Data Collection & Analysis of Property Values
Valuation is based on "full and fair cash value," the amount a willing buyer would pay a willing seller on the open market. Assessors first inspect the property to record specific features of the land and buildings that contribute to its value. Size, type, quality of construction, number of bedrooms, baths, fireplaces, type of heating system are all examples of the data collected and listed on individual property record cards.
Property review and inspection is accomplished through the use of technology in which photographs of all 48,000 real estate parcels within the City of Worcester, taken between the period of June 15 and July 1, 2010, are uploaded to a computer system that generates a clear, three-sided image of these parcels, allowing the Assessor’s Office and independent appraisers to gather information about a property’s style, grade of construction and condition of property from a computer station. Previously, an assessor would need to drive by all 48,000 properties to "window-survey" and assess these properties. The new method is far more efficient and less costly for the same views and the data can be ascertained from an office setting. Using the new technology, an assessor can perform an average of 60 assessments a day, versus an average of 25 assessments a day with the "window-survey" method. Additionally, any property improvements or upgrades are captured through the City's electronic permitting software.