Personal Property Tax Elimination | Position on Township Assessors | Technology and GIS

Technology and GIS

The most recent reassessment in Lake County was conducted in part using aerial maps that were 7-8 years old, showing buildings that were long since demolished and vacant land where new structures now stand.  The county desperately needs to update this GIS information on a regular basis, every 2-3 years at most. 

Likewise, many counties use a product called “Pictometry” so as to assist in the identification, review and measurements of structures.  I have read recently that Google Maps may soon include similar information – for free!  While these products don’t replace trained staff, they will enhance our ability to produce accurate information, and to produce it more quickly.

Similarly, the county CAMA system used to store, retrieve and value property is based on a 20 year old product.  Yet, state-of-the-art CAMA systems exist for a little or no additional cost.  These products allow the integration of multiple regression modeling – statistical analysis – directly into the valuation process.  In other words, we can get more accurate, more fair values, get them faster and therefore at less cost.  That type of technology will enhance our ability to produce more accurate assessments with fewer appeals from taxpayers.  When we do get an appeal, a statistical modeling system would allow the property to be reviewed in minutes, not languish for years in a file drawer.
This type of technology would be available to the County Assessor, as well as all the Township Assessors.  The only factors stopping the office from having these capabilities today is lack of leadership and a vision to make the office work as well as possible.  Jerome Prince is the person to provide that vision toward our future. 

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