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Certificate of
Excellence in

Association of
Assessing Officers) awards offices that utilize best appraisal and assessment practices with a  Certificate of Excellence.
Our office received this distinction in  2012, and we continue to serve property owners in Nashville and Davidson County with a high level of excellence.


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  Check our Summer 2013 Newsletter below.

You may also download a PDF copy.

December 2010
Spring 2011
Summer 2011
Fall 2011
Winter 2012
Spring 2012

 Summer 2012

We Build More Public Trust Through Transparency With Interactive Tools

For many years, the Assessor’s office has focused on two primary goals: 

           1.) Perform the most accurate property appraisals we can to ensure that all taxpayers are treated equally, and

           2.) Operate as transparently as possibly so taxpayers can understand how we arrive at market value estimates.     

With the help of current and past mayors and metro councils throughout the years, we have been able to acquire, develop, and implement an impressive suite of high technology Computer Assisted Mass Appraisal (CAMA) systems to help us accomplish equity in our analysis of property valuation.

The inauguration in 2001 of a database system allowing public access to Davidson County property information was a giant step, followed by the 2005 introduction of our first online appeals system.

But, we did not stop there.  In 2007, our office incorporated an advanced aerial photography application to increase our productivity while cutting costs in office administration.  We also introduced convenient online filing of Schedule Bs for businesses via our .


In 2012, as we prepared for the analysis phase of this year’s (2013) quadrennial mass
reappraisal, we began to put strong emphasis on our other important objective:  demystify the entire appraisal/assessment process. 


We decided to make the information and tools we use in our processes more easily accessible to property owners via our website through user-friendly means.  Our goal was to offer an online interactive way for property owners who disagree with our appraisal and assessment of their properties to see whether the values we assign are fair and equitable, and, further, to be able to contest them and tell us why.


Toward that end, we challenged several of our primary technology vendors to work collaboratively to create for us a uniquely seamless online system featuring important components.


To this date, the primary participants including Patriot Properties, Spatialest, and Pictometry, along with the more recently added Modria, continue to perfect these processes which take a taxpayer from viewing aerial and at-an-angle property images, comparing sales of properties, and assembling property information with a few simple clicks of a mouse, to finally, appealing a property value, all online and interactive.


Says Assessor George L. Rooker Jr., “Working in tandem, our new online technical tools encourage a great understanding of how we arrive at the values we place on Davidson County properties (which number approximately 240,000 total over 533 square miles), based on real estate trends and the economic changes currently taking place in our communities.”


“Thus far, public reaction has been consistently positive.  Within just a few minutes of use,  property owners can now see more clearly how land and building characteristics, as well as location, influence fair market value.  Already, we have more and more property owners now focusing on the relevant factors that influence value rather than simply getting upset over taxes.”


“Our efforts toward achieving equity and transparency will continue and, ultimately, expand as we broaden our property information platform  to provide map-based data to other departments, including Codes, Planning, Trustee, Fire, Police, and Elections, and as we better educate the public regarding how to use our resources to fit the needs of each individual property owner.”


“At this moment in time, we believe that we have the best assessment administration suite of tools in the state of Tennessee.  In the future, we plan to offer the absolute greatest assessment interactive, high-tech tools in the country.”


In the following paragraphs, you will find introductions to Pictometry, COMPER Sales, Spatialest  Analytics, and Modria.  Instructions for use are also included, with page numbers displayed beneath each product logo.

All of the new online technology systems are now available for public use AT NO COST to the property owners via our web site located at


The user may simply  employ our home page to launch the WebPro Property Search database link, then jump to the online tools that he or she needs to build a solid base of property information.



Pictometry Takes CAMA To The Skies


Combine the prefix ‘pict’, which means “picture, depict,” with the suffix ‘metry,’ defined as “measure, measuring device,” and you have one of our important Computer Assisted Mass Appraisal (CAMA) tools:  Pictometry.


Pictometry is a photography application designed by Pictometry International Corporation that provides visual intelligence for users to see everything within the photographed area.


Pictometry’s photos are ‘snapped’ via fly-overs by contracted light aircraft using a patented capture system that guides the pilot into flight lines, fires the camera at pre-determined locations (as often as three seconds to photograph up to a dozen different views of any property, structure, or land feature), records and merges the navigation data, and completely monitors the system to ensure and improve quality.


Pictometry actually captures two types of imagery for every square foot of an area:
orthogonal (straight down with north always at the top of the image) and oblique (taken at an angle in a 360-degree viewing, allowing the user to see details of objects in an image).  A single flight captures enough imagery to provide a tremendous amount of visual detail for our office appraisers to use in valuing Davidson County residential and commercial properties.


While the images are somewhat commonplace in aerial photography, the software and what it can do with the photos sets Pictometry apart from other companies.  The interface of its software, Electronic Field Study (EFS), is the ‘nerve center.’  EFS sends messages to the focal compartment of the Windows-based product that holds the subject image.  A simple click anywhere in the main image transmits a request to EFS to display up to 12 thumbnails of images that pertain to the property.


