Participatory Land Appraisal System
Planning & coordination Office, Ulsan Metropolitan government

The Problem

The Korean government has launched the individual land appraisal system as a standard for imposing public burdens such as property tax and other taxes since 1990. This system is based on regular land pricing survey conducted annually, in which the levy of property tax is determined in according to annual change of land price. As a result, the majority of local residents are extremely concerned with the results of their land pricing. Given in the above situation, local residents often ask for transparent decision-making process of land appraisal on their property and hope that their opinions can be directly reflected in the process.

Yet, there is a structural constraint of the existing land appraisal system that only allows property owners to express their opinions through the limited modality such as the submission of written documentation or E-petition. As a consequence, there are a growing number of public dissents on the result of annual land appraisal survey. A consensus is gradually forming in favor of a “participatory” approach to the annual land appraisal process at local level.

Solution and Key Benefits

 What is the initiative about? (the solution)
Recognizing the importance of land appraisal on individual property, Ulsan metropolitan government has invented an innovative practice,“On-site briefing,”that enables property owners to get involved in annual land appraisal process. Specifically, this participatory practice enables the property owners to express their opinion on their property if they raise an objection to the proposed appraisal value.

To exercise this process in effective way, local municipalities take on-site survey along with the relevant public officials and accredited land appraisers those who are able to consult with the concerned property owners.

Actors and Stakeholders

 Who proposed the solution, who implemented it and who were the stakeholders?
Ulsan Metropolitan City had proposed this initiative in 2008. Prior to the introduction of this participatory land appraisal system, there have always been public appeals that the opinion of property owner is frequently ignored. So, the city intended to promote dialogue, consultation, and consensus-building on land appraisal process among stakeholders, including relevant civil servant, land appraiser, and property owners. The proposed solution is to get involved through consultations and decision making in the on-site briefing process by encouraging the participation of stakeholders.

(a) Strategies

 Describe how and when the initiative was implemented by answering these questions
 a.      What were the strategies used to implement the initiative? In no more than 500 words, provide a summary of the main objectives and strategies of the initiative, how they were established and by whom.
The main objectives of this initiative are to establish a transparent process of local land appraisal system as well as to provide the opportunity of access to the system for the concerned stakeholder (property owner). There are two major implementation strategies in order to enhance the effectiveness of land appraisal system. The first strategy is that local municipalities in Ulsan put higher priority on public advertisement of participatory land appraisal process, in which people can attend at the on-site survey and represent their opinion on the property. As matter of fact, the participation rate of local resident is rapidly growing to 96 percent in Jung-gu, 55 percent in Ulju-gun, and 44 percent in Dong-gu.

The second strategy is to enhance the involvement of local experts in of whole land appraisal process. The city government recognizes the enhancement of manpower capacity among stakeholders would improve productivity, quality, and efficiency in providing this initiative to the public. In particular, the role of the accredited land appraisers on their expertise is critical so that the government makes great efforts to induce the experienced professionals at local level.

The last implementation strategy is that local governments make an endeavor to create “open and unrestrained atmosphere of on-site briefing”, in which stakeholders can exchange their opinions on land appraisal process.

(b) Implementation

 b.      What were the key development and implementation steps and the chronology? No more than 500 words
The metropolitan government initiates to select professional land appraiser and establishes new participatory land appraisal system. As matter of fact, the role of land appraiser is critical to determine land price as well as to integrate the concern of property owner into the decision-making process of land appraisal system.

The local government installs new participatory process, on-site briefing, where the concerned property owners are able to express their opinions on the outcomes of land appraisal, to the existing appealing processes such as public hearing and internet-based appeal. The on-site briefing enables property owners to explain the characteristics of their property to land appraisers and public officials.

To enhance the capacity building of land appraiser and public officials, local government continues to enhance knowledge and expertise through a series of information, education and communication (IEC) campaign.

(c) Overcoming Obstacles

 c.      What were the main obstacles encountered? How were they overcome? No more than 500 words
There are a few constraints to exercise this participatory land appraisal system in Ulsan. The first one is related to time constraints. Because of two months of lead time only available to the land appraisal process, the charging public officials are forced to complete whole process as soon as possible. The government optimizes whole process of land appraisal system in sequence along with providing the necessary operational information to the relevant stakeholders in advance.

(d) Use of Resources

 d.      What resources were used for the initiative and what were its key benefits? In no more than 500 words, specify what were the financial, technical and human resources’ costs associated with this initiative. Describe how resources were mobilized
It can be said that the participatory land appraisal system doesn't require any further resources including financing, technology, and personnel. The time cost incurred from public appealing process is adjusted by appropriate division of labor between civil servant and land appraiser.

The key benefit can be said that this initiative provides the involvement of relevant land appraisal process to property owners, but also raise the reliability of public service to local municipalities. The property owners can, however, be foremost a beneficiary of this participatory land appraisal system. The recent survey shows that the 39 percent of total public appeals are accepted after on-site briefing of land appraisal system.

Sustainability and Transferability

  Is the initiative sustainable and transferable?
The initiative is a policy measure to meet the demand of the property owners as well as to provide an opportunity of participation in land appraisal process. It can be applied to developing cities where transparent decision making process on public affairs is quite weak due to the limited administrative capacity of local municipalities. In this sense, if local governments in developing cities do more effective land appraisal system, the guiding principles should be (a) to put priority on capacity-building of the concerned personnel, (b) to enhance public awareness on the advantages and benefits of the system, and (c) to customize the contents of the land appraisal process relevant for local conditions.

Lessons Learned

 What are the impact of your initiative and the lessons learned?
The lessons from the successful application of participatory land appraisal system in Ulsan are as follow;
There must be an excellent dissemination strategy of relevant information concerning the initiative to the public because the concern of individual property owner on the initiative is the most significant factor.

The close ties to property owner are also critical for success of participatory land appraisal system. This system is unlikely to be effective if the property owners express dissent on the contents and practices of the participatory process.

There should be great effort to integrate capacity-building and technical support activities to enhance partnerships among stakeholders. In this sense, there must be the operational priority of the charging public officials and appraisers on expertise and communication skill. In addition, it is strongly recommended for them to have great dedications to their jobs.

Contact Information

Institution Name:   Planning & coordination Office, Ulsan Metropolitan government
Institution Type:   Government Department  
Contact Person:   Youngsung Kim
Title:   Assistant Director  
Telephone/ Fax:   82-52-229-2140
Institution's / Project's Website:
Address:   201, Jungang-ro
Postal Code:   680-701
City:   Nam-gu
State/Province:   Ulsan Metropolitan City

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