1.Before You Begin #

Purpose

This user guide provides instructions for ensuring that freeze ceilings are calculated correctly for the levy roll in a system with a PACS Collections-only database.

Before you begin, consider the following prerequisites and cautions:

Prerequisites

  • The user right Freeze Ceiling Maintenance must be assigned to your user ID. For more information about setting up user rights, see the User Rights User Guide.
  • Tax rates are set for the new levy and have been reviewed in all certified years prior to running the Freeze Ceiling Maintenance wizards.
  • All imports have been completed and totals have been balanced prior to running freeze/refreeze process.

    Note:  The freeze/refreeze process is run only once a year after all certified data has been entered or imported for the new levy year.


Caution 

  • Freeze ceiling maintenance is not available for any entity that has already created bills.
  • Any errors listed on the Freeze Ceiling Error Report should be corrected by your external appraisal office. Your office is responsible for sending freeze ceiling run information to your external appraisal office; this allows them to research the properties listed and make the necessary supplemental changes to correct the freeze ceilings. Those changes can then be imported by the collections office through upcoming supplemental imports or performed manually on the properties with the accurate info needed.

After you have run the Freeze/Refreeze Process on your database, you must rerun the activity Prepare System for Bill/Tax Statement Creation (Activities > Assessment > Levy Functions > Prepare System for Bill/Tax Statement Creation). For more information about this activity, see the Levy Roll and Tax Statement Procedures.

Stand-alone Tax Offices

Stand-alone tax offices that do not use PACS Appraisal can supplement properties to correct any errors listed on the Freeze Ceiling Error Report.

2.Checklist #

The tasks involved in maintaining freeze ceilings in PACS with a Collections-only database are shown below.

If you are viewing this file electronically, click the links below to go directly to the relevant section.

Task

Title

1

Setting Up Entities for Freeze Ceiling Calculations

 

2

Running the Newly Approved Entity/Freeze Type Wizard

 

3

Running the Freeze/Refreeze Wizard

 

4

Utilizing Freeze Ceiling Reports

 

3.Setting Up Entities #

Purpose

Use this procedure to set up entities for freeze calculations.

In this procedure, you verify that the Enable Calculation of Freeze Ceiling checkbox is selected. If the checkbox is not selected, the entity is not available for selection from within the freeze wizards, and the system will not calculate a freeze ceiling associated with the entity either for supplement acceptance or for freeze ceiling calculations generated from newly approved freeze or freeze/refreeze process.

Prerequisite

The user right Freeze Ceiling Maintenance must be assigned to your user ID. For more information about setting up user rights, see the User Rights User Guide.

Procedure

  1. Open an entity.
  2. Click the Tax Rates/Exemptions/PI Schedule tab. Then select the year required and click Details.

    The Entity (entity number) <entity code> 2018 Tax Rates dialog box is displayed.

    Freeze Ceiling Collections, Setting Up Entities, 8109x

  3. Review the Freeze Ceiling and Freeze Transfer columns in the Exemptions window. Confirm that the exemptions that allow freeze ceilings and freeze transfers are accurate for each entity. Stop and call TA support if they are not.
  4. Verify that the Enable Calculation of Freeze Ceiling check box is selected.

4.Running the Newly Approved Entity/Freeze Type Wizard #

Purpose

When an entity adopts a new freeze, use the Newly Approved Entity Freeze Ceiling Wizard described in this topic to calculate the freeze ceiling for the new entity/freeze type.

This procedure is required only if an entity has adopted a new freeze ceiling. (For example, this procedure is required if a city, county, or junior college has adopted a freeze ceiling that they did not grant prior to the current year.)


Note:  PACS systems running on a Collections-only database operate on the tax year being created.


Prerequisites

Before using the wizard, you must carry out the following activities as required in order to obtain the most accurate results:

  • All supplement groups must have a status of either Accepted or Bills Created.
  • Tax rates have been entered or copied forward from the last year to the current year.

Caution 

Consider the following cautions before beginning:

  • You process this wizard only once for a new entity/freeze type.
  • You cannot run this wizard for school entities. It is available only for non-school entity/freeze type combinations that appear to be new for the selected year.

