2021 SAG Award Winners

Tippecanoe County Assessor’s Office

Project Goal

The mission of the Tippecanoe County Assessor GIS program is to gather, store, process and deliver geographic information both internally and to the public in an easy-to-use accessible and cost effective format.
Specifically this project was intended to assist in research for the annual value adjustments and to help explain the process to tax payers using a map.
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Business Problem Solved

Tax payers often have a difficult time understanding annual adjustments to property values which can result in excessive amounts of property tax appeals and costly litigation. This year our office was able to able to display sales and new assessment data side by side in a mapping web application that illustrates how the sales activity is directly related to the new tax assessments which has helped reduce the number of property tax appeals and will also help in defending the over 1.8 billion dollars of new assessed value. This same technology was used to collect and process new construction by managing building permits more efficiently as well as help our staff with data analysis on income producing properties.
Previously using GIS for this would have required reliance on technology specialist in other departments who would not understand our needs nor make them a priority; but AGOL and HUB made it possible for us to create the tools ourselves.

Technology Implemented

The various maps and applications used in be annual adjustment process this year were all created in ARC GIS Online through a HUB subscription.
Most of the content to build the maps was generated from simple spreadsheets containing property data and latitude and longitude.

Development Team Biography

When our office was closed for Covid 19 in the spring of 2020 Project Manager Tax Assessor / Appraiser James Werner became interested in the data available on ARC GIS Online to better understand the global impact of the virus and regional demographics that may have contributed to larger or smaller infection and death rates such as median age and population density. James used his time at home to learn to use ARC GIS Online by making maps on a free introductory account and data provided by public research organizations to satisfy his own curiosity. After seeing how user friendly the system was and all the tools a available he encouraged Eric Grossman, the elected County Assessor, to purchase a AGOL account in order to test the system with the county’s assessment data. ESRI sales reps recommended a HUB subscription for the organization and they immediately began creating tools and training staff on the new technology.