Fuel Your Knowledge

In June, David Doolan AAM and Erin Reid attended the NCRAAO 2013 Conference.

The NCRAAO represents the assessing officers for eleven states (North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Minnesota, Michigan and Wisconsin) of the Northern Central Plains.

Here is David’s report:

North Central Regional Association of Assessing Officers (NCRAAO) 2013 Conference

This past June (16-19) three of our staff represented the Province of Manitoba and Erin Reid (President of the AAOM) represented the AAOM.

The theme of the conference was “Fuel Your Knowledge”, which was a reference to the oil boom presently happening in North Dakota.

We arrived in time to enjoy a BBQ at Bonanzaville Fargo and very much enjoyed speaking with other assessors (state, county and retired).We shared our common experiences and spoke about some of our differences for each jurisdiction. Assessors from Florida, Rhode Island, and all of the other 11 northern states, which make up the North Central Regional Association of Assessing Officers attended.

Opening ceremonies started with the national anthem and pledge of allegiance and a prayer. The president of NCRAAO Kevin Ternes asked if the three Canadians would please stand. The four of us stood and a comment from behind us said “four for three must be the exchange rate”. The people that we met were happy to have us as guests and were welcoming and friendly.

Each of us attended different sessions. I was asked to sit as a round table panel member discussing the topic of natural disasters. In 90 minutes we discussed floods and forest fires and any natural disasters affecting market values.

Each panel member shared their experiences of the many challenges and processes of dealing with these issues. Many good questions and comments were brought forward by those attending. Similar problems dealing with flood damage were experienced on both sides of the border but methods of addressing the issues and the recovery were very different.

The oil boom happening in North Dakota and the increased demand for housing helped the market come back on flooded homes. Some residents in both Minot and Fargo chose to sell their houses in the flooded state while others gutted and repaired the homes and continue to live in them.

There was a presentation on the oil field boom in North Dakota and its effect on taxes and the economy. We heard how that state became the second largest producer of oil in the US second only to Texas.

We heard how many oil wells were being drilled and the jobs created and the impact it was having on the demand for housing.

I took in the round table discussion on moving from market value to productivity assessments on Ag land. They explained the history of farm land assessments and the reluctance on behalf of the state legislature to use the market value approach. They have a mixed system that considers productivity and rents for the grasslands. It is interesting that our province moved from productivity (that was based on yields of wheat, oats, and barley) to market value for all Ag land in 1990.

Another interesting session was held on the topic of the “Valuation of Low End/difficult Properties” where we reviewed typing and depreciation. Really odd examples were presented with a cross section of opinions and comments. This session was a three day course that was condensed to three hours. It was well prepared and well presented.

All in all this conference was informational and well worth attending. I recommend marking your calendars for the 2014 conference which is being held at Deadwood S.D June 8th to 12th (2014).

–David Doolan AAM


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