Procedure

  1. Choose Activities > Assessment > Levy Functions > Freeze Ceiling Maintenance.

    The Freeze Ceiling Run History window is displayed.

  2. Preview freeze ceiling calculations.
    1. Right-click and select Newly Approved Entity Freeze Ceiling Wizard.

      The Newly Approved Entity Freeze Ceiling Wizard – Overview window is displayed.

    2. Click Next.

      The Newly Approved Entity Freeze Ceiling Wizard – Entity/Freeze Type dialog box is displayed.

    3. Ensure that the appropriate year is selected.

      Note:  The entity/freeze types available for the selected year are displayed.


    4. Select the available entity/freeze types. (These include all non-school entities that offer freezes for the selected year.)

      Tip  To select multiple entity/freeze types at the same time, press CTRL and click the required entities. Then click Include.


      Note:  Entities are not shown in the list if a freeze was offered in the preceding year, or if the Newly Approved Entity Freeze Ceiling Wizard has been run for the entity.


    5. To review the entity freeze types that are not available, click Show Unavailable Entity/Freeze Types.
    6. Click Next.
    7. Click Finish to carry out the freeze process in preview mode.

      A message is displayed indicating that the system is verifying freeze ceilings.

    8. You are prompted to acknowledge that the freeze ceiling run is complete. Click OK.

      The status of the run is set to Previewed.


      Note:  A status of Previewed indicates that the system has calculated the freeze ceilings, but has not yet applied them.


      The Freeze Ceiling Exception Report, Detail Report, and Change Report are displayed.

      Examples of possible errors are: the qualify year is missing, or information for the previous tax year is not available.

  3. Review the Freeze Ceiling Exception Report, Detail Report, and Change Report to analyze the results of the calculation, and then make corrections as required.

    Important   If the data displayed on the reports does not look accurate, right-click and choose Undo. Then repeat Step 2.


  4. Process the freeze ceilings.

    When you process freeze ceilings, the system processes the relevant data, taking into account any changes or corrections that were made.


    Caution   Once you process freeze ceilings, you cannot undo them. If you need to make any changes after processing freeze ceilings, you must do them manually.


    1. Right-click and choose Process Freeze Ceilings.

      The Newly Approved Entity Freeze Ceiling Wizard – Overview window is displayed.

    2. Click Next.

      The Newly Approved Entity Freeze Ceiling Wizard – Entity/Freeze Type dialog box is displayed with the entities you selected in the preview step.

    3. Click Next.

      The Newly Approved Entity Freeze Ceiling Wizard – Summary dialog box provides a summary of your selections.

    4. Click Finish.

      A message is displayed indicating that the system is verifying freeze ceilings.

    5. You are prompted to acknowledge that the freeze ceiling run is complete. Click OK.

      The status of the run is set to Processed.

      The Freeze Ceiling Exception Report, Detail Report, and Change Report are displayed.

  5. Review the Freeze Ceiling Exception Report, Detail Report, and Change Report to analyze the results of the calculation, and then make corrections as required. Supply your external CAD with a minimum of the Exception Report and the Change Report.

    Analyzing the Exception Report

    The information in the Exception Report may not necessarily indicate actual errors. Sometimes the information can be considered a warning only.

    For example, the Exception Report may indicate that information did not exist in the prior year. If the information was not applicable in the prior year, you would not need to correct any errors.

Result

The freeze ceiling calculations are complete for the new entity/freeze types.

5.Running the Freeze/Refreeze Wizard #

Purpose

Use the Freeze/Refreeze Wizard described in this topic to do the following:

  • Set freeze ceilings for the selected year unless the freeze ceiling already exists in the particular year, and the Freeze Override check box (accessed by choosing Details in the Exemption section of a property’s Entity-Exmpt tab) is set in the particular year.
  • Restore, when possible, any freeze ceilings missing from the selected year layer.
  • Calculate the new freeze ceiling
  • Recalculate a freeze ceiling when a homestead exemption has been added in the selected year.

    Note:  If the homestead exemption is not in the previous certified year, then the system recalculates the freeze ceiling if the homestead exemption is added to the property one year after the qualify year.

