If it’s August it’s MS-1 time. However, this year we have had plenty of time in which to implement the relatively minor changes so we hope to be distributing update 3.7.8 for Avitar Assessing within the next week. Here’s what you need to know and look for in the coming days.
- There are no significant changes this year to the information on the report (e.g. no new category of information to be included or differences to existing exemptions or credits).
- There are no significant changes this year to the report process either — you will still generate a report preview within Avitar Assessing and then export the report data to an XML file which you can then import into the DRA’s PDF form. You will again submit the report(s) to DRA electronically.
- The DRA has updated and streamlined the PDF itself to use a common form for the reports for both municipalities and village districts — when you import the XML file for each entity the PDF will format accordingly — so there is only one PDF file to download from the DRA web site this year, regardless of whether or not you have village districts. Nonetheless, when you do visit the DRA site be certain to verify you are downloading the latest form MS-1 PDF for 2014.
- There is a new methodology for standardizing entity names for municipalities, village districts, and utilities. But the system will walk you through this, as needed, and it will remember the settings after you have done it once. This should take you all of about 45 seconds to complete.
We are buttoning up the update and the documentation and should be ready to distribute it electronically within the next week. If, in the meantime, you need to get a head-start on reviewing your MS-1 Report(s) you can use the preview currently generated by the system — the information itself won’t change too much, if at all, once you get the update. However, you should wait to actually export your XML file(s) until you receive the update.
- We have added new export formats to assist you with updating Mosaic, both to periodically provide Mosaic with assessment information for all your parcels, as well as to export detailed sales information (e.g. sale price, assessment, parcel description/parcel modifier, exclusion code, note, etc.) to Mosaic as part of your annual Equalization process. The transition several years ago to Mosaic as the mechanism for completing Equalization work left a gap in the automation and synchronization we had previously been able to achieve with Real Data. With this update we have closed that gap once again. Note, however, that in order to use this capability you will need to coordinate training with the DRA to ensure that sales you upload from Avitar Assessing to Mosaic are done properly.
- We have updated and revised some of the data export formats as the number and variations had gotten a bit out of hand.
What You should Do:
- Be on the lookout for the update/download email within the next week. We will once again be distributing the update via email with your own personalized electronic download link.
- Review the online documentation and update notes for more detail about the MS-1 Process, the Mosaic Parcel and Sales export formats, and the other features included in this update.
- Contact us if you have any questions.
We’ll be in touch again shortly.