Representatives from MACo and MML testified during the State Department of Assessments and Taxation (SDAT) budget hearing before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Public Safety and Administration this week to urge the Subcommittee to support the creation of a State and Local Advisory Council and the performance of a business process analysis of the Department. These actions were recommended by the 2014 Property Assessment Workgroup (AWG) established through the Budget Reconciliation and Financing Act of 2014 (SB 172) to examine issues related to the assessment process for real and personal property, tax credits, and tax exemptions.
From the joint MACo and MML statement:
Local governments and SDAT have a very unique relationship for property assessment purposes. Local governments rely on SDAT for accurate and timely property assessment information to process and send tax billings, and properly calculate tax credits. SDAT relies on local governments for information concerning building permits, property change of use information, property owner address changes and other information to accurately make adjustments to the tax rolls. This relationship emphasizes why the AWG and its recommendations are so important to ensuring a fair, equitable, and uniform system of property assessments for all taxpayers.
Local governments believe the Advisory Council would improve communication amongst state and local partners and provide a forum to discuss business process changes, the leveraging of technology with state and local partners to improve the assessment process, and other matters raised by the partners.
The business process analysis would examine how technology can be utilized to maximize efficiency and streamline operations in the performance of property assessments and other functions. The analysis could also recommend improvements to the transfer of data between SDAT and local governments.