Employee relations aside, how is the Pierce County Assessor-Treasurer’s office doing on completing the physical inspections of properties that went undone under the previous administration?
Pretty well, according to Rangel S. Cavazos at the state Department of Revenue, who responded to the department’s latest progress report earlier this week:
I am pleased to inform you that we see adequate progress by your office in completing the revaluation requirements that are outlined in your current revaluation plan for Pierce County.
Revenue notes that the county had physically inspected 23 percent of the required inspections at the end of 2009. The agency said that was lower than the 33 percent rate that should be expected in the second year of a six-year revaluation cycle, but chalked up the lag to lower completion rate in 2008 before Dale Washam took office.
Revenue does sound a warning, one that will weigh on the county council as it continues to trim budgets to make up for shortfalls:
With 65,000 parcels scheduled for inspection in both the 2011 and 2012 assessment years, your staff will need to complete inspections at a slightly faster rate than in the past. … If the current level of appraisers decreases, then the resulting increase in the number of inspections per appraiser, for assessment years 2011 and 2012, could reach a level that would put you at risk of not completing your revaluation plan.
The big question is: Did the physical inspections turn up values significantly different than what had been recorded under the previous statistical method? I’m emailing the assessor-treasurer’s office to find out.