Who is a Tax Assessor?

A tax assessor, also known as an assessor, is a specialist whose duty is to calculate the value of property. They are elected or appointed individuals whose mandate is to determine the value of every taxable property within a township, a municipality or a county. The information they gather about the property is then used by the local authorities to evaluate the necessary tax rates to be charged on that property.

Tax assessors have different official titles in the United States, depending on the state as well as the industry. For instance, a similar professional working in the insurance industry will be referred to as an adjuster. In Florida, a tax assessor is known as the Property Appraiser while in Vermont, they are known as listers.

Education Requirements for a Tax Assessor

A career as a tax assessor is quite a fulfilling one since it comes with the possibility of self employment and you may not necessarily have to be employed by the local government, besides coming along lucrative remuneration packages. It is thus an alluring job and attracts thousands of students each year. But what exactly does it take for one to qualify as a tax assessor?

Before delving into the specific education requirements for tax assessors, it is important to have in mind that there are no national standards for qualification and the requirements will vary considerably depending on your region and state. Due to this fact, it may not be possible to specify any type of formal education as the most ideal for tax assessors.

However, the most specific skills that an assessor must have include thorough understanding of jurisdictional property tax codes as well as the ability to make judgments following a specified set of official rules or criteria. To develop such skills, potential assessors can get their trainings from programs which have been approved by the tax assessor’s office in their respective cities or states or the localities where they wish to work.

Tax Assessor Program Fields

With the above considerations in mind, the following are some of the tax assessor program fields worth considering for people who desire to become tax assessors-:

  • Bachelors of Science in Business Administration – most of the business training programs will include aspects of finance, accounting, and economics. Such programs might also have modules in property taxation, real estate and estate laws and regulations. All these are in line with the duties of the tax assessors and they will give the necessary knowledge to prepare one for a career in this field.
  • Bachelor of Science in Accounting – those majoring in accounting usually take classes on tax assessment and these commonly feature modules on Business Law, Auditing, Applied Economics, Advanced Mathematics, Finance and Performance Measurement and Analysis.
  • Bachelor of Science in Economics – A Bachelor of Science in Economics will give students skills on advanced mathematics and applied statistics because they are related to economic issues. Common courses for students pursuing such a program may include Political Economy, Business Administration, Price Theories, Real Estate Investments and Financial Markets.

But before considering these Bachelor programs for the purposes of becoming a tax assessor, you should be aware of the prerequisite, which is essentially a good high school diploma or its equivalent and a strong background in subjects that deal with writing, communication skills, research and analysis.

Continuing Education for Tax Assessors

Just like in any other profession, continuous education and certifications are necessary for one to advance in their careers. When it comes to tax assessors in the United States, it is not compulsory to get any additional education or be licensed. However, most of the jurisdictions where you may like to practice have in place certain official requirements for all persons interested in becoming tax assessors and practicing on those regions or localities.

To get licensed, you may be required to attend a series of training courses on cases studies as well as trainings that touch on taxation such as market comparison, tax base calculation, and assessment records maintenance. After attending such courses, you will be required to take an exam, after which you will be given a license to practice as a tax assessor in the given jurisdiction.

Duties of a Tax Assessor

As noted earlier, the duty of a tax collector is to calculate the value of property. But in addition to this, their mandate spreads large and wide and the following duties also fall under the description of their office-:

  • Process titles for motor vehicle transfers
  • May at times process boat titles and registrations
  • Collect property taxes for the county, township or municipality
  • Calculate the various property tax rates
  • Collect other fees for the state or the county.

Kindly use this information given here as a general guide into the profession of tax assessment. For specifics, be sure to get more details from the Tax Association in your county or region so that you know exactly what is required to become an assessor and practice within that jurisdiction.