Washington News – The Latest T1 and T2 Information and Updates

Megan Wierenga Aumentum, Newsletters, Resources, Uncategorized March 26, 2013

Purge File Groups T1

Purging File Groups allows you to clear the deleted records out of the program for several files in one click. This process will save you time so that you do not need to select each associated file individually in the File Maintenance Utility. To purge file groups from the main menu select Program Maintenance, TerraScan File Maintenance, Purge File Groups. Then select the group you wish to purge: Working Files, Historic files, Sales Files, Taxing Authority Files or Cost Tables. It is suggested to use the Purge Working Files option prior to Deleting Orphaned Records to ensure maximum efficiency. You will need to make sure all users are out of the TerraScan program in order for the files to be purged.

Correctly Entering a Cabin in T1

When entering residence type 6 Cabins in TerraScan you may sometimes encounter red errors. There are fields on the Building Data page that are very data specific. When it comes to Cabins there are only certain Quality, Exterior Wall, and Style combinations that calculate a successful cost. The only valid styles for type 6 are 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, and 19. Styles 12, 13, and 16 can only have an exterior wall of 20 or 21 and a quality of 30. The styles 14 and 15 have an exterior wall of 2 and quality of 30. Leaving styles 17-19 that have an exterior wall of 12 and can have a quality from fair through excellent. You cannot have a second style set on type 6 residences, nor can you have the Fixtures field filled in. Plumbing is already calculated into the cabin costs and is hard coded. Therefore, adding fixtures will result in errors on the Marshall & Swift Cost Valuation page. The same is true of the Slab Area field. Some of the building data fields, if filled in, will not result in an error and they also will not adjust the cost if there are not adjustments available, such is true of the basement area and finishes as cabins generally do not have basements.

Marshall & Swift 2013 Cost File

The cost file for the 2013 Marshall & Swift costs will be released early this year due to the M&S Project Coordinator leaving for maternity in July. We will be updating costs based on the updates received from Marshall & Swift dated July of 2012 through late April early May 2013 instead of June 2013 and plan to release the costs in late June.

Mortgage Codes

During this time of year it often comes up that you need to adjust the Mortgage code stored in the system for the current tax year. This seems to happen more when we are prepping for the creation of the tax year statements or just after they have been sent out and correcting information is transferred to you.

Once you open the Parcel screen on the parcel you need to update:

• You will select edit record from the top tool bar;
• you will make the needed changes and
• Select escape to save the changes.
• You will be given 4 options to select from –
o No Change – Current Year – Delinquent – All.

Here is some background on how each of these options works in the system:

1. Selecting No change – will update only the parcel record that you are on and will not feed the change to the statement file.
2. Selecting Current Year – will update the mortgage information on all of the current roll year statements associated with the parcel with the exception of the irrigation statement (if there is one).
3. Selecting Delinquent – will update all Real and Storm Water statements that have a delinquent balance associated with this parcel.
4. Selecting All – will update all Real and Storm Water statements – regardless of roll year.

The irrigation parcels have been left out of this process deliberately. We have found that the Mortgage companies to not pay for the irrigation taxes more often than not. So if you have a situation where you want the irrigation parcel to display the mortgage number also, you will need to edit that record directly.

To Recalculate, or Not Recalculate? That is the question.

Whether ‘tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The stresses and strains from miscalculation of values,
Or to take precautions to prevent them,
And by recalculating end them.

And for those who are not Shakespeare fans:

Recalculating values in both T1 and T2
Is not a process that should weigh on a troubled mind,
It is a function that just may
Clear up issues that the program finds.
Any time you make changes to a table
Recalculate your records as soon as you are able!
To avoid this simple and helpful task
May cause you trouble down the appraisal path.
“Why did my values change? All I did was change a date!?”
Because when you go into Edit Mode, it also recalculates.
So remember this, all our fine T1 and T2 friends,
Recalculate is not the same as Revaluate…The End.

Calculating Effective Age in T2

The T2 application only requires 4 things to calculate an effective age for depreciation:

1. A quality value on the primary terragon
2. A condition value on the primary terragon
3. A year built on the primary terragon
4. The neighborhood, parent neighborhood, or grandparent neighborhood to have the “Depreciation Control” formslice configured on the 30100 Neighborhoods form.

The type of object and quality it has will determine which depreciation table will be used. A residence can have a quality that lies in between categories. However, the Depreciation Control form slice does not list half increments. Half increments are reduced down to their nearest whole number (ie 1.5 uses 1.0).

Based on the object type and quality of the residence, you can determine what depreciation table is being used. You can double click on the table hyperlink in the Depreciation Control Table to view the details of this deprecation table or you can access the 31060 Depreciation Table form and query for the table.

To determine the Physical Depreciation, we must first calculate the Actual Age and then applying Condition Multiplies calculate the Effective Age. The Actual Age of the residence can be calculated by taking the current roll year and subtracting the year built. The Actual Age is displayed in the” Actual Age” field on the M&S Estimate form.

