What else does an Assessor do?

The assessor performs many other administrative functions, such as inspecting new construction and major improvements to existing structures. This ensures that the record of each property's physical inventory is current and that the appropriate improvements are assessed.

The assessor also approves and keeps track of property tax exemptions. Among the most common are the senior citizen, School Tax Relief (STAR), veteransagricultural, and business exemptions.

The Real Property System is a computer software package (created and maintained by ORPTS) to assist assessment administration functions. It is available to assessors who have the necessary computer equipment, and allows them to electronically maintain the assessment roll and related records. Corrections to State form RP-5217 can also be sent to the State Board electronically. The Real Property System also includes computer-assisted mass appraisal programs for value estimation and assessment updates.

Legally, the assessor must be present at all public hearings of the Board of Assessment Review (BAR). The BAR may request the assessor to present evidence in support of tentative assessments being grieved by taxpayers. After meeting in private without the assessor, the BAR makes its decisions and orders any appropriate changes to the assessment roll before it becomes final. If assessment reductions are denied by the BAR, and property owners appeal to Small Claims Assessment Review, the assessor prepares evidence for those hearings.

The assessor reviews every transfer of real property for accuracy, including the basic information on the buyer, seller, and sale price. Assessment records are updated, and any unusual conditions affecting the transfer are also verified. Results are recorded on form RP-5217 at the real estate closing. The assessor makes corrections to this form.

ORPTS requires assessors to file an annual report on assessment changes. ORPTS also "equalizes" property assessments to a common full (market) value in each municipality.

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