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My Assessor Is Using Total Sqft - Not GLA

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mutigerfan

Junior Member
Joined
Feb 11, 2008
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Missouri
Can anyone site where an Assessor assesses based upon total square feet - not GLA ?
GLA does not appear on Assessor provided information at all.

My state/county is a non-reporting rural county, meaning the only sales price and interior information comes from the home owner.

Here, Assessor membership into MLS is not allowable.
I believe he is getting MLS info via illegal password sharing and thats where he is getting his information.

Besides stealing information from MLS - How does my Assessor find out the Total SqFT (1st floor and up plus the basement) if he only has access to exterior data ?
How would he know the size or percentage of finish without an internal inspection ?
No - the home owners around here are not giving him that info.

BTW - he refuses to answer my questions regarding this issue.

I have so many homeowners call me and state my calculations do not match the assessors - once I explain the measurement guidelines to them, they understand - its just doesn't seem fair.
 

JTip

Elite Member
Joined
Oct 12, 2004
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Pennsylvania
Can anyone site where an Assessor assesses based upon total square feet - not GLA ?

Centre County assesses bi-level homes on gba, including both above and below grades less built-in garage, if applicable.
 

Mr Rex

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 12, 2004
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
North Carolina
Can anyone site where an Assessor assesses based upon total square feet - not GLA ?
GLA does not appear on Assessor provided information at all.

My state/county is a non-reporting rural county, meaning the only sales price and interior information comes from the home owner.

Here, Assessor membership into MLS is not allowable.
I believe he is getting MLS info via illegal password sharing and thats where he is getting his information.

Besides stealing information from MLS - How does my Assessor find out the Total SqFT (1st floor and up plus the basement) if he only has access to exterior data ?
How would he know the size or percentage of finish without an internal inspection ?
No - the home owners around here are not giving him that info.

BTW - he refuses to answer my questions regarding this issue.

I have so many homeowners call me and state my calculations do not match the assessors - once I explain the measurement guidelines to them, they understand - its just doesn't seem fair.

With Zillow, Trulia, Realtor.com, Redfin etc he might not need to be violating the MLS protocol. Google search an address in your MLS and see how many similar results pop up on those and other similar sites.
 

EddieB

Elite Member
Joined
Feb 17, 2005
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
North Carolina
Building permits, contractors, homeowners....

Why is the tax department disallowed MLS access or membership?
 

JTip

Elite Member
Joined
Oct 12, 2004
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Pennsylvania
Building permits, contractors, homeowners....

Why is the tax department disallowed MLS access or membership?

Complex question.

(generalized) You have to be a Realtor, pay the dues, take classes. Next, you have to be a broker or appraiser and be a 'Designated Realtor' of your office. Then you have to pay the local association initial fees and monthly/annual dues to be granted access to the MLS.

I could pay $1,000 and get on Maryland's MRIS but, there's a catch. I would have to be a member of one of the associations within the MLS, which could be in the thousands (perhaps a discount since I'm already a member of one already).

It's not 'just get out your checkbook' to join.....it's a PITA and you have to follow the rules.
 

hastalavista

Elite Member
Joined
May 16, 2005
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
California
I seem to recall (but I could be wrong) when I was arguing a tax case in San Francisco, the chief residential appraiser for the SF Assessor's office told me that the local MLS board did not allow them to join because they didn't want to share the information with the assessors.
I'm sure (if my recollection is correct) the Board would simply not categorize an assessor as they do appraisers (I'm not sure any other non-broker/non-agent or non-broker assistant can join). So they don't fall within the subscriber requirements.

I think that makes a lot of sense from the Board's perspective. There is a lot of information on the MLS system that an assessor could use in their assessment analysis if they were so inclined to do so (like, remodeling without permits; the assessor can tax based on that, permitted or not).
 
Last edited:

Terrel L. Shields

Elite Member
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
May 2, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Arkansas
Can anyone site where an Assessor assesses based upon total square feet - not GLA ?
As far as I know, the assessor measures the house in Missouri and sorta guesses the upper levels. They do the same in Oklahoma. Counties rarely are willing to pay for MLS access, and sometimes state law may prohibit assessors from such access, but that doesn't mean they can't access a lot of info on Zillow, Realtor.com, forsalebyowner, etc. like below

upload_2017-2-15_17-33-30.png
 

JTip

Elite Member
Joined
Oct 12, 2004
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Pennsylvania
As far as I know, the assessor measures the house in Missouri and sorta guesses the upper levels.

Our assessor (last year reassessment) uses a generic .5 or .67 factor to 'guess' the second or third, if any, floor. It's frustrating. I say in 5-7 years, maybe 10, all will be worked out and correct with appeals and such.
 

EddieB

Elite Member
Joined
Feb 17, 2005
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
North Carolina
Here, Assessor membership into MLS is not allowable.
I believe he is getting MLS info via illegal password sharing and thats where he is getting his information.

Besides stealing information from MLS - How does my Assessor find out the Total SqFT (1st floor and up plus the basement) if he only has access to exterior data ?

There are costs involved with joining but I question the "not allowable" comment and "stealing" accusation. Our tax department has five individuals with MLS access which is one source for data along with the others I mentioned. Other services most likely are different.

The key to remember is the Assessor's data is for the sole purpose of setting ad valorem taxes. Use it with the knowledge of its' strengths and weaknesses. This is nothing new in fee appraising. When most of us started, no counties had electronic data and the parcel cards were stored in old, dusty file cabinets. The data was suspect as hell.
 
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