Assessor's office receives international distinction

Elbert County is first in state to receive recognition from group

Tabatha Stewart
Special to Colorado Community Media
Posted 10/16/20

The Elbert County Assessor's Office received the Certificate of Excellence in Assessment Administration from the International Association of Assessing Officers, a distinction awarded to only 51 …

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Assessor's office receives international distinction

Elbert County is first in state to receive recognition from group

Posted

The Elbert County Assessor's Office received the Certificate of Excellence in Assessment Administration from the International Association of Assessing Officers, a distinction awarded to only 51 assessors' offices nationwide, and the first ever awarded to a jurisdiction in Colorado. The IAAO was founded in 1934, and is a nonprofit, educational and research organization that focuses on standards and professional development and research in property appraisal, assessment administration and property tax policy.

“We've been working on strengthening our office for quite some time,” said Elbert County Assessor Susan Murphy. “Our team decided, since we are working on our processes and procedures anyway, we would go for the recognition. We really wanted to be the first in Colorado to receive this certificate.”

The process, according to Murphy, was grueling, and included more than 50 pages of questions, and 13 chapters covering a multitude of functions in the office. Murphy and her office, which includes seven employees, studied subjects such as environment, management and staffing, information technology, mapping for property inspections, land valuation and property data collection, just to name a few.

“When we got done answering all our questions we ended up with a procedural manual, and are able to collaborate as a team and work together to review what we're doing in our office and work on making things better,” said Murphy. “It's a great process to go through. I'm not saying I want to do it again, but to get that designation is a huge deal for our office.”

Submissions were reviewed by four separate assessors within the IAAO who do not live in Colorado. Each chapter had to achieve a score of at least 80% to be accepted, and according to Murphy, COVID-19 restrictions that were in place made the task even more challenging.

“The biggest thing for us was getting started and establishing a plan,” said Murphy. “We're a small jurisdiction, and it was overwhelming looking at the application at first. All of this happened during COVID, which made it a challenge working with all the team members.”

“IAAO'S Certificate of Excellence in Assessment Administration is an important recognition of industry professionals who strive to meet the highest standards in their line of work,” states a press release issued by the IAAO. “It was a great honor for IAAO to present Elbert County with this certificate in recognition of these efforts.”

Murphy said she hopes residents of Elbert County will also recognize the efforts of her office and dedicated employees to serve citizens of the county.

“It's important for the community to know the integrity of this office and those who work here,” said Murphy. “We really do want public trust, and want them to know that we are following the highest standards. We want them to have confidence that the Elbert County assessor's office is paying attention, we're honest, we're using the best practices and we're here for them.”

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