Chief Assessment Officer
With a workforce of over 30,000 people, and opportunities in more than 1,000 different job categories, the City of Philadelphia is the fifth largest city in the United States and one of the largest employers in Southeastern Pennsylvania. As an employer, the City of Philadelphia operates through the guiding principles of service, integrity, respect, accountability, collaboration, diversity and inclusion. Through these principles, we strive to effectively deliver services, to resolve the challenges facing our city, and to make Philadelphia a place where all of our residents have the opportunity to reach their potential.
The Office of Property Assessment (OPA) determines what every piece of property within Philadelphia is worth. The assessed dollar value is used to calculate the property’s real estate tax due. Real estate tax – also known as property tax – provides a big part of our City’s public school funding.
We also handle 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
The Chief Assessment Officer is responsible for directing the Office of Property Assessment. The position is responsible for all assessments and valuations of real property in accordance with law, 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 valuations. The position will also be responsible for developing and implementing a methodology for the valuation of properties, setting standards for property assessments based on law, ordinance, and nationally recognized practices, and defending assessed values.
- 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; certifies all assessments after their revision and equalization; ensures the defense of assessed values.
- 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.
- Sets forth a methodology for the valuation of properties for taxation purposes; ensures an annual reassessment through a professionally developed and maintained computerized assessment system; requires that the annual reassessment be applied to all properties, including tax-exempt properties, public utility property, and residential trailers; ensures that annual revisions and equalizations are done in accordance with law, ordinance, and industry standards.
- 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.
- 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; prepares annual real estate market overview with special emphasis on office and apartment buildings, hotels, general and specialized commercial, industrial and residential properties.
- Perform such other duties as may be assigned.
Required Knowledge, Skills and Abilities
- The principles, approaches, methods, and techniques of property evaluation for mass appraisal and assessment purposes under Pennsylvania law
- Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice
- Appraisal valuation theory and application
- The theory of values as applied to real property appraisal and evaluation
- The cost, sales comparison, and income capitalization approaches to value
- Descriptive and inferential statistics including sampling techniques
- Building construction methods and analyzing costs
- Assessment record maintenance procedures and standards
- Current real property values and trends
- Management principles and practices
- The legal requirements affecting real property assessment under Pennsylvania law
- Computer-assisted mass appraisal and computer assisted assessment systems
- Taxation practices
- Appraising and assessing high value and diverse real estate parcels and interest
- Managing a large multi-disciplined technical and administrative staff engaged in real property mass appraisal, evaluation and assessment
- Evaluating and analyzing trends and activity in the real estate market
- Making forecasts and projections
- Interpret income and expenditure statements as they relate to market value and assessment
- Read and interpret complex building plans blue prints, surveys, registry maps, zoning code and historical certifications
- Analyze procedures, policies, plans and guidelines
- Make recommendations to improve operating efficiency
- Develop procedures, policies, plans and guidelines
- Make real property related mathematical computations
- Interpret leases, deeds, installment sales agreement and financial statements
- Present ideas effectively with variety of stakeholders, both orally and in writing; as well ensure that materials detailing assessment methodologies are made publicly available
- Resolve conflicts with the general public, taxpayers and property owners and their establish and maintain effective working relationships with associates, taxpayers, and their representatives using tact and diplomacy
- Make real property related mathematical computations
Completion of a bachelor's degree program at an accredited college or university, with major coursework in Government or Business Administration, or Real Estate or a related business field.
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 CertificatesCertification as a C.A.E. (Certified Assessment Evaluator) from the IAAO (International Association of Assessing Officers). OR Certification as a (CPE) Certified Pennsylvania Evaluator issued by the Pennsylvania Board of Certified Appraisers. OR Equivalent certification to the CPE issued by the official licensing agency of any other state
Physical and Medical Requirements
Ability to physically perform the duties and to work in the environmental conditions required of a position in this class.
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 [email protected] phila.gov. For more information, go to: Human Relations Website: http://www.phila.gov/humanrelations/Pages/default.aspx