For Municipalities

Getting Started - The Initial Phase

The following four steps apply only to municipalities undergoing an assessment for the first time.

  1. The municipality makes the decision to implement a property tax system as their main method of generating revenue. This is done by a MOTION OF COUNCIL requiring a simple majority vote.
  2. Once the motion has been passed, the council will contact the Executive Director of the Municipal Assessment Agency to request that property assessments be done in the community.
  3. The Executive Director will, in turn, notify the council about when property assessments can begin. The commencement of property assessments is usually dependant on the availability of assessment staff.
  4. When assessments are ready to begin, a representative from the Assessment Agency will arrange a meeting with the council for a general information session. The representative will describe the assessment process in sequence, outlining all the information required to complete an assessment. General questions will be answered, as well.

The following steps apply to property assessments in all municipalities:

  1. The Assessment Agency assigns the necessary number of assessors to do the job.
  2. The assessor will meet with the municipal clerk or manager to detail all required information and the sources from where the information can be obtained. The following list provides some typical examples of information that the assessor would need:
    • List of street names and services, (i.e. water, sewer and pavement).
    • Mapping - All available mapping from all sources particularly those showing the municipal boundaries, zoning areas and street names.
    • Civic numbering - The responsibility for civic numbering should be clarified at the beginning stage of the assessment.
    • Permits - Municipality's policies for permits, control and reporting of new construction and renovations. If the council has a building and/or occupancy permit system in place, this information should be supplied as well.
    • Unregistered Real Property Sales - The assessor has access to the Registry of Deeds for sales transactions and prices. However, there could be sales information that the clerk or manager would be aware of that is not registered.
    • Regulations and/or Policies - The municipality may have in place policies or regulations that may affect building restrictions especially in a community where zoning does not exist.
  3. A public notice is usually posted in the media and in prominent locations within the municipality advising property owners of the assessment. The property owners are also asked for their cooperation with the assessors in carrying out their duties.
  4. The assessor will, at this point, advise the clerk or manager about the council's role in appointing an Assessment Review Commissioner. This individual will hear any appeals of the assessments, if necessary.