LOGIS would like to welcome the City of Moorhead. Moorhead was in need of a new system to track their Special Assessments and decided the LOGIS Property Data / Special Assessment system was their best option. Currently the data conversion is nearly complete. The next step is data validation and data reporting. Expected go live date will be very soon.
On April 11, 2018 a new version of eProperty was implemented. This version contains many requested enhancements. One of these enhancements was the ability to display the original assessment amount instead of the total assessment amount (original amount minus any payments) or both amounts. Programming was implemented which now allows for both amounts to be displayed or just one of the amounts. The column headings for these amounts can also be customized to accurately display what is in each column.
A little known menu option “Mass Admin Fee” is currently used by one member. Mass Admin Fee will apply a onetime percentage amount to the current assessment. Coming soon will be the ability to apply a flat fee. This is different than the Admin Fee on the Special Assessment Master Information screen. The Admin Fee on the Special Assessment Master information screen has historically been unused and was informational only. Recent programming changes for one member now uses this field for an annual fee applied to the assessment.
Contact LOGIS support to discuss the use of either of these options.
Many assessment and special assessments users often use the import function to quickly load a list of parcels or load a master special assessment from a spreadsheet. However, the latest release of Windows security patches disabled this important feature. Users started getting an “Unexpected error from external database driver (1)” error.
A remedy was quickly found. Installation of the Access Database Driver (ACE) will resolve the issue. The ACE driver and installation documentation has been copied to the members file server for ease of access. LOGIS staff is working with the members IT staff to install this driver as the users are affected.
A new PDS release (2017.10.09.0) was rolled out to the LOGIS members on October 10, 2017. Included in this release was the much requested, “P&I report by PID”. This report will list the details of the assessment master (term, interest rate, and 1st year payable). The highly requested part is the amortization schedule for all parcels in the assessment master will now be listed, each one on their own page. This report can be customized for each member.
The Annual Special Assessments (SA) User Group meeting was held on Wednesday, August 16, 2017. This is a great opportunity for the SA users to come together to discuss changes they need to see in the system, changes made the past year and best practices.
One of the main topics this year was how to handle special assessments on tax forfeit properties. It was evident there is no clear-cut way to handle them as many of the members handle them in different ways. The main concern is to ensure the unpaid assessments show up on assessment searches and are collected once the property sells. Although there was no definitive process defined, members came away with some great ideas.
Occasionally there is a need to remove an assessment detail record from a Special Assessment Master (SA Master) and add it to another SA Master. This would normally require the detail record to be deleted from the SA Master and created in a new SA Master. Recent enhancements to the transfer screen allow a new SA Master to be created automatically with the click of the mouse. A copy button was added which will create a new SA Master with most of the information from the original SA Master. Once the new SA Master is created, one or more detail records can be selected to be moved to the new SA Master.
The date of the annual fall Special Assessments User Group meeting is quickly approaching. Scheduled for Thursday, August 17, 2017, this date is earlier than normal. Fall is especially busy for Special Assessment departments finalizing & balancing assessments, hence the earlier date as requested by the users.
This meeting is a useful tool for the users as a way to brainstorm with other users about how to handle complex situations. It is also a way for users to relay to LOGIS what they need the system to do.
Special Assessment Departments regularly receive payments from Title Companies to pay off Levied and Pending Special Assessments for Parcels.
Entering the Title Companies into the built in Code Tables allowed the users to select the Title Company as the payer from a drop down list. However, if the Title Company wasn’t in the code table, users were required to manually enter the information or go to a different screen to add the Title Company, then they would need to reopen the payment screen to allow the selection of the Title Company. A little button on all payment screens to the right of the Title Code drop down will now allow the user to enter a new Title Company, and it will immediately be available to select in the drop down.
The latest release of PDS contained many useful enhancements like this one to assist in daily work tasks.
Special Assessment users decided it would be nice to hold a user group meeting in spring in addition to the annual fall meeting. May 3, 2017 Special Assessment users came together at LOGIS for this meeting.
Although many topics were discussed, much of the time was spent on Tips, Tricks and Secrets in the PDS system. Many of the options available to sort and filter grid detail records were a hit with the users. These options are documented and available to users on the LOGIS portal site (portal.logis.org).
Other main topics covered were the use and reporting on financial account numbers, both principal and interest amounts. The ability to quickly add a new Title Company from any payment screen was added in the last PDS release but most users did not realize the option existed.