Michael Olson (Mike) was an Oregon native who attended the University of Oregon where he graduated with a degree in accounting. He was an avid Oregon “Ducks” fan his whole life. Mike was also a Certified Public Accountant (CPA). He landed an appraiser position in his early employable years and the rest is history. 


Mike started working at the Oregon Department of Revenue (Department) in October 1991 as a tax auditor. In 1994 he became an appraiser and in 2000, he was promoted to team lead on the Centrally Assessed Appraisal Team—where he worked the rest of his life. Mike’s accomplishments at the Department and other organizations are numerous—it would take a book to list them all. He was invaluable to any program that he participated in.


Besides appraising, Mike’s other love was providing solutions to processes using his vast computer knowledge. He created several templates in the early 90’s that, with a few tweaks, are still being used. He created three user-friendly databases that process substantial information and which have significantly reduced the amount of time it takes to appraise a large number of companies. Processes that used to take months to complete can be completed in one month…or less.


He used to say that he created all these solutions because he was basically lazy, but we all know better. Mike was very busy, very creative, and very much into process improvement!


In 2004, Mike started instructing at the Western States Association of Tax Administrator’s (WSATA) School in Logan, Utah, where he taught the Basic Income Approach course, as well as assisted in the advanced class as necessary.


Mike participated in the rewrite of the WSATA Handbook which outlines unitary appraisal methods and is used by many western states as a guideline for their own unitary valuation programs.


He also represented Oregon in Wichita, Kansas at the Wichita State University Conference on Unitary Valuation where he was asked to sit in on two different instructional panel discussions.


Mike was the father of two grown sons, Thomas and Mitch, who both serve in the US Army. He was also a grandfather to four grandchildren. They were his pride and joy!


Mike left a legacy of hard work, dedication to his profession, and the desire to never stop learning.


The Western States Association of Tax Administrators Committee on Centrally Assessed Properties honor Mike’s legacy with this scholarship.



Michael Olson Memorial Scholarship

WSATA-CCAP will award one scholarship each year to a qualified applicant to cover registration fees for one of the following: WSATA course 100, 101, or 102. Only appraisers employed by a WSATA member state who are seeking or maintaining a Unitary Appraisal Certification will be considered for this scholarship.