Thursday, 05 April 2012 by David H. LeVan
Have you ever seen the Grand Canyon from an airplane? At 277 miles long and up to 18 miles wide, it is truly spectacular! The North Rim of the canyon is generally accessible from Las Vegas and the South Rim from Phoenix or Flagstaff. Hiking from one rim to the other is discouraged by park officials because of the distance, steepness, rocky trails, elevation changes, and potential heat exhaustion. Even though rescues are often required for unsuccessful rim-to-rim travelers, hundreds of physically fit hikers complete the trip every year. For those who are in exceptional shape, there is even a 78 mile ultra-marathon through the canyon.
In the property tax industry, we have our own Grand Canyon. It plays out like this…..Property tax departments are on the South Rim of the canyon. The executives of their organizations are on the North Rim. Property tax departments have complained for years that upper management doesn’t understand property taxes and have made very few attempts to hike to the South Rim. In fact, evidence shows that most executives have a very limited knowledge of property taxes. CFO magazine states that property tax is the “least understood tax” by CFOs.
But what is going on with the South Rim? How many times have you tried to cr over to the North Rim? In our PropTax Assessment, we found that only 50% of property tax departments were providing upper management with ”easy to understand, insightful property tax reports” on a regular basis. Only 50%! Property tax departments often complain of lacking resources to adequately do the job they have been charged with doing. Those with the capabilities of authorizing resources are on the North Rim. If they aren’t learning about the impact that your department is providing to the organization from you, they probably aren’t learning about it.
Maybe it’s time to get in shape and hike to the North Rim. If you have already hiked the canyon a few times, maybe you should take it up a notch and sign up for the ultra-marathon.