County Corner | Pictometry proving its worth in assessors office

Jeanne Kentch

Photo by Miner Staff.

Jeanne Kentch

I would first like to remind you all that this is “Senior Freeze” and “Exemption” time of year. For a senior freeze, a qualified senior would have the value of their primary residence frozen for as long as you continue to apply.

To qualify, one homeowner must be at least 65 years of age, must have resided in the home for at least 2 years, and a total income from all sources cannot exceed $36,000 for a single owner or $45,000 for two or more owners. If you feel you qualify all it takes is an easy application.

For an exemption, a qualified resident must be a widow, widower or 100-percent disabled. In order to qualify the assessed Limited Property Value (LPV) must be below $26,458, income cannot exceed $32,447 or $38,926 with minor children. (This income does not include Social Security) This process will require either a death certificate or letter from a doctor indicating a disability. Please come see or call our experienced customer support staff to help you with both of the above applications, or you can visit our website for the forms and instructions.

I am proud to announce the success of our newly implemented “Pictometry” assessment tool. It has been a long road (two years), but our department is excited to finally use and implement this new cost-effective software for assessing property in Mohave County.

Pictometry provides aerial imagery, but goes way beyond just aerial imagery, it is so enhanced it can locate outbuildings and other structures that should be on the county tax rolls. It is high-resolution, low-altitude, oblique imagery. This means it can view all four sides of a property.

The imagery is used to measure structures and determine square footage. Pictometry creates a 3-D image that can measure elevations, heights, distances and more. Pictometry is largely a verification tool that enables our appraisers to work from the comfort of their desk for much of their discovery, saving wear and tear on the vehicles and becoming more efficient with appraisals.

This new tool has already realized savings for our department in the last month of use, as well as adding over $7 million in FCV values to the books. We have discovered over 59 pools, 906 porches and 146 garages.

The assessors department is well on its way to more efficiency. We are working on introducing this new technology to the other departments of Mohave County, as well as to the cities so they also can become more efficient. To get a great shot of the high-resolution imagery, you can visit the county GIS and click on the 2017 high-resolution layer. Currently the imagery only spans over the three large cities of Mohave County, but we are looking to expand to the rest of Mohave County with future flyovers.

As your assessor, it is my job to keep an eye on legislative issues. This year I was proud to have SB1485 introduced to protect taxpayers from a conflict of interest at the state Board of Equalization, but disappointed when it did not work its way to the House. After having a stakeholder meeting, it was agreed to try again next year, although it is still not dead yet. We do have a couple weeks yet.

SB1484 was a bill written that affected the way we value real properties that have views. This bill was written from inaccurate information. I brought that information to committee, and it died (thank goodness).

The last bill I attempted to get walked was a constitutional amendment (which means it would need to go to the vote of the people).This bill would qualify disabled veterans as a recipient of an exemption, as our widow and widowers exemptions are.

For some reason our legislative body shy’s away from constitutional amendments and even though I found a representative to walk the bill (Representative Jay Lawrence, R-Scottsdale), he changed his mind. We will have to work on this bill next year with hopes of getting enough support to get it passed by the people of this fine state.

A local veteran had written our governor over this issue, and he has voiced his support. I will work even harder next year on these legislative issues and with your help we just might get some bills passed.

Have a fantastic spring, the next County’s Corner will be written by Sheriff Doug Schuster.