The roles and functions of the Valuation Department
The role of the Valuation Department under the Orange Walk Town Council is to generate income by ensuring that all properties/ establishments be assessed on the respective Valuation Role in a timely efficient manner. This department is managed by Mr. Digno Polanco and overseen by Mr Freddy Patt (valuation officer1) and Mr Dario Rosado (valuation officer2).
- The purpose of referencing properties is to collect facts, which are relevant to the assessment of the value of the properties, and to achieve fairness in the valuation of all properties in relation to each other.
- Referencers (Valuation Officers) must appreciate fully that in being authorized to enter into and upon private properties, they have been placed in a position of trust and must so conduct themselves in such professional manner so that, that trust will not be found to have been misplaced. Premises should not be entered unless and until the Referencer is satisfied that he has the permission of the person in possession.
The reason for Valuation is necessary so as to determine the amount of tax that the owner will pay. The size, type, use, and location of building, or property, are factors taken into consideration when calculating the value.
- Valuation is a means of raising revenue under the Towns Property Tax Chapt. 65 of the revised edition 2000.
- The revenue obtained enables the Council to carry out their work program, which includes the repairing of streets, drains, garbage collections, etc.
- Before a property is valued, there are Referencers (Valuation Officers) who undertake an on the site inspection of each property. A working list is prepared, with the name of the Street, House and Lot numbers, and the name of the owner of the property. During the Referencer’s inspection he will make notes on his working list indicating whether or not the building is occupied or unfit for habitation.
The purpose for which the building is used is also indicated: e.g. Dwelling, Shop, and Dwelling, Ware house, Club, Office etc.-
Some of the information, which has to be collected, relates to the following major areas:
- Accommodation – Dwelling, shop, and dwelling, restaurant, warehouse, hotel, boarding house etc.
- Construction – i.e – timber, concrete and timber, concrete blocks plastered, Architecture design.
- Roof – Corrugated iron sheeting, roofing, concrete roofing shingles, Fibre concrete roof tile, asbestos free (rod roofing).
- Condition and Age – very good, good, fair, poor, bad, very bad, dilapidated.
- Site Condition – Lot or yard, whether wholly filled, part filled or Low-lying.
- Building sketch Plan measurements – An outline plan of each floor plan has to be prepared showing approximately the dividing walls and all outside measurements to the nearest feet. (3”) letters of the alphabets are used to identify each subdivision of a building, and or any out- door buildings eg., store room Kitchen etc. and type of material used for the construction of the building should be indicated by the Referencer (Valuation Officer).
- Rental Information – Inspecting officers are expected to find out the rent paid for the accommodation or if owner occupy the building. Information should also be obtained concerning the amount of building space available and how it is allocated. Eg. Shop space – 264 square feet, warehouse 400 square feet, dwelling 900 square feet. Etc. These Information should be entered into the field book and then transferred to the proper files.