state from wildfires should come from all Oregon taxpayers or from the private property and business owners whose valuable assets receive state protection. Read more
Florida residents decry proposed sales tax hike to replace property tax
  A proposed hike on sales taxes in Florida in favor of eliminating property taxes has caused division among residents.
  Republican Rep. Ryan Chamberlin has put forward a bill that proposes eliminating property taxes in favor of establishing a new sales tax.
  The proposal requests a study be completed to evaluate the shortfall to the government if property tax were abolished and how the missing revenue would be made up for. Read more
Members ratify bylaw updates
   IAAO members overwhelmingly approved bylaws amendments during the recent special election that ended on Feb. 9. The IAAO Board of Directors requested the membership ratify additions to the IAAO bylaws that would allow the board to establish councils and affinity groups.
   The amendments passed with about 90% of the 1,307 votes in the election, which took place from Jan. 25 to Feb. 9. Bylaw changes must be approved by a majority of IAAO regular members casting ballots and at least 5% of regular members must vote in the election to constitute a quorum.
Imagery options focus of IAAO Feb. 21 webinar
   IAAO's February webinar, “Imagery Options Available for use in Desktop Appraisal Standard 3.3.5,” will focus on the latest technologies in aerial imagery, some uses of GIS for the assessor's office, street view imagery, artificial intelligence, and how these tools can be used together to increase the accuracy of an assessor’s cadastral maps.
   The webinar will review how using these tools can increase efficiencies and accuracy in desk review as outlined in the IAAO Standard on Mass Appraisal of Real Property, section 3.3.5 - Alternative to Periodic On-site Inspections.
   The webinar will touch on some historical information on how aerial imagery has progressed for assessors in the United States in the past 25 years and what the future holds for some emerging technology surrounding imagery and its current and future uses for assessors.
   The webinar, set for noon Central on Wednesday, Feb. 21, will be presented by Dan Lindgren and is eligible for 1.5 CEU hours. The cost is $55 for IAAO members and $77 for nonmembers. Register here
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, with the Leon County (Florida) 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 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.
Conference registration opens in April, hotel block now open for reservations
   Registration for the 2024 IAAO Annual Conference, Aug. 25-28 in Denver, is expected to open in April, and members planning on attending can reserve a hotel room now.
   The conference headquarters is the Hyatt Regency Denver at the Colorado Convention Center. The conference room rate is $239, and rooms are available to reserve at the IAAO conference rate. Reserve a room here. The cutoff to reserve a room is July 31.
   More than 60 sessions are expected to be offered at the conference. Session titles, times, and speakers will be available on the 2024 Conference Education Sessions page in the spring. Attendees should have the opportunity to earn 10 or more credit hours.
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-career 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 for 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.

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.
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.
GIS 101 for Assessors IAAO webinar is on March 6
   What does CAMA and GIS integration mean? Why is this important? What are the benefits? How do I do it? What are the options? What do I need to know? How do I get started? What are the trends in technology? What types of spatial analysis are available? What can I use my GIS for?
   If you're new to GIS and to integrating GIS and CAMA, this session will cover the basics of how to get full value of your GIS from integrating with your CAMA data to new analysis, visualization and sharing capabilities — all to improve and better defend values with technology you probably already have. The webinar, “GIS 101 for Assessors” is set for noon Central on Wednesday, March 6. It will be presented by Linda Foster and Lauren Voelker and is eligible for one CEU hour. The cost is $55 for IAAO members and $77 for nonmembers. Register here.
Mobile technology focus of Data Cloud’s March 20 webinar
   The demand for enhanced data collection tools and heightened data quality is becoming increasingly critical to all aspects of appraisal operations and Data Cloud Solutions, an IAAO Strategic Partner, will be reviewing it during a webinar, “Enhancing Every Facet of Your Appraisal Operation through Mobile Technology,” on Wednesday, March 20 at 1 pm (Eastern).
   A well-designed and fully integrated mobile solution not only increases productivity but greatly improves data quality resulting in more consistent and predictable values leading to fewer appeals.
   In this session, Daniel Anderson, Founder of DCS, will be leading a discussion on how mobile technology has improved not only productivity for field staff but also improved overall operational efficiency while lowering costs for hundreds of jurisdictions across North America.
