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CCMA I and CCMA II Designations
CCMA Course 1A – Assessment Administration
This course is intended for newly-elected assessors, assessor clerks, new staff members and others interested in earning the CCMA designation. Along with CCMA 1B, this is an appropriate course for first-time attendees.
Content: Introduction to state statutes, Transfer of title, Maintenance of assessment records, Exemptions and exempt properties, Assessment calendar, Common interest ownership.
CCMA Course 1B – Assessment Valuation
This course is intended for newly-elected assessors, assessor clerks, new staff members and others interested in earning the CCMA designation. Along with CCMA 1A, this is an appropriate course for first-time attendees.
Content: Concept of value, 490 valuation (farm, forest and open space), Revaluation, Sales ratio and grand list codes, Motor vehicle assessment administration, Personal property assessment administration, Miscellaneous valuation problems.
CCMA Course 2A – Introduction to Appraisal Principles
Content: The appraisal process, Legal concepts and theory of value, Land valuation, cost approach to value, Measuring and listing.
Prerequisites: CCMA 1A and CCMA 1B
CCMA Course 2B – Application of Valuation Techniques
This course is open to attendees who have completed the prerequisites below, and to others on a space-available basis.
Content: Mathematics and statistics, Cost schedules, Revaluation concepts, Commercial valuation, Sales Comparison approach to value.
Prerequisites, CCMA 1A, 1B, and 2A
CCMA Course 3 – Income approach to Value
Content: Income capitalization, Capitalization and discount rate development, Mortgage equity and band of investment, Use of the HP-12C financial calculator, Residual techniques, Discounted cash flow analysis, Financial functions
Prerequisites: CCMA 1A, 1B, 2A, and 2B
CCMA Course 4 – Revaluation Course
Content: Requests for proposals and contracts, Public and media relations, Statutory framework, Preliminary valuation review, Ratio studies, Mass appraisal techniques.
Prerequisites: CCMA 1A & 1B
Administrative Assessment Technician Designation, AAT
The Education Committee of the C.A.A.O., in 1996 established the designation of Administrative Assessment Technician (A.A.T.) to encourage and recognize educational accomplishment and to enhance professionalism among assessment clerks and technicians.
Modules are multiple half day sessions from 2 – 5 days instructed by CCMA Instructors.
The Connecticut Association of Assessing Officers is the sponsor of this designation, therefore the title is exclusively reserved for CAAO members. For qualifying former members of the CAAO the A.A.T. designation may be requested if membership is re-established.
The benefits of an A.A.T. designation.
History of Assessor Designations
Connecticut assessors have long been involved in educational efforts designed to improve their professional expertise. The annual Assessor’s School at the University of Connecticut, established in 1944 by CAAO, has the distinction of being the oldest continuously run education program for assessment professionals in the country.
A voluntary certification program for assessors was established by CAAO in 1962. The Certified Connecticut Assessor (CCA) designation created by the association was modeled on the Certified Assessment Evaluator (CAE) designation then offered by the National Association of Assessing Officers.
In the mid- to late-1960’s, those who recognized the need for a more formal process began to request legislation establishing a state sponsored certification program. At that time, there were still a substantial number of Connecticut towns that elected a three-member board of assessors. Faced with the argument that certification would represent an intrusion into the electoral process, these early legislative proposals were defeated.
With the advent of more complex laws and state-mandated programs, the need for skilled assessors who could perform their jobs with knowledge and integrity became more acute. The Meskill Commission’s 1972 Report on Tax Reform recommended the establishment of a state certification program for assessors. This was the impetus for the 1974 legislation that created the Certified Connecticut Municipal Assessor (CCMA) Committee.
In accordance with §12-40a, the Secretary of the Office of Policy and Management (OPM) appoints the seven members of the Certified Connecticut Municipal Assessor Committee (CCMA Committee). This committee is charged with establishing programs and procedures for the training, examination, certification and recertification of assessors and making recommendations to the OPM Secretary concerning the certification of individuals.
The initial members of the CCMA Committee (Walter Birck, one of the earliest proponents of a state-sponsored certification program, Richard Prendergast, Robert Kemp, Joseph Cullen, John Killeen, and Edward Clifford) approved the first formal guidelines regarding the training, examination and certification of assessors. Based on the committee’s recommendations, the 35 assessors who then held the CCA designation received their Certified Connecticut Municipal Assessor (CCMA) designations on October 23, 1974. By the end of that year, an additional 61 assessing officers had received the CCMA designation.
Awareness of the proficiency assessors must possess has increased since the first designations were awarded, as has the complexity of the assessment function. The certification program continues to be voluntary, however, a new State Statute makes it mandatory that the annual Grand List be signed by a certified assessor and many towns have made receipt of a state designation a condition of employment. And while the number of elected three-member boards of assessors has declined, many board members have become certified. There are currently approximately 350 persons who have received their designations and all but a handful of towns have state certified assessors on staff. This is a clear indication of the success of the certification process and the esteem with which assessor designations are viewed.
There have been several revisions to the certification program since its inception. Additional course requirements became part of the certification criteria in 1987. Two years later, these criteria were formally adopted as Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies. Recertification requirements were added in 1997, at which time the current two levels of certification were established. As of August 15, 2016, the Revaluation Course gained final approval and is now required as a prerequisite to obtain both a CCMA I or CCMA II designation starting with exams taken after January 1, 2018. There is no waiver for this course. During each of these revisions, there has been one constant: the underlying principles of education and experience as a prerequisite for certification have remained unchanged.
The two levels of state certification currently that currently exist for assessors are CCMA I and CCMA II, with the difference between the two hinging on their varying education and experience requirements. Comprehensive examinations for both levels of certification are conducted annually. Certifications are valid for a five-year period and persons wishing to maintain their certifications must successfully complete 50 hours of approved courses or workshops during that five-year period. The CCMA Committee determines which courses and workshops can be used to fulfill this requirement.
CAAO issues the Administrative Assessment Technician (AAT) designation to persons involved in the assessment field who either do not wish to become state certified, or have yet to achieve the necessary education and experience requirements. CAAO’s Education Committee develops the guidelines for the AAT designation, which is issued following a person’s successful completion of required courses and examinations. The designation remains valid while a recipient is a CAAO member.
While not a state certification, the AAT designation evidences the professionalism of those who have satisfied the prerequisites for its achievement.
Given the accomplishments of the certification program and Connecticut’s historical emphasis on the education of assessors, it can be assumed that the state’s assessment officials will continue to meet future challenges with the same enthusiasm and competency they have exhibited in the past.