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The reassessments as performed in the most recent 2002 reassessment are now obsolete. With changes in the law making Indiana's true tax value system relative to market value, we can not continue to look at property values every four, six or ten years. Values need to be reviewed on an annual basis. Ad Valorem Solutions specializes in customizing a contract for each individual county to include all the services needed in said county as well as setting up and implementing a schedule for the annual review of properties. The owners of Ad Valorem Solutions have a combined 40+ years experience in physically doing data collection and will supply qualified individuals to accomplish all your assessing needs. The benefits of cyclical reassessments are numerous. The models we have put together will show you the money that can be saved and the integrity brought to the assessments.
Ad Valorem Solutions is one of the few reassessment vendors that offer free telephone consultations. If you have a question or need a quick answer, give us a call. We also offer prearranged on site consulting for a per day fee. Be sure and ask about our 'Solutions Plan' that guarantees in case of an emergency that a qualified individual from Ad Valorem Solutions will be in your county between 4 and 48 hours after your request
Since 2006 all Indiana counties are required to use market data to perform annual adjustments. The use of sales and income analysis assists in establishing market value in use for all classes of properties. We pull the information needed from your database - do not require you to enter the information into Excel. New trending factors for land as well as improvements are established and updated for each assessment year. The documentation and evidence of establishing those trending factors are given to you in easy to understand reports to assist with appeals.
Annual Maintenance has always been an important part of updating the parcel data base. Ad Valorem Solutions has an advantage over the other vendors in that the owners have a combined 40+ years experience in physically doing the work. The majority of the vendors today are lead by individuals with little or no actual field experience. Building permits for new construction and additions along with demolition permits need to be combined with the property record card and reviewed in the field. Equalization is best kept throughout the county by having one or two individuals work the maintenance in the county rather than eight to fourteen separate assessors. Ad Valorem Solutions in no way feels that the Township Assessors/Trustees could not do the work, but in order to keep equalization between townships and throughout the county the work should be performed by a few qualified individuals. These individuals would know the computer system and codes; would know the guidelines and bulletins; and would know the aggregate market data because of the Sales Validation program.
The validation of sales disclosures is imperative in ascertaining accurate and defendable values. Indiana has been collecting sales information since 1994 which has only been public record since 1999. This data needs to be validated before used in establishing the true tax values. Ad Valorem Solutions offers a service of validating the information on the sales disclosure as well as validating the information on the property record card for the day of sale. If the information on the property record card was not correct on the day of sale then you may receive false data in your Sales Ratio Study.
Ad Valorem Solutions offers their services from the actual taking of the pictures to attaching the photographs to a database. The CAMA systems used in the assessor's offices today allow for digital photographs to be attached to the parcel data base. This allows the assessor the ability to make visualization available without a trip to the field. Many counties are implementing a GIS system and taking their data to the internet. Photography is a much needed aspect of the assessment process if you wish the public to review their data via the internet.
Neighborhood Delineation has become a very important aspect of assessing property in Indiana. In the past, many considered neighborhoods to simply be the name of the sub-division. An assessor must consider a neighborhood as a homogeneous area that has homes of like age and characteristics as well as other factors. They must look at the school district, the proximity to shopping, and the sale prices of properties. A neighborhood can be as small as a sub-division when looking at residential properties, as large as a township when looking at rural properties, or even as large as a region when looking at commercial or industrial properties. Ad Valorem Solutions understands the importance of neighborhoods and their delineations.
Each county has three choices as to the process in which to get to market value, but most counties are using guidelines based on cost minus depreciation provided by the State. Instead of setting values at the same time as completing the reassessment, the State also requires the land values to be set by a land commission years before the reassessment is completed. There is a need for neighborhood factors because of these circumstances. Neighborhood factors are established by comparing the True Tax Value of a property to its sale price. Neighborhood factors are the key factor in equalizing values among neighborhoods.
Sales Ratio Study
The State of Indiana requires that sales ratio studies be performed on all classes of property to insure that properties are valued at a comparable median level. This study should be performed and sent to the Department of Local Government Finance for approval. Starting in 2005 the law requires this study be done on an annual basis and that factors be applied to properties outside of the acceptable range. The majority of the vendors doing sales ratio studies have the assessor's office doing most of their work. Ad Valorem Solutions will perform the Sales Ratio Study utilizing your sales data base and CAMA system without creating extra work for you or requiring the purchase of additional software.
An important part of all assessments is the land value. In the State of Indiana the legislature has switched back and forth between this being the responsibility of the Township Assessors or a County Assessor appointed land commission. Ad Valorem Solutions has experience in setting the land values in both of these settings. Ad Valorem Solutions will establish the land values in conjunction with the Neighborhood Delineation. The values can then be presented to Property tax Assessment Board of Appeals (PTABOA). This will again promote equalization, because one company is setting all of the values in the county and then presenting them to whatever governing body the state legislature should dictate.
Ad Valorem Solutions understands the importance of PR (public relations). Sometimes the biggest battle is just explaining and informing. The owners of Ad Valorem Solutions have made successful presentations to homeowners associations, realty groups, councils and commissioners, town meetings, county fairs, and even rotary clubs. We have been guests on radio broadcasts, provided interviews for newspapers, and written many press releases. We are happy to help you inform the public in any way necessary.
Training for the PTABOA is invaluable. One of the owners of Ad Valorem Solutions was the hearing officer for the Board of Review (now referred to as the PTABOA) for several years in Hamilton County. Ad Valorem Solutions will assist in all of the following:
- set up guidelines
- set up system to notify taxpayers
- assist in identifying what types of questions to ask
- instruct and/or assist commissioners and council members in locating individuals to appoint as PTABOA members
Defense of Values
Defense of values is as important as setting the values. Ad Valorem Solutions is well respected at the hearing table. Whether it be informal or formal hearings Ad Valorem Solutions will protect the values you have worked so hard to establish. The days of telling the tax payer 'your value came from this state manual' have passed. The values are based on so much more than the state manual. Ad Valorem Solutions will assist in defense of values even if they did not do the original field work. Ad Valorem Solutions is the answer to the taxpayers paid experts.
[Ad Valorem Solutions only represents Assessors in the state of Indiana. We feel it is unacceptable as well as a conflict of interest for a vendor who represents the Assessors to represent taxpayers in the State of Indiana as well.]
Data Entry and Entry Consultations
Currently in the State of Indiana there are two CAMA (Computer Assisted Mass Appraisal) systems that are used by most of the assessors. Ad Valorem Solutions has experience with these systems and offers services to run reports, complete the data entry of Annual Maintenance, set up tables in the systems, and train employees on the systems. We do not supply the systems, but rather give training that comes from the assessment side rather than the technical computer programming side. Ad Valorem Solutions has made suggestions to many of the computer vendors on how to improve their system or make it easier to use. We do not believe that the state needs one system designed or dictated by the DLGF, however, we do believe the standards established by the DLGF should be precise, critiqued, and enforced. A CAMA system should be certified on what it has the ability to do, NOT what it has the potential to do.
With the new valuation system reports are helpful and often times required to ensure equalization of values throughout the county. These reports can be as simple as searching for a certain criteria such as number of three bedroom houses to reports as important as the Sales Ratio Study. Ad Valorem Solutions offers services to write these reports using your current data base. Ad Valorem Solutions goal is to assist the Assessor in any manor necessary. If for some reason we are not able to write the report, we will write up the specifications required by many computer vendors in order for them to write the report.
Annually Assessed Mobile Homes
We have had some counties contact Ad Valorem Solutions to assist the township assessors in collecting and pricing annually assessed mobile homes. This is one more service that we can offer to the counties to ensure uniformity throughout the county. In performing Annual Maintenance we find numerous mobile homes that should be picked up as annually assessed mobile homes or annually assessed mobile homes that should be on real estate. We even find mobile homes that are double assessed. In the case that the assessors/trustees want to do the work themselves, to promote county wide equalization, it is a good investment to have Ad Valorem Solutions train and supervise the collection of annually assessed mobile homes for one or two years to get a good system set up for the assessors/ trustees to follow.
Work Flow Analysis
The work flow is very important in any industry. Many assessors have had appeals from tax reps asking for obsolescence because of poor work flow. Ad Valorem Solutions has found that most problems caused by poor work flow are curable. DO NOT WASTE MONEY on outside business consulting firms. These people do not know what you do. Most of their time is spent trying to understand what each person does, the duties of each office, and what functions each office has. We at Ad Valorem Solutions already know what functions each office is supposed to do and what duties are required. Ad Valorem Solutions takes pride in their ability to work with other offices in the courthouse as well as the commissioners and council members throughout the reassessment process and even everyday duties of the assessor's office. We can generally find duplicated duties, duties that can and should be shared by more than one office, additional duties for one or more offices that have been neglected and caused a breakdown in the system, and we can always clear up misunderstandings that have existed for far too long. It is a great investment even if we are only hired to improve the work flow in the assessor's office.
Ad Valorem Solutions specializes in creating instructional and or procedural manuals for the assessor's office. We will create a manual based on your needs and desires combined with a working knowledge of the industry. A few examples would be a Data Collectors Manual, PTABOA Members Manual, Data Entry Manual, (Your County) New Construction Manual, or even Sales Validation Procedural Manual. For this next reassessment you may decide not to follow the guidelines and create your own reassessing system for your county. You tell us what you need and we will work with you in creating tools that will promote county wide equitability and help you send all the documentation through the DLGF for approval. Whatever you need we will provide.