To determine the Effective Age you need to know the condition of the residence. Looking to the 31060 Depreciation Tables form, in the “Condition Multipliers” fields, there are percentages for each condition. Half increments of condition can be assigned to a residence as well. Although unlike quality, the values are interpolated and the percents for both conditions are averaged. The percentage for the corresponding condition of the residence is then multiplied by the Actual Age (rounded to the nearest whole number) and will become the Effective Age. The Effective Age is displayed in the “Effective Age” field on the M&S Estimate form.

Once the Effective Age is calculated you now can determine what Physical Depreciation is being used from the Depreciation Table. In the “E Age” column of the table find the residence’s Effective Age. The columns 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 refer to the condition of the property. Find the correct corresponding condition. If it is a half increment the depreciation will be an average between the two columns. The percent found for the Effective Age is the Physical Depreciation and will be displayed in the “Physical Depreciation” field on the M&S Cost Estimate form.

Using the T2 Misc Improvement Rollyear Flag

If you encounter a scenario where sales data suggests no general value change (increase or decrease) in a particular neighborhood is warranted, but at the same time you need or wish to update your miscellaneous improvement costs across the county, T2 has a tool to help.

In the Neighborhood Configuration table in each T2 neighborhood exists a “Misc Improvement Rollyear” flag.

If you want the BlueRidge neighborhood to see no change in Miscellaneous Improvement costs in a new roll year where you have entered new and different costs, you can set this flag in the BlueRidge neighborhood config to continue using previous roll year costs. If the new roll year is 2014, and the year in which you last defined costs was 2010, you would set the flag to Misc Improvement Rollyear = 2010.

For example, a Low-Cost Prefab Cabin might cost-out in all other neighborhoods around your county at 23.66 per square foot (the new rate), but continue along at the previously-defined 19.42 square foot rate in BlueRidge.

Conversions, Upgrades, and Other Fun

In 2013, Thomson Reuters is planning to convert the remaining legacy clients in Washington State to our new product, known as T2. This process will be taking up quite a bit of our time and energy, but will allow us to focus our efforts more effectively in the future.

In order to accomplish this move successfully, while maintaining our other commitments for feature development and bug fixes, we are going to have to prioritize issues as they come in. This may cause some delays in our response time, so please be patient while we work through the backlog.

Thank you for your continued support, and let’s look forward to a fantastic 2013!

Help Me Help You & Your Staff…

We have 6 counties coming on to T2 this year and as I prepare for a crazy year of training and travel I have been doing some reflecting. I have spent time in several of our Washington Counties and I have done webex support and phone calls with most of our T2 offices to talk and walk through issues or processes in the application.  Here are my tips that will help me be able to help you and the reasoning behind it.

Go To Remote Training Sessions!

• The exposure to the application prior to conversion will help you feel more comfortable working in the application when you go live.

• The review once you are live in T2 can help you pick up pieces you may have forgotten from training, learn about new features or break old habits when you learn why we recommend things.

• You can learn from the questions or input from other counties attending training that are already using the application.

Have new employees do remote training!

• Yes, your staff is using the application, but they will only show new people the things they use and find helpful. By attending training the new people get exposure.

• They may have a small area they focus on, but by understanding how the application work and effects the entire process they will see the bigger picture. This eliminates issues down the road when they do something not realizing how it impacts the other pieces.

Do the workbooks!

• This will get me in trouble with existing T2 counties who didn’t have workbooks, but for those of you coming on to T2 in 2013… do the workbooks. The workbooks give you actual experience in the application and will help you be comfortable working in the application when it’s time to go live.

Do Report Review & Spot Checks!

• During the report review time make sure you are looking at reports from T1 and from the T2 data that have the same dates so you are comparing apples to apples. This is important and helps you identify issues prior to conversion.

• It is easier and quicker for us to identify and fix issues prior to conversion than it is to sort things out and fix them after you are live in the application making changes to data.

We will be doing lots of training sessions during March, April and May. From June – mid September my focus will turn to pre-go live training and traveling to be with counties as they go live. But then we will jump back in to T2 training for everyone in September.

Employee Spotlight

Darlene Smith – Applications Support Analyst

Darlene Smith has worked with TerraScan since May of 2011. Her main focus is assisting the Treasurers in Nebraska and Washington State on the T1 program. She has also taken the reigns as Project Manager for the conversion of the state of South Dakota to the ProVal software. Darlene spends roughly 45 hours a week on the computer in the office and an additional 10 hours outside of that.

Most people probably don’t know that Darlene was once the lead singer in a band and has performed on stage in Vegas! She owned and rode a motorcycle and seriously considered getting a tattoo. However, after meeting an 80-year-old woman that had one, she decided it could be seriously wrong in the future.

Darlene is an avid reader and will read just about anything. She has all the works of Agatha Christie and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. One of her current favorite authors is Clive Cussler; she loves the Dirk Pitt series of books. There is a tie between” Holiday Inn”, “White Christmas”, and “Sabrina” (1954 Bogy/Hepburn version) for movies. She says she can’t live in Nebraska and not love the Nebraska Cornhuskers football team. She doesn’t really have a favorite TV show, but can tell you she severely dislikes reality TV. Absolutely no “Honey Boo Boo” or “Gator Boys” in her house!