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Aerial Property Photography Being Used by US Tax Assessors

Homeowners in Tennessee could be in for a shock when their tax notices arrive this year, after local officials decided to use new aerial imagery in their assessment process.  The assessment team in Montgomery County, Tennessee have this year turned to state of the art aerial property photography in order to be able to monitor improvements to homes in the area that may affect their taxable value.

Property Photography Programme Picks up Home Improvements

Owners who may have made additions to their properties since the last assessment, for their own enjoyment or for property marketing purposes, could find themselves faced with a larger tax bill than expected after local government workers used aerial Pictometry combined with software programmes to reveal changes that could affect property prices.

The images, taken from the air, will show up improvements such as new swimming pools, decking areas, garages and outdoor storage – all of which could be used as property marketing tools to increase the value of a home. Assessor of Property for Montgomery Country Betty Burchett told the local press: “Before, because of the amount of parcels and the amount of staff we had, they often just made a quick assessment from the front of the house. They just didn’t have time to go all the way around to the back of the house.”

Property Marketing Ploys Increasing Home Values

Now the county’s tax office are bracing themselves for an influx of calls from homeowners shocked that their potential property marketing tactics have been picked up by the assessors as a result of the use of this type of imaging. Ms Burchett said that owners who had made improvements several years ago may now find themselves being charged at a higher level as the innovative use of aerial property photography had picked up on value-increasing changes that visiting assessors may have missed.