   Topics will include optimized travel routing, instant photo association, sketching, GIS maps and integrations, workflow management, data validation and quality control, field location tracking, and reporting. Register here.
Hot topic: state law and ratio studies
   IAAO Connect members are discussing state legislatures, rising property values, and individual caps on the assessed value. Read more
Expanding hospital presents questions for the tax assessor
   For years, county officials and residents have been concerned about the lack of property taxes paid by Great Plains Health hospital, as the hospital continues to acquire more property around the city.
   Great Plains Health enjoys a tax-exempt status because they operate as a non-profit. The exemption removes a significant amount of tax revenues that support public schools as well as city and county governments.
   Nebraska state law classifies and exempts from taxation property that is owned and used exclusively for educational, religious, charitable, or cemetery purposes, when such property is not owned or used for financial gain or profit. Read more
After Maui wildfires, opposition grows against vacation rentals
   Proposed legislation in Hawaii would reshape the way short-term rentals are regulated and allow counties to phase them out completely over time.
   Currently, 5.5 percent or 30,000 of Hawaii’s 557,000 total housing units operate as short-term rentals, according to the University of Hawaii Economic Research Organization’s “Hawaii Housing Factbook,” published in June. Read more
No public access, so no tax break for $7.8 million island owned by religious group
   A religious group that owns an island in British Columbia, Canada, has lost its appeal of a decision denying a property-tax exemption on the island’s assessed value of $7.8 million.
   The Matsuri Foundation of Canada had sought the exemption from the Property Assessment Board for 12.5-hectare Knapp Island as a “place of public worship.”
   In the original decision last year, the board found the exemption did not apply because the foundation had not shown that the public was invited to or had access to the island, and that its primary use was therefore not public worship.
   The foundation had argued the exemption should be given “on fairness and equity grounds when compared to other similar properties in British Columbia, the judgment said. Read more

If you can buy a ‘mansion,’ you can pay a tax for affordable housing, these states say
   Washington state lawmakers last year dedicated a record $400 million to the state’s Housing Trust Fund, which distributes loans and grants to create affordable housing.
   But that was only a one-time infusion, said Democratic state Rep. April Berg.
   “What we heard from communities is that we need to know, year over year, that we can actually start doing projects and money will be flowing,” she said.
   To create a long-term revenue stream, Berg has proposed raising taxes on the most expensive real estate transactions, an increasing nationwide trend sometimes dubbed a “mansion tax.” Read more
Seattle property taxes rank in top 5 most expensive among big cities
   Everyone knows buying a home in Seattle is incredibly expensive. But keeping it isn’t cheap either.
   The tax burden for Seattle homeowners is among the highest for any large U.S. city. And along with home values, property taxes in Seattle have skyrocketed over the past decade.
   The median amount paid in property taxes by a homeowner in Seattle was more than $6,800 in 2022, according to the most recent census data. Among the 50 most populous U.S. cities, Seattle had the fifth highest median property tax bill. San Francisco was No. 1, at a little more than $9,000, followed by two other Bay Area cities, San Jose and Oakland. Austin, Texas, ranked fourth highest. Read more
Canton, Ohio
• Appraisal Analyst, Stark County Auditor See more
Brighton, Colorado
• Regression Analyst, Adams County Government See more
Fort Wayne, Indiana
• GIS Assessment Tech, Allen County Assessor's Office See more
• Senior Data Analyst, Allen County Assessor's Office See more
Titusville, Florida
• Sr. Director, Valuation Services, Brevard County Property Appraiser See more
• Director, Customer Service and Compliance, Brevard County Property Appraiser See more
Kissimmee, Florida
• Commercial Appraiser, Osceola County Property Appraiser See more
• Residential Field Appraiser, Osceola County Property Appraiser See more
Birmingham, Alabama
• Principal Real Property Appraiser, Jefferson County Commission See more
Marietta, Georgia
• Property Appraiser, Residential I, II, III, or IV, Cobb County Board of Tax Assessors See more
• Manager of Computer Assisted Mass Appraisal, Cook Assessor's Office See more
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