Assessor's Code of Ethics
Massachusetts Association of Assessing Officers, Inc. Code of Ethics
The functions of the assessing officer and other members are professional in character. The purpose of the Code of Ethics is twofold. Its primary purpose is to establish clear, precise, ethical and professional guidelines for the assessing officer and other members of the Massachusetts Association of Assessing Officers (M.A.A.O.) who earnestly seek to discharge their duty to the public and their profession. Its secondary purpose is to provide minimum standards by which to judge M.A.A.O. members whose conduct is in question. Each member of M.A.A.O. agrees that he or she will:
1. Faith & Allegiance
Give full faith and allegiance to such oaths of office as the member may take, obey all applicable laws and regulations and apply the law to all individuals alike as may be required of the member in his or her employment.
Perform all appraisal/assessment duties in a manner consistent with statutory requirements, without advocacy for, or accommodation of, any particular interests. Be factual, objective, unbiased, and honest in all conclusions.
3. Confidential Information
Treat as confidential all information obtained in any official capaTown by the member concerning persons or their property, permitting and making only those uses of such information that are authorized by law, such as the exchange of factual information concerning persons or their property, for the sole purpose of assisting in the assessment of property legally subject to taxation.
Conduct all duties and activities in a manner that will reflect credit upon themselves and their profession.
5. Appearance of Impropriety
Use caution to avoid the appearance of impropriety, even though, in fact, no impropriety exists or is intended.
6. Representation of Qualifications
Use no M.A.A.O. professional designation unless duly authorized to do so by the Association and claim no qualifications in reports, testimony or elsewhere, which are not factual or which may be subject to erroneous interpretation.
Give full credit to the source of any materials quoted in writings and speeches.
8. Prohibited Assignments
Accept no fee appraisal or other assignment in which the member has an unrevealed personal interest or bias or which cannot be completed without placing the members personal integrity or that of the assessing profession in jeopardy.
Accept no specific assessment or appraisal engagement for which the amount of the member's compensation is contingent upon reporting a predetermined value or upon the amount of the value estimate; or upon reporting a predetermined opinion, conclusion or recommendation; or upon the amount of tax reduction obtained by a client using the member's services; or upon any other result, value, or subsequent transaction that might impair the member's objectivity and professionalism in rendering an opinion based on actual property values.
10. Advertising &/Or Solicitations
Use no advertising or promotion to solicit appraisals or assessment-related assignments that are not totally accurate and truthful and avoid using misleading claims or promises of relief that could lead to loss of confidence in appraisal or assessment professionals by the public.
11. Reporting Unethical Practices
Report to the M.A.A.O. any unethical practices or other actions by M.A.A.O. members that could reflect discredit upon the M.A.A.O. or upon the appraisal or assessment profession.
12. M.A.A.O. & Its Officers
Cooperate with the Executive Board and Ethics Committee in all matters related to the enforcement of this code.
13. Notice of Position
Any assessor acting in a private capaTown, who is scheduled to appear or submit written testimony or a report, on a subject matter before any assessing jurisdiction, will give advance written notice to such jurisdiction, that he/she is an "official and/or employee of a particular assessing town or Town."
14. Unwarranted Privileges
That no assessor shall use his/her official position to secure unwarranted privileges for him/herself, family, business associates, or any other person wherein said member benefits directly or indirectly.
15. Refrain From Participation
If an Assessor, or an assessing department employee, finds that in his/her own assessing district, a matter arises in which he/she or their family have a financial interest, they must advise the Board of Assessors and refrain from any participation in the matter.
Conform in all respects to this Code of Ethics and the Constitution of the M.A.A.O. as the same may be amended from time to time.
Adopted November 10, 1983 and amended 9/93 and October 8, 2002