Mecklenburg County is preparing the 2011 Revaluation of all real estate property for local tax purposes. In this revaluation all 350,000 real estate parcels will be valued at fair market as of January 1, 2011. Fair market value is the value at which a property will typically sell on the open market
Valuing this large and very diverse market is a big job. The Real Estate Division does this with the help of a Computer Assisted Mass Appraisal System or CAMA. A CAMA system is capable of several broad functions including; data management, sales analysis, valuation and reporting.
Staff appraisers collect and review lots of information on each piece of property. This information includes but is not limited to sales; land size; location topography; type of structure; exterior and interior description; number of bathrooms and bedrooms; fireplaces; heating type; and condition.
Once all this information is collected and entered, the Computer Assisted Mass Appraisal system or CAMA helps analyze the data and determine a value by making adjustments to each property. It is similar to the way an appraiser would appraise a single property but the Real Estate Division uses information from many properties. This process is called mass appraisal.
The CAMA system can use several approaches to determine value. They are:
Cost: The cost approach seeks to determine the replacement cost new of a structure less depreciation plus land value. This approach is used for special use properties for property types with few sales.
Sales Comparison: The sales comparison approach, sometimes called the market approach, estimates the fair market value by looking at sales of similar properties and making comparisons. This is used for residential and other types of properties where sale data is available.
Income Approach: The income approach measures the income stream to convert anticipated benefits to a present value. This approach is used to value income producing property like shopping centers or offices.
After preliminary values are determined the CAMA allows the staff to analyze the findings and look for any additional adjustments that may need to be made. Staff can also measure the accuracy and equity for the assessments by statistical analysis.