    For example, if a homestead exemption is added to a property the year after it qualifies for a freeze ceiling, then the ceiling is calculated in both years, and the system selects the lesser of the two values.


  • Recalculate the existing freeze ceiling for properties with new value added in the selected year.
  • Calculate the freeze ceilings that have a transfer date within the selected year.

Applicable Year

The Freeze/Refreeze Wizard operates on the most recently certified appraisal year using prior year information to calculate the freeze.

Caution 

  • For PACS systems with a Collections-only database, this Freeze/Refreeze Wizard will update freeze ceilings without supplementing properties. Therefore your office is responsible for sending freeze ceiling run information to your external appraisal office so that they can make the necessary corrections to their freezes or run the freeze/refreeze themselves using the correct tax rates.

Prerequisites

Before using the wizard, you must carry out the following activities as required in order to obtain the most accurate results:

  • All other supplement groups must have a status of either Accepted or Bills Created.
  • Tax rates are set and have been reviewed. Final tax rates must exist for the entity in the selected year and in the preceding year.

Procedure

  1. In PACS Collections, choose Activities > Assessment > Levy Functions > Freeze Ceiling Maintenance.

    The Freeze Ceiling Run History window is displayed.

  2. Preview freeze ceiling calculations.
    1. Right-click and choose Freeze/Refreeze Wizard.

      The Freeze/Refreeze Wizard – Overview window is displayed.

    2. Click Next.

      The Freeze/Refreeze Wizard – Entity/Freeze Types dialog box is displayed.

    3. Ensure that the appropriate year is selected.

      Freeze Ceiling, Collections, FreezeRefreeze Wizard, select Entity, 001

    4. Select the entity/freeze types to be included in the freeze ceiling calculation.

      Tip  To select multiple entity/freeze types at the same time, press CTRL and click the required entities. Then click Include.


    5. To review the entity/freeze types that are not available, click Show Unavailable Entity/Freeze Types.
    6. Click Next.

      The Freeze/Refreeze Wizard – Summary window is displayed.

      Freeze Ceiling, Collections, FreezeRefreeze Wizard, select Entity, 002

    7. Click Finish.

      A message is displayed indicating the progress of the process.

      Freeze Ceiling, Collections, FreezeRefreeze Wizard, Calculating, 001

    8. You are prompted to acknowledge that the freeze ceiling run is complete. Click OK.

      The status of the run is set to Previewed.


      Caution   A status of Previewed indicates that the system has calculated the freeze ceilings, but has not yet applied them.


      The Freeze Ceiling Exception Report, Detail Report, and Change Report are displayed.

  3. At a minimum, review the Freeze Ceiling Change Report to analyze the results of the calculation. Decide if you want to proceed with establishing the freezes that will be implemented. If the Reports do not look accurate, contact TA support with questions.

    Important 

    Any errors listed on the report must be corrected by your external appraisal office through supplement processing or the freeze/refreeze process using the correct tax rates. If your external appraisal office does not make the necessary updates to their database, the information they send you later might not reflect the correct freeze.

    Your office is responsible for sending freeze ceiling run information to your external appraisal office.

  4. Process the freeze ceilings.

    When you process freeze ceilings, the system processes the relevant data.


    Caution   Once you process freeze ceilings, you cannot undo them.


    If needed, you can rerun the freeze/refreeze process. Ideally, the freeze/refreeze process should only be run once on a Collections-only database. If you have loaded all your certified data prior to levy and discovered that incorrect tax rate information was entered prior to adding supplements for the levy year, you could conceivably rerun the freeze/refreeze process to substitute the corrected tax rates. If you have processed levy and already created your bills, you cannot run the freeze/refreeze process again.

    1. Right-click and choose Process Freeze Ceilings.

      Freeze Ceiling, Collections, FreezeRefreeze Wizard, Rt Click, Process, 001

      The Freeze/Refreeze Wizard – Overview window is displayed.

    2. Click Next.

      The Freeze/Refreeze Wizard – Entity/Freeze Types dialog box is displayed with the entities you selected in the preview step.

      Freeze Ceiling, Collections, FreezeRefreeze Wizard, Process Entity, 001

    3. Click Next.
    4. If there are properties that need to be supplemented in order to be processed, the Supplement window is displayed. Do one of the following:
      • If you do want to supplement properties:

      (i) Select Supplement Properties.

