Tax Glossary N-Z

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Weights & Measures

Neighborhood - The environment of a subject property that has a direct and immediate impact on its value.

Neighborhood Analysis - A study of the relevant forces that influence property values within the boundaries of a homogenous area.

Net Income - The income expected from a property, after deduction of allowable expenses.

Net Present Value (NPV) - The difference, if any between the present value of all expected benefits or positive cash flows, and the present value of capital outlays, or negative cash flows.

Newel Post - The post at the foot of a stairway, or in a winding stairway, the central, post around which the stairway winds.

Nominal Interest Rate (I) - A stated or contract rate; an interest rate, usually annual, that does not necessarily correspond to the true or effective rate of growth at compound interest; e.g., a true or effective 1% monthly interest rate may be called a nominal, annual interest rate of 12%, although true growth with monthly compounding amounts to slightly more than 12.68% per year. See also effective interest rate.

Nominal Tax Rate - A mathematical expression of the relationship between the tax levy and the total assessment for a jurisdiction. (Levy divided by assessment = nominal tax rate.)

Observed Condition Breakdown Method - This method breaks down depreciation into all its various components; curable physical deterioration, incurable short-lived-item physical deterioration, incurable basis structure (long-lived items) physical deterioration, curable functional obsolescence, incurable functional obsolescence, and economic (external) obsolescence.

Obsolescence - Loss in property value due to causes other than physical deterioration such as becoming out of date, excess of supply over demand, or loss in desirability and use for the specific type of property.

Overall Age/Life Method - Method of estimating accrued depreciation based on straight-line depreciation in which the building is assumed to depreciate by a constant percentage each year over its economic life.

Overall Capitalization Rate ( RO) - An income rate for a total real property interest that reflects the relationship between a single years’ net operating income expectancy or an annual average of several years’ income expectancies, and total price or value; used to convert net operating income into an indication of overall property value (RO=NOI/V).

Over-improvement - A building having a value in excess of that which the value of the land on which it is built justifies.

PAAA - Property Appraisal and Assessment Administration.

Parapet - A low wall at the edge of a roof, balcony, or terrace. May be an extension of the exterior wall above the roof.

Parcel - An area of land capable of being conveyed by a single legal description. A single piece of land under one ownership. May be a lot or acreage.

Parcel Identifiers - A code, usually numerical, representing a specific land parcel's legal description.

Parquet Floor - Flooring consisting of wood blocks laid in adhesive material in systematic (commonly colored) patterns.

Party Wall - A wall common to and separating two buildings.

Patio - An outside floor area, without roof, constructed of brick, tile, stone, state, or other similar material, usually adjoining a house and used as an outdoor living area. Same as a terrace.

Personal Property - Property that is not real is personal. Characteristic of personal property is its movability without damage to itself or the real estate.

Physical Deterioration - A cause of depreciation which is a loss in value due to wear and tear and the forces of nature.

Pier - Blocks of concrete, stone, or wood used in lieu of a foundation wall to support a building.

Pilaster - An upright column or pillar projecting from an exterior wall to provide added support to the wall, particularly at points of load concentration.

Planimeter - A mechanical device for measuring areas of plane surfaces by following property lines with a needle on the instrument. In appraisal and assessment work it is valuable for determining the acreage of parcels, particularly of irregular shaped parcels.

Pole Building - A building in which poles are placed upright in the ground and serve as the foundation and as the framework the building.

Price - Amount paid for an item.

Principal Building - A main building such as a residence, apartment building, motel, commercial or industrial building.

Private Encumbrances - Private hindrances that affect value and sale price such as: easements, condominium controls, and deed or subdivision restrictions.

Property - An aggregate of things, or rights to things, which are protected by law. There are two basic types of property: real, and personal.

Property Record Card - Card on which description and measurements of each parcel of land and buildings thereon are recorded, and on which the valuation Of the property is computed.

