Assessors have never had it easy, but these days they are feeling particularly squeezed --strapped homeowners seeking property tax relief are clamoring for valuations that reflect the drop in real estate values, but local governments need the revenue more than ever as the very same economic downturn wreaks havoc with budgets. So it was time to roll up sleeves at the International Association of Assessing Officers 75th annual conference, held in Louisville, Kentucky September 13-17, where a Lincoln Institute team put on a policy seminar addressing the special challenges facing assessors during the past year’s housing market crisis. Professor Karl Case of Wellesley College offered his perspectives on the causes of the housing collapse, its implications for the larger economy, and prospects for recovery. Two authors of recent Policy Focus Reports presented their findings and recommendations for policymakers seeking to assist taxpayers in difficult economic times: Terri Sexton of California State University, Sacramento, co-author of Property Tax Assessment Limits, analyzed the problems and unexpected consequences of popular assessment limitation measures, while Lincoln Institute visiting fellow Daphne Kenyon, co-author of Property Tax Circuit Breakers, reviewed the positive aspects of targeted measures to extend tax relief to low-income taxpayers. Sally Powers, a BearingPoint, Inc. consultant with experience advising property valuation and taxation projects in Kosovo, South Africa, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Bosnia, who recently became a visiting fellow, provided an in-depth review of the new property tax database, Significant Features of the Property Tax. All the presentations were received with great interest by assessors and tax administrators dealing simultaneously with pressing revenue needs of jurisdictions facing downturns in tax collections and state aid, calls for tax relief by taxpayers affected by the economic downturn, and the dramatic reductions in real estate values in many housing markets, said Joan Youngman, senior fellow and chair of the Department of Valuation and Taxation.