Registration for the NCGFOA Certified Finance Officer Exams on October 25 and 26 will opened today, Wednesday, October 17 at 8:00 a.m. The following links are for instructions on the registration process and for the registration links page directly. Please note that the School of Government has a new registration system and you may be required to create an account if you have not recently. All of this information is in the instructions page.
REGISTRATION WILL BE AVAILABLE UNTIL MONDAY, OCTOBER 22, AT NOON.
Once registration has closed, complete information regarding instructions for access, technical support and parameters of the exams themselves will be provided no later than Wednesday, October 24.
EXAM ACCESS WILL BE FROM 8:00 A.M. – 3:00 P.M. EACH DAY THE EXAMS ARE BEING OFFERED. TECHNICAL SUPPORT, IF NEEDED, WILL ONLY BE AVAILABLE FROM 8:00 A.M – 5:00 P.M. ON THE EXAM DAYS. EACH EXAM IS 2 HOURS MAXIMUM IN LENGTH AND WILL CLOSE AT THE END OF TWO HOURS IF NOT ALREADY COMPLETED AND SUBMITTED. ONCE AN EXAM OPENS, A TIMER BEGINS AND CANNOT BE PAUSED AND REVISITED AT A LATER TIME. ALL OF THESE INSTRUCTIONS WILL BE PROVIDED WHEN YOUR ACCESS CREDENTIALS ARE PROVIDED TO YOU NEXT WEEK.
Exam Registration Links
IF YOU ARE UNABLE TO AUTOMATICALLY LINK, COPY AND PASTE THE ACTUAL URL INTO YOUR BROWSER. PLEASE CONTACT THE SCHOOL OF GOVERNMENT REGISTRAR IF ANY OTHER ISSUES ARISE WITH ACCESSING THE INFORMATION.
Introduction by Kirk Boone
Maybe the assessment stars were aligned two weeks ago when PTEP held IAAO 300, Fundamentals of Mass Appraisal, in Rocky Mount, NC.
- On August 20, the first day of class, WRAL, our local NBC affiliate, published an article about leading edge statistics software used to support Wake County mass appraisal. Marcus Kinrade, AAS, Wake County Revenue Director, shared the following article with me.
- WRAL is a pioneer in technology. In 1996, WRAL provided the first public high definition television broadcast in the United States. In 2016, they became the first US station to broadcast a full time service using standards for 4K ultra HD content.
- SAS Institute, the company providing the statistical technology, is leading-edge. The world’s largest privately held software company, right here in Wake County, is used by Google as a model for some of their own workplace development.
- Mr. Kinrade was attending IAAO 300 that week. The course introduces statistical techniques used in mass appraisal. Although IAAO 300 topics such as clustering and regression analysis have been in use for hundreds of years, it is the same mathematics combined with today’s technology and local government leadership that allow for what you’re about to read. This is an impressive collaboration between a leading-edge company and a leading-edge county.
Designations Earned towards the Virginia Cup – 4
It wasn’t always called the NC Candidates’ Club. There was no need to designate it as the “NC” club because we were the only such club in the nation. The club started in 1984 at what was then called the “Institute of Government”, so it was first named the Institute of Government’s Candidates’ Club. Just one year earlier, a young appraiser who started his career in Tennessee began lecturing at UNC’s Institute of Government. His name was Joe Hunt and is now known by many as one who advanced the science and art of property tax assessment in North Carolina.
Joe Hunt, CAE
How might a citizen advisory committee aid in the reappraisal process? In the SOG publication, “Creating and Maintaining Effective Local Government Citizen Advisory Committees, Upshaw, 2010″, here is the introductory reason to have CACs:
When communities face complex issues affecting large, diverse groups, citizen engagement leads to people being better informed, better able to collaborate with others, and more active in addressing issues that affect them. By sharing responsibility, local officials increase opportunities for citizens to contribute to the common good.
