Submitted by Mirek Frolek, AAM
The 82nd Annual Association of Assessing Officers was held at the Tampa Bay Convention Centre starting on Sunday, August 28th to Wednesday, August 31, 2016. The theme of the conference was Charting New Waters and Building Bridges to Assessment Excellence. The conference had over 1200 delegates and Mike Taylor and I were given the opportunity to attend this event as representatives of the AAOM.
There were a couple of sessions that I found most enjoyable. The first one titled “Who is Afraid of the Big Bad Cost Approach?” The presenter was William D. Shepherd from Hillsborough County, Florida. His presentation focused on the unrecognized benefits of the cost approach and the pitfalls of the income and direct sales approach with all the adjustments to create a value. Mr. Sheppard referenced his court cases against large American retail stores, Menard’s, Nordstrom and CVS.
There were two other presentations that provided a global perspective on our profession. One was titled “Mass Appraisal Developments around the Globe. This presentation talked about the highlights and challenges of trying to implement a mass appraisal system in countries such as Moldova, Poland, and Turkey. The next session was called “The Importance of Property Tax in a Kingdom not so “United”. It highlighted the challenges of maintaining the fiscal health of sub-national governments in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, and how each jurisdiction approaches valuation with different methodologies.
Before the conference, I was asked by John Lindsay, past president of the Alberta Assessors’ Association if I could act as a moderator for the conference. This consisted of introducing two separate presentations on the Tuesday and Wednesday morning. The topics that I introduced were “Best-Practices for Automated Field Data Collection” and “Geostatistical Response Surface - An Appraiser Training Manual”.
This was my first IAAO Conference and what I enjoyed the most was the opportunity to network, and learn about other jurisdictions around the world. I realized that despite the challenges that we have in Manitoba, we at least have the legislative authority to obtain information for commercial property assessments with regard to sales, income and cost data. (See 16.1 in the Municipal Assessment Act). In Texas, they do not have access to such information. The challenges they have in creating a Mass Appraisal Model are unimaginable.
During the conference, I had discussions with IAAO past presidents Kim Lauffer, Rob Turner and Bruce Woodzell. I was also able to reconnect with colleagues Mark Kenney, James Siebers, and Randy Ripperger, whom I had met at the 2015 North Central Regional Association of Assessing Officers conference (NCRAAO). If you recognize some of these names, it is because they attended our Conference(s) in Manitoba in previous years.
If you have any questions regarding this conference, please feel free to get in contact with me. In 2017, the IAAO conference will be held in Las Vegas September 24-27.