Chief Assessment Officer

    • Philadelphia, PA

Company Description

A best-in-class city that attracts best-in-class talent, Philadelphia is an incredible place to build a career. From our thriving arts scene and rich history to our culture of passion and grit, there are countless reasons to love living and working here. With a workforce of over 30,000 people, and more than 1,000 different job categories, the City of Philadelphia offers boundless opportunities to make an impact. 

As an employer, the City of Philadelphia values inclusion, integrity, innovation, empowerment, and hard work above all else. We offer a vibrant work environment, comprehensive health care and benefits, and the experience you need to grow and excel. If you’re interested in working with a passionate team of people who care about the future of Philadelphia, start here.

What We Offer:

  Impact - The work you do here matters to millions. 

  Growth - Philadelphia is growing, why not grow with it? 

  Diversity & Inclusion - Find a career in a place where everyone belongs.

  Opportunities in Tech - Don’t wait for the future, shape it.

  Benefits - We care about your well being.

Agency Description

The Office of Property Assessment conducts property assessments to determine the value of properties within the City of Philadelphia. 

OPA also handles abatement and exemption programs that may reduce a property’s real estate tax bill, including:

  • Disabled veterans real estate tax exemption.
  • Nonprofit exemption.
  • Catastrophic loss exemption.
  • Abatement programs for new construction or substantial renovation

Job Description

The Chief Assessment Officer (Chief Assessor) is responsible for directing the OPA. The position is responsible for all assessments and valuations of real property in accordance with legal, ordinance, and industry standards for the City of Philadelphia. Central to the work is ensuring the annual revision, equalization, and certification of all such assessments and evaluations. The position will also be responsible for developing and implementing a methodology for the valuation of properties, and setting standards for property assessments based on law, ordinance, and nationally recognized practices. Additionally, a critical aspect of the Chief Assessor’s work is to proactively communicate to key stakeholders any upcoming changes to assessments, and, when necessary, defend assessment practices and valuations.

Essential Functions

Assessments:

  • Sets forth a methodology for the valuation of properties for taxation purposes; ensures an annual reassessment through the City’s soon-to-be-implemented computer-assisted mass appraisal (CAMA) system; requires that the annual reassessment be applied to all properties, including tax-exempt properties and public utility property; ensures that annual revisions and equalizations are done in accordance with law, ordinance, and industry standards.
  • Directs assessments and valuations of real property in accordance with law, ordinance, and industry standards; ensures the annual revisions and equalization of all such assessments and valuations.
  • Oversees certification of all assessments after their revision and equalization; ensures the defense of assessed values.
  • Makes initial recommendations to the Board of Revision of Taxes of whether a property shall be exempt from real property taxation; establishes standards for recommending tax exemption for properties; establishes procedures for changing values on an administrative basis (e.g., catastrophic loss, errors in data, initial recommendation on tax exemption); ensures that notices of changes in assessments shall be sent to the Revenue Department upon their certification.
  • Oversee the First Level Review process for property owners who believe their assessment is incorrect.

Evaluation and Quality Control:

  • Establishes standards for quality and quantity of work performed by assessing staff and ensures that standards are being maintained; coordinates procedures in the Office of Property Assessment for computing and maintaining consistency in the appraisal of properties within different geographic districts or specialties.

Policy, Legislation, and Communications:

  • Serves as the City’s contact for information and complaints, other than appeals, about assessment policies and practices; attends special appeal hearings held by the Board of Revision of Taxes and testifies regarding the basis and factors involved in determining the amount of the assessment; acts as the spokesperson to the media for the Office of Property Assessment and the city on matters of real property valuation and tax assessments; confers with the Office of the City Solicitor and the Department of Licenses and Inspections regarding the assessment function.
  • Ensures access to public records regarding assessments in accordance with applicable law and sees to it that such records are made available.
  • Keeps abreast of legislation pertinent to assessing and related ad valorem tax areas; ensures adherence to established city, state and federal laws and regulations; prepares written reports on agency operations.
  • Performs other duties as assigned.

Qualifications

Qualifications (Education, Experience, and Certification)

  • Bachelor's degree in Government, Business Administration, Real Estate or a related business field.
  • A minimum of ten years of appraisal and assessment experience, including four years of experience at the level of a director or deputy director of assessments directing real property appraisal and assessment work for a large city or county government, preferably a city or county government handling at least 200,000 parcels of real property.
  • Licenses, Registrations and/or Certificates:
    • The Chief Assessor is required to have a CPE or obtain that certification within two years of hire.
    • Professional certification from the IAAO (International Association of Assessing Officers) is also preferred.

Competencies, Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

  • Understanding of the principles, approaches, methods, and techniques of property evaluation for mass appraisal and assessment purposes under Pennsylvania law
  • Knowledge of uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice
  • Understanding and application of appraisal valuation theory
  • Proper application of the theory of values as applied to real property appraisal and evaluation
  • Understanding of the cost, sales comparison, and income capitalization approaches to value
  • Strong technical knowledge of descriptive and inferential statistics including sampling techniques
  • Experience with building construction methods and analyzing costs
  • Understanding of assessment record maintenance procedures and standards
  • Strong knowledge of current real property values and trends
  • Strong management, organizational and communication skills with employees, peers, supervisors, elected officials, and the public.
  • Knowledge of best practices as determined by the International Association of Assessing Officers (IAAO)
  • Understanding of legal requirements affecting real property assessment under Pennsylvania law
  • Knowledge of computer-assisted mass appraisal systems
  • Knowledge of taxation practices
  • Experience appraising and assessing high value and diverse real estate parcels and interest
  • Ability to manage a large unionized, multi-disciplined technical and administrative workforce engaged in real property mass appraisal, evaluation, and assessment
  • Effective evaluating and analyzing of real estate market trends
  • Strategic mindset in making forecasts and projections
  • Deep understanding of and interpreting income and expenditure statements as they relate to market value and assessment
  • Technical knowledge in reading and interpreting complex building plans blueprints, surveys, registry maps, zoning code, and historical certifications
  • Ability to analyze procedures, policies, plans, and guidelines
  • Deep understanding of operational efficiency to make recommendations for improvements
  • Ability to develop procedures, policies, plans, and guidelines
  • Ability to make real property-related mathematical computations
  • Effectively interpret leases, deeds, installment sales agreement, and financial statements
  • Ability to present ideas effectively with variety of stakeholders, both orally and in writing; as well ensure that materials detailing assessment methodologies are made publicly available
  • Strong Conflict resolution skills working with the general public, taxpayers and property owners
  • Team building and motivational skills to maintain effective working relationships with associates, taxpayers, and their representatives using tact and diplomacy

Additional Information

Did you know?

  • We are a Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program qualified employer
  • Employees are eligible for a 25% tuition discount program (and sometimes spouses and dependents as well) in partnership with area colleges and universities
  • We offer comprehensive health coverage for employees and their eligible dependents
  • Our wellness program offers eligibility into the discounted medical plan
  • Employees receive paid vacation, sick leave, and holidays
  • Generous retirement savings options are available 

Successful candidate must be a city of Philadelphia resident within six months of hire

The City of Philadelphia is an Equal Opportunity employer and does not permit discrimination based on race, ethnicity, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, national origin, ancestry, age, disability, marital status, source of income, familial status, genetic information or domestic or sexual violence victim status. If you believe you were discriminated against, call the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations at 215-686-4670 or send an email to faqpchr@phila.gov. For more information, go to: Human Relations Website: http://www.phila.gov/humanrelations/Pages/default.aspx

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