County Assessors have the responsibility of assessing the value of every parcel, personal property, and homestead exemption in the county. The Assessor must also maintain accurate information about each property and as a result, they frequently receive questions about land ownership, sales history, home characteristics, and other public record data. A WebGIS is a great tool for making public land ownership and other public record data easily available to the general public. By making public records accessible to the public 24/7, a WebGIS saves time that would otherwise be spent seeking out this information.
Accessibility Directly Reduces Calls
One great impact of a WebGIS is reducing the walk-ins and phone calls from county residents. gWorks’ Assessors see an average of 50% to 70% reduction in requests for parcel data, and some counties have seen phone calls drop as much as 90%. With easy access available to anyone regardless of their location, Assessors can spend less time responding to unscheduled visits and calls and maximize their productivity.
With WebGIS page views increasing more than 20% year after year, this is a trend we see increasing. In 2018, gWorks WebGIS sites surpassed 3 million page views. Each of those page views may mean one less person calling or coming in to the Courthouse with questions. Based on the average page views our county WebGIS site see, this equates to between 500 and 1000 labor hours saved per year. This means the Assessor’s Office can spend more time fulfilling their primary job function of valuing properties accurately and equitably.
Data Improves Efficiencies
The time savings goes beyond reductions of calls. With parcel GIS, County Assessors can perform land use calculations accurately and efficiently. Prior to implementing GIS, Assessors had to manually count dots on map overlays to estimate acreages of each soil and land use combination. Specialized tools on gWorks WebGIS sites offer an easy and accurate way to do this calculation. What used to take hours can now be done in seconds. On average the land-use valuation efficiencies save counties 250 hours per year. Assessors get the same benefit with less effort, dramatically reducing the time it takes to accurately value land.
Based on conservative salary estimates, the time saved by Assessors utilizing WebGIS leads to taxpayers savings of $15,000 or more each year by an Assessor’s office alone. A WebGIS will provide a positive ROI for the County and improve efficiency, accuracy, and quality of life for County Assessors.