These photographs are stored in a standard image format such as JPEG or TIFF.  Geographic  data is housed in Pictometry’s proprietary image trailer format, with maps, elevation files, and Geographic Information System (GIS) data stored using a methodology that is easily accessed by EFS.  Finally, both the images and data are ‘married’ and transferred to ‘libraries’ to be accessed online through Pictometry’s warehouse utilities.


This collaboration of pix-and-info gives our appraisers the capability of literally viewing and analyzing any house, building, or other feature in the photographed area from a computer workstation, which, in turn, offers many important benefits to property owners individually and Davidson County as a whole.


For example, property inspections can be completed more comprehensively and quickly with increased efficiency.  Appraisers no longer lose time traveling from one property to another, which, in turn, allows them to concentrate more fully on analysis, which ultimately leads to improved accuracy in appraisals.  (Pictometry partners with iLookAbout for a pictorial view of a neighborhood through street-level images, which aids in the determination of the true condition of a property.)


Budget constraints have required our office to utilize fewer employees to complete appraisals for both residential and commercial properties, which, in turn, has resulted in savings for Davidson County through payroll, benefits, insurance, and other costs.  We have also more efficiently allocated this core staff to develop highly reliable appraisal models and to perform quality control, which ultimately produces improved results.


Fewer vehicles are required for service by the Assessor’s office, which results in fuel savings for Metro Nashville/Davidson County.  (For instance, an analysis conducted during the first quarter of 2012 indicated a 15% reduction in the number of vehicles, as well as a 36% reduction in fuel consumption.)


While change is constant for any assessor’s office, Pictometry makes it easier for our own employees to stay on top of new building construction, demolitions, permits, and even the appeals process, as image and data libraries are periodically refreshed to allow for the analysis of property changes that take place over time.  It also offers the public an opportunity to use a high-tech tool in a way that is non-intimidating, because Pictometry images do not require photo-interpretation skills to recognize features and decipher other pertinent details. 

Optimize our staff resources. 


Maintain the integrity of Davidson County records. 


Ensure equalization of the tax burden in our community. 


These are our main objectives.  Clearly, Pictometry plays an important role in making sure that we consistently meet, and often exceed, these goals.










Comparing Home Sales Is Streamlined With COMPER


Owning a home can be an expensive proposition.  In addition to the initial cost of
purchasing the building and land (raw or with land items), the property owner is often subject to paying other necessary fees and charges, including maintenance, utilities, renovations, landscaping, and, don’t forget, property taxes.


The dollar amount of taxes hinges on property value, which, in turn, is based on several determining factors, including one of the most important:  recent sales of comparable properties in the immediate neighborhood of the subject house.


Our new online tool, Spatialest COMPER  Sales of Properties, makes it easier than ever
before to research property values for both our office appraisers and the public.


COMPER is a unique software package that uses comparable sales information, property
comparison features, and location to produce estimates of value.  It offers a comprehensive range of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and statistical functionality to provide both novice and advanced users with an online tool to generate accurate appraisal information.  A few clicks of a mouse, and the user can view:

A map showing the location of the comparable properties in relation to the subject property

A summary of the model parameters (number of comparable properties and search distance)

A list of the comparable rules upon which the property was assessed

A photograph of each property

A summary table that compares pertinent property attributes between the subject property and comparables used to determine the assessed value.


As one of the most innovative comparable sales selectors in the country, COMPER streamlines research by quickly locating sales evidence, allowing the user to broaden or narrow the selection criteria (e.g. increasing the area of research surrounding the subject property), and storing this information so that creating a PDF report can take place in real time or later, whichever is most convenient for the user. 


The resulting PDF report includes location, proximity, sale date, square footage and value per square feet, bedrooms, baths, year built, and the sale price for the subject property and those selected as comparable.  Armed with this information, the property owner can more easily make a choice whether or not to file for an informal review of property value (the first step in the appeals process), using the Comparable Sales Report as evidence.


COMPER is an important tool because it  provides a shortcut to property data retrieval, even as it promotes greater reliance on accurate data.










Spatialest Analytics Is All About Identifying Trends And Making Decisions


Within our suite of new interactive online tools, Spatialest Analytics is the one that
features the most levels of data tracking. 


Developed to rely on the discovery of meaningful patterns in data, Pii Analytics’ high-tech computer software systems, extensive use of data visualization to describe and predict, not to mention its research of both our office administration and repetitive public use of information, makes Spatialest Analytics one of the best resources for gathering data that is reliable and verified.

Our analytics dashboard offers a view into the detailed information associated with  property sales, permits, census information, and assessments that a user (both our office appraisers and the public) can generate through neighborhood delineation.  Each of the major category search tabs yields data that is accurate, reliable, and verified, and is further supported through facts, figures, and visual accessories such as maps, photographs, and graphs.


