The Utility Company Assessment Roll Standardization team (UCARS) was given the charge to develop and recommend a plan to standardize the utility section (roll section 6) of the assessment roll. The team was comprised of groups from the local assessment community, the public utility companies, and the Office of Real Property Tax Services (ORPTS).
Each stakeholder group presented their concerns and problems, and it was agreed that satisfaction for all could be achieved through standardization in roll section six. The team identified three major problem areas: utility property definition, parcel identification and assessor education as targets for standardization.
Problems specific to each major area were then identified and analyzed, resulting in proposed solutions for each area. ORPTS management approved the proposed recommendations and work was begun across the state in 1998. As of this writing, many counties and towns have implemented UCARS standards. ORPTS routinely issues Advisory Appraisals In UCARS format; it has become the standard format for Roll Section 6 properties. The purpose of this manual is to aide you in understanding the process. If you have not implemented UCARS standards on your Roll Section 6 and would like to do so, please contact your ORPTS/VSB liaison to assist you in the process.
A number of tools necessary for the completion of UCARS standardization are:
- Verified Company Addresses from ORPTS Address Database
- VSB Inventory and OC Details Report
- Breakdown of Assessed Values per School District
A number of tools which may aid in the completion of UCARS standardization are:
- Current, Complete Assessment Roll File
- Tax Maps for Town
- Company Maps (if available)
- School District Map
Seven steps to standardize the assessment roll for utility companies
- Confirm all current Roll Section 6 entries belong there.
- Confirm all utility parcels are in Roll Section 6.
- Verify SBLs for sited properties/set pseudo SBLs for mass properties
- Confirm property class code and change as necessary.
- Verify or enter standard company name/address available from ORPTS.
- Determine apportionment (if need be) for school purposes.
- Make standards RPS field entries for property type.
Keep in mind
- It is possible to have the same Location Number on 2 (or more) parcels, but you cannot have a single parcel with 2 locations attributed to it.
- Location Number "888888" always represents outside plant improvements.
- Location Number should always be entered in the "Company Location" field on the Description Screen.
- A mass property should always have an apportionment factor entered in the "Company Apportionment" field on the Description Screen.
- Vacant utility land (Property Class Code 380) should contain no improvements and no location should be attributed to them.
- Utility inventory changes over time with additions or retirements. These revisions to inventory can change the make up or quantity of the parcel identifiers used.
- Transmission improvements (electric transmission lines, pipelines, etc.) should be separately valued from the land (transmission right of way).