Logan County Assessor's Office Deploys Equitable Property Value Solution
Logan County, Colorado, is leading the way in the delivery of vital information to the public with geographic information system (GIS) technology. Located in the northeastern part of the state, