property assessment: First Law of Internet Research: Go to the Most Reliable Source - 02/05/11 04:08 AM
Why Local Property Assessors are Your Most Reliable Source for Tax Assessment Concerns
When you have a question about your property assessment, go directly to the source: your local assessor.  In visiting the advice or community discussion forums on many real estate information websites (ActiveRain, Trulia, Zillow, etc.), I am often amazed that property owners first pose their questions about assessments to real estate experts and not go directly to the local assessor.  Don't get me wrong, I love real estate professionals, but they are not necessarily experts on property assessments.  (My sincere apologizes to those who are.)  And … (2 comments)

property assessment: Another Way to Own Your Zip Code - 02/04/11 02:55 AM

In an earlier posting I encouraged real estate agents, brokers, and other real estate experts to follow Seth Godin's advice that you must "own your zip code" by "hyperspecializing" or through "micro-specialization."
My earlier posting suggested that one way of owning your zip code is to you get a basic understanding of how property assessments and taxes work in your area and use it to help your clients.  This post goes further to say when and what you show focus on.
WHENProperty assessors throughout the United States and Canada will typically be sending out notices of assessment during the period … (2 comments)

property assessment: The Hyperspecialization Topic That Started in 600 B.C. Use It Today - 01/28/11 01:50 AM

One Way of Owning Your Zip Code
WHYSeth Godin, the man Business Week called "the Ultimate Entrepreneur of the Information Age" has authored several blog postings about real estate agents, basically saying that in order to survive in today's environment you must "own your zip code" by "hyperspecializing" or through "micro-specialization."  While I can't claim to be nearly as smart as Mr. Godin, one way that you could own your zip code is to become informed of the real estate assessment and tax process in your community.
Every property owner in your zip code will generally get three notices from … (0 comments)

property assessment: Hoping for a Tax Assessment Reduction in 2011? - 01/07/11 04:52 AM

City Assessor Advises Commercial and Industrial Property Owners to Take Action
If you only have time to do one thing in the next week, file an income and expense statement with your local real estate assessing office informing them of the current ability for you to lease your commercial or industrial property in today's market.  Even if you own and occupy your property you should be current with asking rents, rental concessions, vacancy rates, tenant fit-up expenses and operating expenses for similar properties.  Call your local assessor and find out how you can provide his or her office with income … (4 comments)

property assessment: Most Active Blog Postings of 2010 - 01/02/11 04:07 AM

Did You See Theses?
We are recapping some of our most active blog postings during 2010 for those who may have missed them when they were first published.  Thanks to everyone who commented.  Your participation and feedback is always appreciated.  Please let us know of topics of interest for 2011.
How First Time Home Buyers Can Learn More About Property Taxes
Top 12 Must Follow Real Estate Industry People on Twitter
Why Assessed Values Don't (and aren't supposed to) Correspond to Appraised Values, Listed Prices, and Sales Prices
Who Would You Like to Thank for Getting You Started in Your … (0 comments)

property assessment: Can These Tax Incentives Help Your Clients? - 12/30/10 04:33 AM

Residential and Commercial Property Tax Exemptions or Incentives in Your State
Do your clients or potential clients qualify for tax incentives for renewable energy and energy efficiency in your state?  Individual properties, or improvements like solar or renewable energy could qualify for tax exemption, deduction, or other available incentives.
The end of the tax year conjures up notions of tax exemptions, deductions, and incentives.  Hopefully property owners knew many of these when the tax year started or discovered them before they made purchase decisions.  However, state legislatures are actively adopting legislation that could affect the amount of taxes paid each year.
The … (2 comments)

property assessment: Help Small Business Owners Monitor and Comply with Taxes - 12/27/10 07:32 AM

Make Tax Compliance as Simple as Possible
When starting a small business your first thoughts will be making a profit and staying in business.  But even before starting a small business your thoughts need to focus on what tax liabilities you and your business will have and how you will comply.  This topic fits into the boring but important category.
The U.S. Small Business Administration's (SBA) 20 Questions Before Starting a Business includes the question "What do I need to do to ensure I pay my taxes correctly?"
I advise small business owners and their asset managers, property managers, and … (0 comments)

property assessment: New White Paper Lists More Than 80 Property Assessment Organizations - 12/22/10 08:06 AM

Local Government Services International has just released a new white paper entitled "Selected Internet Websites for Property Assessment Organizations in the United States and Canada."  The websites were collected over the last four years as part of other research but has now been compiled into a 12 page document that includes about 87 websites of interest to appraisers, assessors, real estate attorneys, tax officials, and others interested in property tax administration and policy.
If you would like more information about this white paper that was released on December 20, contact me through my ActiveRain profile.  Other white papers released during … (2 comments)

property assessment: Do Not Pay for Property Assessment Information You Can Get for Free - 12/20/10 08:28 AM
Information is Key
Several times each day appraisers, assessors, attorneys, bankers, real estate brokers and sales agents, and settlement agents search the Internet to find real estate assessment information.  While an Internet search will reveal many services willing to provide real estate assessment information for a subscription fee, most people can get more up-to-date information from their local assessor for free.  Unless your business is multi-regional covering several assessment jurisdictions, try the local assessors' site first.  Most real estate information reporting services collect their data from local assessors once or twice a year, which means assessment changes or corrections are … (2 comments)

property assessment: How the Current Market May Affect Real Estate Assessments - 11/23/10 04:10 AM

Valuable Insight Into How Assessors Consider Prevailing Market Conditions
A number of concerned taxpayers are contacting local assessors asking how the current real estate market will affect property assessments for the upcoming 2011 assessment year.  While each real estate market is local in nature, there are a few basic principles that assessors take into consideration before revising assessments (up or down).  Many people have questioned why the 2010 assessed values are so high when current real estate market conditions have declined.  The following information will give you valuable insight into how property assessors may consider market conditions during 2010 in … (0 comments)

property assessment: How to Request the Correction of an Erroneous Assessment - 11/04/10 04:02 AM

Are You Missing an Opportunity to Lower Your Property Assessment?
Type of ChallengesThere are valuation disputes with your local assessor and there are corrections to erroneous assessments.  The first, valuation disputes, are common when property owners disagree with the value estimated by the assessor that is then used to determine how much you will pay in real estate taxes.  Typically valuation disputes can only be challenged at specific times of year after a reassessment.
What is an Erroneous Assessment?The second, corrections to erroneous assessments, are factual errors that are the result of being able to verify the correct size, location, … (4 comments)

property assessment: What Every Real Estate Agent Should Know About Real Estate Assessments - 10/29/10 02:22 AM
Think you are up to speed on real estate assessments and taxes enough to give advice to clients?  Check out this list of items you should know prepared by a professional property assessor with more than 25 years experience.

property assessment: Plan to Attend the 31st IAAO Annual Legal Seminar - 10/25/10 04:09 AM

On December 9 and 10 the International Association of Assessing Officers (IAAO) will present the 31st Annual Legal Seminar in Chicago, Illinois.  The Legal Seminar offers the unique perspective of members who are primarily involved in legal issues.  The seminar presents substantive and procedural developments in laws that affect assessments and valuation. Sessions include: Case Law Updates, Selecting Expert Witnesses, Cross Examination, Redirect Examination, Low Income Housing Tax Credit Projects, Complex Industrial Properties, Valuation of Billboards, Insights on Ethical Dilemmas and variety of other topics.
Early bird registration closes November 17th.  IAAO professional designees will earn 12.25 hours of recertification … (0 comments)

property assessment: Are You Really Listening to Your Customers? - 10/06/10 09:37 AM

Could Your Public Relations Use a Facelift?
"A satisfied customer is the best business strategy of all."  Michael LeBoeuf
As a real estate professional your website content is probably more relevant than your local assessor's.  But just what should the assessors be concerned with in today's market and how best should they communicate with their customers?  In these fiscally tight times we could sure use your suggestions and insight.
Click here to see what one assessor is recommending as a public relations facelift to other assessors.  Suggestions include monitoring customer comments and disclosing how foreclosures are considered in the assess,ment process, … (0 comments)

property assessment: Renting Your Home Could Affect the Real Estate Taxes You Pay - 10/04/10 03:53 AM

Know the Facts Before You Decide to Rent Your Home
More and more people frustrated by the real estate market are choosing to rent their homes instead of selling at today's low prices.  This may be your situation, especially if you have relocated for job reasons or you have a second home.
Many people faced with this dilemma ask "If I rent my home will this affect the real estate taxes I pay?"  Unfortunately the answer doesn't have a straightforward yes or no answer.  It depends on the state you live in and the local property assessment and tax ordinances … (2 comments)

property assessment: Recommended Website of the Week: Tax Policy Center - 09/30/10 05:53 AM

Valuable Resources for Policymakers and Tax Professionals
An occasional series that recommends useful websites to our readers as discovered by Property Assessment blog authors or suggested by readers.
Tax Policy Center
Property assessors and administrators of the property tax, including those who oversee these functions, are often called upon to review, analyze, recommend, or respond to tax policy.  It is the very environment in which we all do our jobs.  The Internet is a great resource for discovering what may already have been analyzed or researched on a particular subject, but it's important to know where to go in … (2 comments)

property assessment: Contact Information for Assessment Offices - 09/27/10 05:14 AM

How is Northern Virginia Really Defined?
Depending upon your source, Northern Virginia can be defined in many ways.  Wikipedia states that Northern Virginia is "more of a functional name than a rigidly defined area."  The definition seems to change whether it is being defined for statistical reasons (U.S. Census Bureau or Office of Management and Budget for example) or by non-governmental organizations, business organizations, etc.
Since July 2008 I have published a contact list for real estate assessors located in Northern Virginia.  Knowing that many real estate professionals and those in related fields access assessment information on almost a daily … (2 comments)

property assessment: Real Estate Assessments and Taxes: What to Expect in 2011 - 09/13/10 03:28 AM

Knowing What Assessors Consider Gives Glimpse of Things to Come
The following article discusses real estate assessments and taxes in a specific scenario in the United States that may not represent the assessment and tax situation in your community.  Real estate assessments and taxes vary from state to state and even by location within a state.  Check with your local real estate assessor and taxing districts about how your specific situation may differ.
I received an e-mail last week from a woman concerned about how real estate taxes for her home might change in 2011.  While I couldn't give her … (1 comments)

property assessment: 76th International Conference of the IAAO a Winner - 09/07/10 05:09 AM

Building Strong Communities Locally and Reaching Out Internationally
Ever attend a conference that has great sounding educational sessions and training opportunities and afterwards you felt like the sponsor didn't deliver on their promises?  I have and I'm guessing many of you have too.  Fortunately I just returned from a great 3-day conference sponsored by the International Association of Assessing Officers (IAAO) where everything progressed like a finely-tuned clock and the educational sessions were exceptional.  My test of a successful conference is coming home having learned several important things that I can put into practice in my job right way.
The … (2 comments)

property assessment: A Peek Behind the Curtain: Office of the Property Assessor (Part 2) - 08/30/10 09:47 AM

Local Resources Just a Click or Call Away
Ever wondered what resources are available at City Hall?  Here's your chance to take a tour of the local real estate assessor's office with a focus on resources available to businesses, home owners, and professionals who work in the field of real estate (i.e., appraisers, lenders, real estate agents, real estate brokers, surveyors, title insurers, etc.).
Part 1 of this series described the basic assessment records available in the typical real estate assessor's office.  Part 2 continues our investigation by outlining various reports and specialty information that many assessors may have available.

Richard L. Sanderson, helping improve local property tax systems (Richard L. Sanderson Consulting)

Richard L. Sanderson

helping improve local property tax systems

Kalama, WA

More about me…

Richard L. Sanderson Consulting

Address: 264 Simmons Rd, Kalama, WA, 98625

Office: 971-707-9607

We love working with corporate asset managers, public policy directors for membership organizations, project managers for think tanks, and academics researching property tax policy.



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