In my area of 5 cities, some have one and some have two ways to identify a parcel. For example, in my home town, there is an account number(1004245) and a tax parcel number (43*1B*112) for every parcel in the city. If I am using the 1004 I will apply the account number.
As a trainee you will learn the different data items as you become more engaged in the total appraisal development process.
Hopefully your supervisor will guide you through more and more responsibility as your training progresses.
But you don't have to wait for that. You can start educating yourself on your own.
This web site we are on is a good place to ask questions.
Since you have asked about assessor data, that's a good place to start. Set yourself a goal of becomming expert on your local assessor's data sources. Find out if they are on line and visit their office.
Each parcel of property will have a parcel number assigned to it by the assessor. The local government will use that parcel ID number to track their business with taxes, etc.
The assessor has a lot of information we use as we develop our appraisals including the sketch they make from which they calculate the size of the buildings.
Assessor's data is fundemental to developing an appraisal on real estate.
If you work in Wisconsin, in the rural areas, you may find depending what county you are working in will find they do not have information on line. In the area I cover there are 8 counties that you can not access information on line. So this means you will have to do a lot of leg work. Some of the township/counties the assessor does not even live in the state of Wisconsin. You will find a lot of the information is at the township level and most of these offices are not staffed full time. Maybe only a half day a week on the 10 Wedsday of the 23 month at 2 a.m. in the morning or you get there at the right day and time and you find a note on the door that Sue just had a baby boy and I am at her house today.
Many may home more then one tacking number, the assessor has a number, the county has a number or two and the township has a number or two.
The same can be said for the zoning informaiton, you may have to spend a day tacking down the township chair to find that information. Many many times you will leave messages and no one will return you call for days or weeks.
If you cannot get the assessor's tax number on line, ask your client for the name of the title company they are using and then ask them for the escrow or title order number. Call the title company and ask them for a property profile or at least the assessor's parcel number. They might have a printout they could fax or email to you. Be nice, ask for their help. A property profile is the preferred source as it will have lots of data in it that you can use.
Even a refi or home equity loan will have an open title order or escrow open.
There are two numbers used in my area of Florida. The assesor's parcel number, before assessor offices went on line, were not as easy to obtain as the tax collector's folio number, which was always printed on the MLS. An APN in my counties looks something like this:
The U meaning "unincorporated" section of the county and it is followed by the section-township-range-neighborhood ID-block-lot.
The folio number looks like this:
The folio does not identify the location of the property physically in any way, but points to a page in an accounting ledger to find the taxes for the property and whether they are paid or past due, etc.
The folio number (or account number) is not the APN though several appraisers still use them as such. Because they were used so much in the past you sometimes still hear from the underwriter company asking you to correct an APN to the folio number so it matches with title. I refuse, and tell them title is wrong and must be corrected to match with the appraisal. The request comes less and less now that most appraisers have caught on to what the APN is.