Property Tax Levy - The total amount of money to be raised from the property tax as set forth in the budget of a taxing jurisdiction.

Qualitative - Pertaining to the subjective nature of some variable of interest. For example, view, fire protection, quality, or site/location.

Quantitative - Pertaining to the objective nature of some variable of interest. It can be measured or counted with little ambiguity. For example, number of bathrooms, year built, additions, or size.

Quantity Survey Method - Method of cost estimating which requires complete itemization of all construction, labor, and material costs by components and subcomponents and all indirect costs.

Quarter Section - A subdivision of a Section containing 160 acres more or less, described by referencing the center point in the Section, i.e. the NE 1/4 is north and east of the center point.

Rafter - A beam, usually sloping, supporting a roof.

Ramp - An inclined runway or walkway.

Range Lines - Lines in succeeding six-mile increments on either side of a Meridian.

Ratio Study - A study of the relationship between appraised values and market values. Indicators of market values may be either sales, or independent appraisals. The common interest in ratio studies is the level and uniformity of the appraisals.

RCN - Replacement cost new / reproduction cost new.

Real Estate - The physical parcel of land and all improvements permanently attached.

Real Property - The rights, interests, and benefits connected with real estate.

Recapture Rate - The annual rate at which capital investment is returned to an investor over a specified period; the annual amount, in addition to interest or return on interest (compound interest), which can be recaptured from an investment, divided by the original amount invested. The term was once mainly used in reference to wasting assets. A recapture rate now applies to situations in which some regular annual income may be provided to compensate for loss in invested capital. When capital is recovered gradually through income, the recapture rate is the difference between the income rate for the interest being appraised and the required internal rate of return on the capital invested in that interest. It can be positive, negative, or zero.

Reconciliation, Correlation - the final step in the appraisal process which resolves the differences that result from the application of the three approaches to value.

Rectangular Coordinates - A land description system where boundaries are described as lines running from points on a X and Y grid.

Rectangular Land Surveys - Land description systems based on permanent, uniformly sized rectangular grids which can be subdivided into smaller units of land.

Regular Section - A one square mile subdivision of a township containing 640 acres.

Remaining Economic Life - The number of years remaining in the economic life of a structure as of the appraisal date, and provides a basis for estimating replacement cost new less depreciation.

Replacement Cost - The cost of constructing a substitute structure of equal utility using current materials, design and standards.

Reproduction Cost - The cost of constructing a replica, or identical structure, using the same materials, construction standards, design and quality of workmanship.

Riser - Upright part of a stair step.

Risk Analysis - Quantitative methods that assess risk according to probable occurrence. See also probability analysis; utility functions.

Risk Factor - The portion of a given return or rate of return from capital invested in an enterprise that is assumed to cover the risks associated with the particular investment; as distinguished from, and in excess of, the return or rate obtainable from funds invested where the safety of principal is virtually assured.

Risk Rate - The annual rate of return on capital that is commensurate with the risk assumed by the investor; the rate of interest or yield necessary to attract capital.

Risk - The probability that foreseen events will not occur. See also probability; uncertainty.

Risk-Adjusted Discount Rate - In risk analysis, a discount rate that includes all of the elements of risk associated with an income stream for a specified period and adjusted to offset additional term risk.

Romex Wiring - Electrical cable in flexible non-metallic conduit.

Rurban Land - Small tracts of land having both urban and rural characteristics, and located outside of the corporate limits of a town, village, or city and outside of densely populated outlying subdivisions.

Safe Rate - The rate that can be obtained on an investment with maximum safety and minimum risk.

Sale Price - The price for which a property was sold.

Sale Ratio/Assessment Ratio - The ratio of an appraised (or assessed value) to the sale price, or adjusted sale price of a property.

Sales Comparison Approach - Method of estimating accrued deprecation through the comparison of sale prices of similar properties.

Sales Comparison Method - Method of estimating the value of a property based on an analysis of sales of similar properties.

