County discusses new software for assessor's office
Checks totaling $1.7 million flowed onto the Davison County treasurer's ledger Monday, the deadline for the first half of 2018 property taxes. The sum underscores the importance of efforts to modernize the county assessor's computer software. At ...
Checks totaling $1.7 million flowed onto the Davison County treasurer's ledger Monday, the deadline for the first half of 2018 property taxes.
The sum underscores the importance of efforts to modernize the county assessor's computer software. At its meeting Tuesday, the Davison County Commission looked favorably at how Tyler Technologies' property assessment software could improve efficiency in the assessor's office.
First, there are the taxpayer bills. Assessors determine property values, which are used to calculate tax bills. Automation would affect those values by more quickly reflecting market changes.
Second, there's the need for data interaction. Information created in the assessor's office must be available to the county treasurer, auditor, planner, register of deeds and others.
How the software would play with that of other departments' was another question.
"As a board, we're looking at the total package," said Board Chairwoman Brenda Bode. "We need to see how this works together. That's a big factor."
The board requested the Plano, Texas, company to work with related departments and provide more answers by the end of May.
Tyler offers several software suites focused on information management at local governments.
Its assessment package, Orion, integrates seamlessly with its other suites used by clerks of courts and treasurers. Orion also could export data to work with existing county software, said Tyler representative Gio Giordano.
County Assessor Kathy Goetsch said after the meeting her department has been looking at new software options for the past two years, and Orion is a finalist. There is no timeline for making the change, Goetsch said, and costs have not been determined.
Three South Dakota counties use Orion, and more use Tyler's other software products.
Orion would integrate with existing county GIS and satellite mapping capabilities, Giordano said. Significantly, it would use spatial analysis for determining property values.
For instance, assessors rely on comparable sales to determine home values. Using Orion, an assessor could establish criteria for what constitutes a similar house, and Orion would identify the sale prices of nearby similar homes.
"There are so many things that it would do so much more efficiently," Goetsch said.
The board delayed a decision on whether to place a video monitor displaying the court calendar on the second floor of the Davison County Courthouse.
Cory Bouma, video network specialist with the South Dakota Unified Judicial System, said his department would purchase the monitor if the county provided a wall mounting, plus data and electrical connections.
An existing electronic court calendar would be displayed. Davison County Clerk of Courts Barbara McKean said the monitor would free up clerks from answering repeated questions about which courtrooms people need to visit and at what times.
Bode expressed concern about drilling holes into the courthouse's marble walls without causing cracks. A decision was delayed for one week, allowing time to question craftsmen about drilling in to marble and for determining county costs.