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When Dean Mike Smith asked me to join the UNC School of Government Foundation Board in 2014, I was honored to have the opportunity to work in support of an institution that has done so much for my home state of North Carolina. I also feel fortunate, however, to have had the opportunity to do this work alongside Mike.
In this post I will be answering some common questions regarding the Certified Local Government Budget Officers Program or CLGBO. To be clear this is what had been referred to as the CBEO (Certified Budget and Evaluation Officers) Program.
There are many certification programs involved with property tax. I suggest that every NC property tax student be familiar with which organizations provide certifications, credit hours, and the requirements of those organizations. A certification or designation is required by law for some positions. Two are required in the assessor’s office. If you are one of the 100 appointed county assessors in North Carolina or a county appraiser, you must be certified by the NC Department of Revenue. Becoming and being a certified assessor or appraiser includes requirements for initial certification (certifying education) and also follow-up requirements for continuing education. If you represent yourself as a real estate appraiser but do not fill one of the two positions above, NC law requires your certification to be through the NC Appraisal Board. All other certification programs for property tax are not legally required in NC law but may be required by your employer or by your association. Perhaps you’re not currently in a position that is required to be certified but your future could lead you in that direction. Regardless, I think you should maintain your course records for attendance and successful completion of property tax courses. I have recognized uncertainty in this area over the years and it seems to be more so in recent times. I hope this post is a way to help bring us back to certainty. Continue reading
To those who have already donated: on behalf of the faculty and staff at the School of Government, we thank you for being a part of GiveUNC. We are grateful for your support of both the School and the state of North Carolina.
For the entirety of its 90 years of existence, the School of Government’s mission has been focused on the people of North Carolina. Through our commitment to offering high-quality education, advising, and support to public officials across the state, we improve the lives of North Carolinians. We firmly believe this work is more critical than ever.
I have been having a great deal of conversations with folks across the state about what is going on with their sales taxes (and occupancy and food and beverage taxes). What has happened versus what was expected for FY21 and what they are thinking about for FY22 now that local governments are starting to begin their budget processes. I thought it might be useful to share some of the questions I have been getting and my answers to them and some of my broader thoughts about sales taxes and the pandemic, though it is no crystal ball. I am going to structure it like a q&a. I am not covering everything here and please reach out if there is more than I can help with.
- Q: Our sales taxes are recovering quickly, what are you seeing other places in the state?
- A: We are seeing that sales taxes have recovered more quickly than most people anticipated. That is great news, but I think a dose of caution should accompany it. First, we see a bump starting in in the June collections (so sales for the month of May) where it went from down 13.3% year-over-year to down 4% year-over-year and then by July (so June sales) it was up year-over-year by 10.75%. So that is all really promising, but we have to keep a few things in mind. 1) That is right when the state moved into Phase 2 and there may have been pent up demand. 2) That is when we have more generous unemployment benefits and federal stimulus, so people had more disposable income than they might otherwise have had. 3) Some people were deferring payments on rent and/or utilities, so they had less income than it looked like from their spending in that period. Also, that trend is not universal. Some areas are doing much better and others are having a slower recovery.
As governments are nearing the end of budget season in these uncertain times we want to make sure you all are aware of some of the resources available from the School of Government and our partners. There are many COVID-19 resources at the UNC SOG dedicated Microsite.
In this post, I wanted to share that the School of Government’s Knapp Library has a new collection for North Carolina’s assessment community. This is a short post because I anticipate most of the reading will occur as you explore the links in this post. In January, IAAO announced the availability of their new collection of informational books on assessment, Apendium.
Registration for the NCGFOA Certified Finance Officer Exams on January 24 and 25 opened today, Thursday, January 10. 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 FRIDAY, JANUARY 18, AT 5:00 P.M.
With North Carolina back in the sights of a hurricane, there is no better time to remember the idiom, “Hope for the best and prepare for the worst.”
After Matthew in 2016, Jimmy Tanner, Gaston County Tax Director, realized that the individuals in the tax office who are usually tasked with the damage assessment process have likely suffered property loss themselves and also may have family and friends in need. With that in mind, Jimmy used PTAX to offer staff from his office to help with the damage assessment process in impacted counties. Other counties followed by offering similar assistance.
With the bigger picture, the School of Government has an awesome leader in this area, Norma Houston. https://www.sog.unc.edu/resources/microsites/nc-emergency-management
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.