Sales Ratio Study - A ratio study that uses sales prices as proxies for market values.

Sash - A frame for holding panes of glass in a window or door.

Saw Tooth Roof - A roof whose cross section resembles the teeth of a saw. The vertical side of the roof has windows to provide ventilation and light.

Separated Rights - Rights to property that have been separated by deed such as: air, mineral, water, and leaseholds.

Sheathing - The inner covering placed next to the studding or rafters of the walls or roof of a building.

Shed Roof - A lean-to single slope roof.

Sheetrock - Trade name for drywall sheets with a gypsum base and paper covering.

Short-Lived Items - Items of a structure which have a shorter life than the basic structure. For example: roofing, water heaters, floor covering and interior finish.

Siding - Finished exterior wall of a frame building.

Sill - The bottom horizontal member of a window or door.

Single Property Appraisal - systematic appraisal of properties one at a time

Sinking Fund Factor (1/Sn) - The compound interest factor that indicates the amount per period that will grow, with compound interest, to $1.

Sinking Fund - A fund in which periodic deposits of equal amounts of money are accumulated to pay a debt or replace assets; usually designed to receive equal annual or monthly deposits that will accumulate, with compound interest, to a predetermined sum at the end of a stated period of time.

Site Amenities - The specific location-related attributes of a property; such as topography, utilities, street traffic, view, etc.

Situs - The physical location of property.

Sleeper - Strips of lumber fastened to the sub-floor for fastening finish flooring to and for providing a dead air space beneath the flooring.

Span - The horizontal distance between supports, as for an arch or roof.

Spandrel Beam - A beam between two columns for carrying the exterior wall of a building.

Spandrel - The triangular space between the curves of an arch and the straight line construction above the curves.

Split-Level House- A house with living area on two or more floors separated by about one-half standard story of height.

Sprinkler System - A fire protection system consisting of overhead water pipes and nozzles so installed and regulated that water is sprayed automatically over the protected area when the temperature in the area reached a predetermined point.

Stile - Upright piece in the frame of a door or window.

Stratify - For purposes of analysis, to divide a sample of observations into two or more subsets, according to some criterion, or set of criteria.

Studding - Upright framework to which walls of a building are attached.

Sub floor - Rough flooring laid on floor joists to form a base for finish flooring.

Substitution - A property’s value tends to be set by the potential cost of acquiring or producing an equally desirable substitute property.

Substructure - The part of a building below the top of the foundation.

Superstructure - The part of a building above the top of a foundation.

Supply - A schedule showing the amount of a good or service that would be offered for sale at various prices during a given period.

Surplus Productivity - The income from a property remaining after the costs of labor, management, and capital have been paid. This income is attributable to the land.

Suspended Ceiling - A ceiling hung below the ceiling joists.

Tax Map -A map showing all lots and tracts of land in their relative size, shape, and location. Also known as plat map, or property location map.

Tenon - The end of a piece of wood cut so as to fit into a hole in another piece of wood, and so form a joint.

Terra Cotta - A clay and fine sand structural product used mainly-for facings and ornamentation.

Terrace - An outside floor area, without roof, constructed of concrete, brick tile, stone, slate, or other similar material, usually adjoining a house and used as an outdoor living area. Same as a patio.

Terrazzo - A highly polished flooring made of wet cement and marble chips.

Through Lot - A lot abutting two parallel, or approximately parallel, streets.

Tilt-Up Construction - Concrete exterior wall construction in which precast reinforced concrete sections are lifted into position in the wall. This type of construction is sometimes found in commercial and industrial buildings.

Time-Adjusted Sale Price - An amount of money, or the value of a commodity in dollars, expected to be receivable in the future is always worth less than an equal amount actually in hand at the present.

Tongue and Groove - Lumber (usually flooring or siding) or other building material in which one edge has a projecting tongue and the opposite edge has a groove that fits over the tongue of matching material to form a locked joint.