A question was asked earlier this week about a company’s records that do not agree with previous listings. I think an important question to ask in these situations is whether either resource (the records or the listing) match what really exists. This brings up a few good business personal property topics to review. Do you believe in Ghosts? Don’t be scared. Continue reading
|…on a south branch of White Oak on the south south side as follows. Beginning at a pine thence So67W 140 poles to a branch to three pines thence So7Et 120 poles to a post…to the beginning Containing 100 acres more or less.
A county mapper recently contacted me with a question and not surprisingly I had to learn the answer myself to provide an answer. I am not a mapper nor have I had the opportunity to work closely with mappers, so if you can add to this discussion, please do so below through “Leave a Reply”. While searching for the answer, some documents were revealed that I think will be helpful to others.
The issue involved a county that assesses land based on deeded acres, which may include road right of way. The question was whether there is guidance to help establish a county policy identifying assessment best practice regarding situations where deeded acreage may include road right of way or when deeded acreage varies from calculated acreage. The answer is, yes.
KISS is only one acronym or abbreviation for the minimalist approach I’m referring to in this post. Another popular way to put it is “less is more”. Maybe my favorite is “simplicity is the ultimate sophistication”.
Try this online exercise. Go to Chapter 105 of the North Carolina General Statutes. Here’s a link. Once there, most browsers will allow a search feature. A common way to search in many software applications is to press the <Ctrl> key +F. Now search all of Chapter 105 for “tax administrator”. It doesn’t exist. But there are lots of tax administrators in North Carolina, right? Now search all of Chapter 105 for “tax supervisor”. The tax supervisor is referenced 9 times in the Machinery Act. And if you read the context of those references, there are a few important roles involved there. How many counties have a tax supervisor to fulfill these roles?
Although there are no deaths to avenge in this story, it can be a tragedy to lower a business personal assessment when it is not warranted. Reducing a value, is a de facto exemption. It is an expense to the county. Accounts (parcels) with the highest value in local governments are quite often business personal property accounts. When a BPP assessment is reduced without proper reason, it can create de facto classifications. This means your largest taxpayers could be assessed at a lower assessment ratio than the smallest residential taxpayers. That doesn’t sit well with me. There are certainly many variables to consider when faced with a request to lower an assessed value. Read on for this 5 act, I mean 5 question, blog post.
In a previous post, I mentioned objective and subjective data along with the NCDOR’s new reappraisal standards. That information will be helpful when reading this post. The new reappraisal standards have been in development for over two years and have involved committees with members from the NCDOR, UNC School of Government, and NCAAO. In August, the NCDOR emailed a draft of those standards to all assessors for review and comment. Some comments from local tax officials have been related to the need for additional staff in order to meet the new standards. Chapter 5 of Assessment Administration. Chicago, IL: IAAO, 2003 is a well written chapter detailing the management tasks needed for an assessment office to meet requirements and goals. This post focuses on how planning well includes an effective justification of the assessor’s need for staff and resources. Understand first that we all engage in planning almost every day. It’s either done formally or informally. So if we’re going to plan anyway, we should plan well and be exposed to the best practices. Regarding planning, Albert Einstein is rumored to have said, “If I had 20 days to solve a problem, I would take 19 days to define it.” Our objective in this post is really to turn staff and resource concerns into math problems, without requiring Albert Einstein’s help for the solution.
These new reappraisal standards, if followed, will alter your goals and plan objectives. For example, checking and updating property characteristics data at a designated level of accuracy is an example of a plan objective tied to the goal of meeting the NCDOR reappraisal standards. That objective requires specific activities. Activities require people and resources. We hope all local tax officials desire to do quality appraisal and reappraisal work for the public they serve. Our taxpayers deserve competency, fairness, and equity. No doubt, high standards are needed and the NCDOR should be applauded for issuing them. NCGS 105-273(10a) defines a local tax official as including a member of a county board of commissioners. And while all local tax officials most likely desire to do a good job and meet standards, raising standards undoubtedly can require more staff or other resources, which in turn requires adequate funding.
“[T]he budget becomes an expression of public policy in terms of the resources a government is willing to allocate for equitable property taxation. The budget is also a reflection of how much political support exists for accurate and equitable assessments. Legal and administrative responsibilities cannot be met if resources are inadequate.” Assessment Administration, 119.