Accurate property data is critical for computer-assisted mass appraisal (CAMA) technology to work effectively. CAMA software relies on data attributes in valuation models to determine property values, so it’s essential to ensure that the data being used is accurate, precise, and up-to-date.
Why Accurate Data is Important in CAMA.
Accurate data is critical in CAMA for several reasons. First, it ensures that the mass appraisal process for determining property valuations is fair and equitable. If the data being used to appraise properties is inaccurate, it can lead to incorrect and inconsistent valuations, which can result in an unfairly high or low property tax burden for individual property owners.
Second, accurate data is essential for maintaining the public trust between assessors and tax paying property owners. If taxpayers feel that their property valuations are not based on accurate data, they may become distrustful of the complex mass appraisal process and may be more likely to appeal their property valuations.
Finally, accurate data is necessary for compliance with state and local laws. Many jurisdictions require assessors to use certain data collection methods and to follow specific procedures and schedules when mass appraising properties. Failure to comply with these requirements can result in legal and financial penalties.
Best Practices for Data Management in CAMA
To ensure that data is accurate, complete, and up-to-date in CAMA software, assessors should follow best practices for data management. Some of the best practices include:
- Using Multiple Data Sources – Assessors should use multiple data sources whenever possible to ensure that they are getting a complete picture of each property as of the applicable assessment date. Data sources may include tax records, property inspections, building permits, plans, property listings and other sources of property data.
- Regularly Updating Data – Data should be regularly maintained and updated to ensure that it is current to the assessment cycle of the jurisdiction. This may involve updating property records when new information becomes available, such as after a property sale, building permit or after a renovation.
- Verifying Data Accuracy – Assessors should verify the accuracy of data by cross-referencing it with other data sources and by conducting on-site inspections when necessary or required by statute.
- Maintaining Data Security – Data should be stored securely to prevent unauthorized access or tampering. This may involve using encryption, password protection, and other security measures.
- Providing Data Transparency – Assessors should provide transparency about the data being used to appraise properties. Property owners should be able to access and review the data being used to determine their property valuations.