Township - An approximately 36 square mile division of land employed in the Rectangular Land Survey System. Townships are bounded by two successive Range Lines on the east and west and two successive Township Lines on the north and south.

Township Lines - Lines in succeeding six mile increments on either side of a Base Line.

Tract - A single piece of land under one ownership. Maybe a lot or acreage. Same as parcel.

Transite - Building material made of asbestos fibers and cement under pressure.

Transom - A low window opening above a door or another window.

Tread - The top, or horizontal, part of a stair step.

Truss - A series of beams, bars and similar structural members assembled into an open web pattern to support a roof or floor, itself supported at both ends.

Under-improvement - A building having a value less than that which the value of the land on which it is built justifies.

Unit Foot Value - The value of a piece of land one foot wide abutting a street or highway and extending back from the front the standard lot depth.

Unit Front Foot - A piece of land one foot wide abutting a street or highway and extending back from the front the standard lot depth.

Unit Heater - A complete heating unit, without ducts, for heating the area in which it is located, such as a room or other part less than the complete area, of a building.

Unit Land Value Map - A map showing the value of land per unit front toot, square foot, or acre in an assessment area.

Wainscot - The lower part of an interior wall (approximately four feet high) when finished different from the remainder of the wall, as with tile.

Wall Ratio - Relationship of the exterior walls (perimeter) of a building to the ground area of the building. The wall ratio is used for determining the base unit cost of commercial and industrial buildings, and is found by dividing the square feet of the building ground area by the perimeter of the exterior walls.

Wallboard. An interior wall and ceiling fiber material cut into sheets for use in place of plaster.



Linear Measure

1 Foot12 inches

1 Yard 3 feet - 36 inches

1 Rod 5 1/2 yards - 16 1/2 feet

1 Furlong 40 rods - 220 yards - 660 feet

1 Mile 8 furlongs - 320 rods - 1,760 yards 5,280 feet

Surveyor's Linear Measure

1 Link = 7.92 inches

1 Rod = 25 links

1 Chain = 4 rods - 100 links - 66 feet

1 Furlong = 10 chains

1 Mile = 8 furlongs - 80 chains

Square Measure

1 Square Foot = 144 sq. inches

1 Square Yard = 9 sq. feet - 1,296 sq. inches

1 Square Rod = 1 pole or perch - 30 1/4 sq. yards - 272 1/4 sq. feet

1 Rod = 40 sq. rods

1 Acre = 160 sq. rods - 4,840 sq. yards - 43,560 sq. feet

1 Square Mile = 640 acres

Surveyor's Square Measure

1 Square Rod = 526 sq. links

1 Square Chain = 16 sq. rods

1 Acre = 10 sq. chains

1 Square Mile = 640 acres

Cubic Measure

1 Cubic Foot = 1,728 cu. inches - 7,481 gallons

1 Cubic Yard = 27 cu. feet

1 Cord Foot = 16 cu. feet

1 Cord of Wood = 8 cord feet - 128 cu. feet

1 Perch of Masonry = 24 3/4 cu. feet

1 Bushel = 1.2445 cu. feet

Angles and Arcs

1 Minute = 60 seconds

1 Degree = 60 minutes

1 Right Angle = 90 degrees -1 quadrant

1 Circumference = 360 degrees - 4 quadrants

Board Measure

1 Board Foot length in feet x width in feet x thickness in inches.

Measurements in General Use:

1 link is 7.92 inches

1 foot is 12 inches

1 yard is 3 feet or 36 inches

1 rod is 16 1/2 feet, 5 1/2 yards or 25 links

1 surveyor’s chain is 66 feet, or 4 rods, or 100 links

1 furlong is 660 feet, or 40 rods

1 mile is 8 furlongs, 320 rods, 80 chains or 5,280 feet

1 square rod is 272 1/4 square feet or 30 1/4 square yards

1 acre contains 43,560 square feet

1 acre contains 160 square rods

span is 9 inches

hand - horse measurement - is 4 inches

knot - nautical - is 6,080.27 feet

fathom - nautical - is 6 feet

stone is 14 pounds

A square acre is approximately 208.7 feet on each side 1 acre is about 8 rods by 20 rods, or any two combinations of rods whose product is 160.

