Property Assessment Workgroup Holds Second Meeting

The State Department of Assessments and Taxation Property Assessment Workgroup held its second meeting on July 28 to hear from vendors offering photo imagery and auditing services. Photo imagery would assist with real property assessments, while the auditing services would focus on the reporting and assessment of business personal property. The group also briefly discussed data being gathered for the next meeting and subcommittee assignments.

The workgroup, which is required by SB 172, the Budget Reconciliation and Financing Act of 2014, will look specifically at the following issues:

  1. Whether a physical exterior inspection of each property is necessary to properly assess real property for tax purposes;
  2. The Department’s ability to timely and adequately maintain changes in property status that may occur throughout the year and incorporate new properties in the system of accounts;
  3. The extent of discrepancies in the calculation of certain tax credits and exemptions and approaches for improving accuracy; and
  4. The feasibility of, and any legal impediments to, contracting with a third-party vendor to perform periodic audits of the property tax credit and exemption programs for which the Department calculates the credit or exemption or of other functions for which an external evaluation may provide greater accuracy.

To carry out its work, the workgroup plans to break into four subcommittees, one for each issue area. The full workgroup will meet again towards the end of August to review data and then the subcommittees will begin their work.

MACo’s representatives include:

  • Joseph Beach, Director of Finance, Montgomery County
  • Jason Bennett, Director of Finance, Allegany County
  • Kathryn Hewitt, Treasurer, Harford County
  • Linda Watts, Assistant Director Finance, Office of Business Management and Customer Service, Howard County

The Workgroup is to submit a report of findings and recommendations to the Governor and General Assembly by December 15, 2014.

Prior coverage of the Workgroup can be found on Conduit Street.