      (ii) Select either New supplement group to create a new group, Pending supplement group to place the properties in a pending supplement, or Available supplement group and select one from the Group drop-down list.

      (iii) Select the supplement code and enter a description. Then click Next.

      Freeze Ceiling, Collections, FreezeRefreeze Wizard, Supplement, 001


      Caution   We recommend that you choose to put the freeze/refreeze changes into a supplement. Failing to do so (1) could change your certified totals for the year to freeze adjusted taxable and (2) prevents you from exporting those changed freeze ceilings in the form of a sup group to tax offices that may require the changed freeze ceiling information after receiving certified information.


      • If you do not want to supplement properties:

      (i) Do not make entries on the Supplement window; verify that the Supplement Properties in Certified Years check box is clear.

      (ii) Click Next.

      The Freeze/Refreeze Wizard – Summary window is displayed.

      Freeze Ceiling, Collections, Freeze Refreeze Wizard, Summary, 001

    5. Click Finish.

      A message is displayed indicating the progress of the process.

      Freeze Ceiling, Collections, FreezeRefreeze Wizard, Calculating, 001

    6. You are prompted to acknowledge that the freeze ceiling run is complete. Click OK.

      The status of the run is set to Processed.

      The Freeze Ceiling Exception Report, Detail Report, and Change Report are displayed.

  5. Review the Freeze Ceiling Exception Report, Detail Report, and Change Report to analyze the results of the calculation. For more information about analyzing the reports, see Utilizing Freeze Ceiling Reports.
  6. Prior to levy bill creation and after running the freeze/refreeze process you should rerun the activity Prepare System for Bill/Tax Statement Creation (Activities > Assessment > Levy Functions > Prepare System for Bill/Tax Statement Creation) regardless of whether you supplemented properties to correct any freezes. For more information about this activity, see the Levy Roll and Tax Statement Procedures.

Result

Freeze ceilings have been calculated, recalculated, and any freeze ceilings not applied remain available in the system for corrections.

Freeze ceilings that could not be calculated are printed on the Freeze Ceiling Exception Report and are unaffected by the Freeze/Refreeze Wizard.

6.Utilizing Freeze Ceiling Reports #

Purpose

Use this activity to review the following reports associated with a run. You can review reports for a previewed or processed run at any time, but you cannot review reports for a freeze ceiling that has been undone.

  • Exception Report – Provides details about properties that did not have sufficient information for a freeze ceiling to be calculated.

Note:  The information in the exception report may not necessarily indicate actual errors. Sometimes the information can be considered a warning only.


For example, the exception report may indicate that information did not exist in the prior year. If the information was not applicable in the prior year, you would not need to correct any errors.

True errors, however, must be corrected by providing the reports to your external appraisal districts.

  • Detail Report – Displays all freeze ceilings that the system calculated. The report includes those freeze ceilings that may not be applied (for example, freeze ceilings associated with properties for which Freeze Override is selected), as well as freeze ceilings calculated but not applied.

    Freeze ceilings are not applied when:

    • The freeze was overridden at the property level.
    • The Enable Calculation of Freeze Ceiling check box was not selected for the entity.
  • Change Report – Displays all freeze ceilings which were both calculated and changed, including those which will not be applied.

    Freeze ceilings are not applied when:

    • The freeze was overridden at the property level.
    • The Enable Calculation of Freeze Ceiling check box was not selected for the entity.

    Freeze ceilings are changed when:

    • A recent appraisal included new construction, resulting in the additional taxes being added to the ceiling.
    • An owner has moved and his/her exemption was transferred, resulting in a recalculation of taxes based on a percentage of the existing ceiling to the value of the new home.
    • New exemption freeze OV65 or DV has been added.

Procedure

  1. Choose Activities > Freeze Ceiling Maintenance.
  2. Right-click the run and choose Reports.
  3. Select one of the reports.
  4. Preview or print the report as required.

Report Messages

For your reference, below is a listing of report messages, and where applicable, associated troubleshooting tips.

Message: Entity is not on property for the previous Tax Year.