Simple Formula Converting Square Feet to Acres:

Multiply by 23 and point off 6 places

Example: 1500 ft. x 2050 ft. = 3,075,000 sq. ft. x 23 = 70.73 acres

(This method is not exact but is useful for rough calculations)

To Find Capacity of Cylindrical Tanks Standing-on End:

To find the capacity of cubic feet of a tapered round tank or other object: See "Volume of Frustum".

To find the capacity of a cylindrical tank in gal1ons: Multiply area of base ( pr2 ) by height of tank to obtain capacity in cubic feet.

Multiply capacity in cubic feet by 7.481 gallons per cubic foot.

Board Measure:

Multiply thickness in inches by width in inches, divide product by 12 and multiply result by the length in feet. The result is board measure content.

Conversion factors for converting lineal feet of lumber into board feet -


50 - 2" x 10"s 20’ long (read: 50 boards, that are 2 inches by 10 inches and are 20 feet long)

50 x 20’ = 1000 lineal feet

2" x 10" = 20 sq. inches - 12 = 1.

667 board feet x 1000 lineal feet equals 1,667 board feet.




Rule of Right Triangle

a. Square of hypotenuse of a right triangle is equal to the sum of the squares of other two sides.

b. Square of one-side equals square of hypotenuse minus square of other side.

C 2 equals A 2 plus B 2

A 2 equals C 2 minus B 2

B 2 equals C 2 minus A 2


Area equals 1/2 the product of base and altitude

A=1/2 (bh)

Rectangles and Squares

Area equals the product of length and width



Area equals the product of base and altitude



Area equals the product of the height and 1/2 the sum of the bases.

A = (a + b x h) / 2


Area equals 3 times the product of apothem and 1 side.

A = 3as

NOTE: Divide hexagon into triangles.


Area equals the product of p (3.1416) and radius squared.

A = p r2 or .7854D2

Circumference equals the product of U and diameter.

C =pD or C = 2pr


Lateral area equals the perimeter of the base times the height.

Total area equals the combined area of lateral faces and the bases.

Volume of any prism equals the area of base times altitude.


Total area equals 6 times the square of one edge.

Volume equals area of the base times altitude.

Retangular Solid

Lateral area equals the perimeter of the base times the height.

Total area equals combined area of lateral faces and the bases.

Volume equals area of base times altitude.


Lateral area equals the circumference of base times height.

Volume equals the area of its base times altitude.


A solid whose base is a polygram and sides are triangles and meet in common point to form the vertex.

Lateral area is equal to the perimeter of base x ½ slant height.

Volume is 1/3 the base area x altitude.


A solid whose base is a circle and whose surface tapers to a point called vertex or top. May be considered a pyramid with an unlimited number of sides.

The lateral area equals the circumference of base x 1/2 slant height.

Volume equals 1/3 of the product of the base area and altitude.


Lateral area of a frustum of a right pyramid equals one half of the sum of the perimeters of two bases times the slant height.

Lateral area of a frustum of a cone is found by multiplying one-half the sum of the circumference of the two bases by the slant height.

Total area of a frustum is the sum of lateral area and the two bases.

For volume of a frustum take sum of the areas of the two bases; to this add the square root of the product of the areas of the two bases, multiply result by 1/3 of the altitude.


(A solid bounded by a curved surface, every point equally distant from the center.)

Surface of a sphere equals 2 times the square of the diameter.

Volume of a sphere equals the area of the surface times 1/3 of the radius.

Circumference is the same as that of a circle.

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