For example, while the user will certainly find data regarding recent area sales in a selected area, when he or she clicks on the Sales tab, Spatialest Analytics further separates the data into differing property types.  It then shows sale values for the current year for each type, plus the median sale price and sale volume by quarter, all pertinent to Davidson County.  When the user clicks on an individual house icon displayed on this map, property information which includes parcel ID, land use, owner name(s), and the tax district in which the home is located, in addition to the aforementioned sales data, is displayed.


The permits tab sends the user to a frame that offers data regarding building permits for the past year.  A sub-layer reflects permits issued for demolition, residential addition, storm damage, new residential properties, and rehab properties.  One click on the icon for an individual property offers up a photograph plus details about the property which includes date built, description, and additional notes.


Census is the third Spatialest Analytics tab, and information here is separated into sub-categories which list population by sex, median household income for the previous year, median age of the population in the subject area, and area ethnicity.


The flood tab follows, with data regarding mean appraisal values pre- and post-flood (from the May 2010 500-year flood that created multi-billion dollar damages to properties in downtown Nashville and several of its surrounding areas), mean sale price by quarter, and mean sale price 12 months before flood and 12 months after flood damage.

Finally, the assessment tab leads to information regarding appraised amounts for 2013 residential properties, along with appraised values both from the current and the 2009 reappraisals (Davidson County is on a 4-year cycle).  Add a map layer, and the user may view hot (gain in property value) and cold (loss in property value) real estate market areas, colorfully characterized through gradient red and blue graphics.


Through our implementation of Spatialest Analytics, we believe that our emphasized focus on
delivering access of essential property information to the  public is largely responsible for a heightened understanding of the factors that figure in to our property valuation for Davidson County.




Resolving Property Appeals Takes An Up-Front Hi-Tech Approach


Advances in communication and information technology have changed the face and pace of business.  This has never been more apparent than in our new Resolution Center.


Through our recent implementation of a Modria-designed user-friendly interactive online format, if a property owner feels that his or her property is being taxed beyond reason, he or she may contest the assessment valuation of the property by using the resolution center.


Accessed through our WebPro Property Search tool on our website,, the Resolution Center takes the user on a seamless path from the first step of filing an informal review to finally appealing the assessment before the Metro and/or State Board(s) of Equalization.  Extensive instructions are included in each section to guide the user (property owner) every step of the way.


On the administrative side, the Resolution Center automatically assigns requests for review of property valuation to the section leader of the neighborhood in which the house or land is located   He or she reviews the request, then turns it over to the appropriate staff appraiser for analysis.  Should it become necessary, appraisers can enable discussions with the property owner online to make sure that their analysis and calculations are correct.

The very best feature of our Resolution Center is that it provides a convenient filing
process for the property owner, which, in turn, leads to more efficient assessment processes within our entire office.  It truly is fast, easy, and available online 24 hours/7 days a week.


It is also a paperless process with all property information stored in a central location, so that efficient case management  for our office, from open to resolved, is administered
consistently.  Furthermore, easy tracking gives both the property owner and our office appraisers great visibility throughout the entire appeal life cycle.


Although we launched this Resolution Center just months ago, already we have seen many property owners use it with great results.  We are excited to report that, among taxpayers, hearing officers, and our assessment staff,  improved communication and satisfaction levels are at their highest.


Using high-technology to change property assessment processes to fit the property owner better is as important to us as making sure that we do our jobs the best that we possibly can. 


The Assessor’s office is committed to EXCELLENCE, and IT SHOWS!




The remaining 'pages' of the Summer 2013 newsletter make up the CAMA Tools Dashboard.  Each of the new tools sections features instructions and screen shots for ease of use.


You may also download a PDF copy of the newsletter to have handy when you utilize any of our new tools.  You should find the notes invaluable in maneuvering through the online processes.


If you have any questions, or if you encounter any problems in using Pictometry, Comper Sales, Spatialest Analytics, or Modria, please call Customer Service at (615) 862-6083 and one of our representatives will be happy to assist you.  










































Office Newsletter, April - June 2013
Vicki H. Moser
Contributors:  Vicki H. Moser, Sam McPherson, and Elizabeth M-K Sullivan

Editors:  David Booth, Dan McGowan, Brad Pigue, and Amy Raines

The Assessor of Property newsletter is published quarterly in house.
Editorial Policy:  covers news regarding the Assessor's Office appraisal and assessment administration practices, statistical data, and/or trending real estate news pertinent to Davidson County.


Assessor of Property for Davidson County, TN  *  P.O. Box 196305  *  Nashville, TN 37219-6305
Physical Address:  700 2nd Ave S, Suite 210 * Nashville, TN 37210

Phone (Main Line):  (615) 862-6080;  Fax: (615) 862-6057 
Open 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday - Friday