Troubleshooting: Add the entity to the selected year.

Message: Entity is not on property for the Tax Year.

Troubleshooting: Add the entity to the selected year.

Message: Entity is not on property for the previous Tax Year.

Description: The exemption existed in the previous year but does not exist in the year after the freeze/refreeze is being processed for.

Troubleshooting: Add the exemption to the year prior to the selected year.

Message: Freeze Ceiling calculated.

Description: The freeze ceiling has been calculated and updated in the system.

Message: Freeze Ceiling calculated but not applied because of the freeze override flag.

Description: The freeze ceiling was calculated, but was not applied to the system because the exemption has the freeze override flag set.

Message: Freeze Ceiling calculation is not enabled for the entity.

Description: The freeze ceiling was calculated, but it was not applied to the system because the entry is not enabled for automatic freeze calculations

Troubleshooting: Open the entity and select the Enable Calculation of Freeze Ceiling checkbox. For more information, see Setting Up Entities for Freeze Ceiling Calculations. If the freeze/refreeze run is processed, undo it. If the freeze /refreeze run is not processed, redo it.

Message: Freeze Ceiling does not exist in the Previous Tax Year.

Description: The property does not have any freeze information in the prior tax year.

Troubleshooting: You need to calculate the freeze ceiling manually.

Message: Freeze Ceiling information unchanged.

Description: Indicates that nothing was changed. The freeze ceiling was calculated, but it was not applied to the system because there were no changes between the current ceiling and the calculated ceiling.

Message: Freeze Ceiling is not offered by Entity for this Freeze Type.

Troubleshooting: Check the entity’s exemption and update it if necessary.

Message: No action indicated.

Troubleshooting: Indicates that the freeze is correct and therefore no action is needed.

Message: Previous Tax Year exemption amount info not available.

Troubleshooting: Contact True Automation Client Services.

Message: Previous Tax Year info not available for freeze ceiling calculation.

Troubleshooting: Contact True Automation Client Services.

Message: Property does not exist.

Description: The property is not active in the current year.

Troubleshooting: Open the property in the year selected in the wizard. If it is deleted, then the ceiling cannot be calculated automatically.

Message: Property does not exist for the previous Tax Year.

Description: The property is not active in the previous tax year.

Troubleshooting: Check if the property is deleted or did not exist in the previous year. If either case is true, the ceiling has to be added manually.

Message: Property is in a non-accepted supplement for the previous Tax Year.

Troubleshooting: Accept the supplement group that the property exists in for the year prior to the selected tax year. The Freeze Maintenance Wizard will not process any properties in a non-accepted supplement group, included properties that are individually accepted.

Message: Property is in a non-accepted supplement for the Tax Year.

Troubleshooting: Accept the supplement group that the property exists in for the selected tax year. The Freeze Maintenance Wizard will not process any properties in a non-accepted supplement group, including properties that are individually accepted.

Message: Qualify year for the exemption is equal to or greater than the Tax Year.

Description: The freeze/refreeze process cannot be run on this property because the qualify year is the same as the year being processed.

Troubleshooting: Update the qualify year in the selected year.

Message: Qualify year for the exemption is missing.

Troubleshooting: Updating the qualify year for the exemption. Note: True Automation has a query that can do a mass update for this issue.

Message: Qualify Year for the Exemption is not equal to the Qualify Year in the previous Tax Year.

Troubleshooting: If the owner has changed, then this is not an error. However, if the owner has not changed, then the qualify year should be the same in both years, and you will need to update the qualify year in both years.

Message: Tax Rates are not set for the current Tax Year.

Troubleshooting: Make sure that the entity has tax rates for the current tax year.

Message: Tax Rates are not set for the previous Tax Year.

Troubleshooting: Make sure that the entity has tax rates for the previous tax year so that the freeze can be calculated.

Message: Tax year exemption amount info not available.

Troubleshooting: Contact True Automation Client Services.

Message: Tax Year info not available for freeze ceiling calculation.

Troubleshooting: Contact True Automation Client Services.

Message: Transfer Percentage is not available.

Troubleshooting: Set the transfer percentage for the freeze ceiling in the selected year.

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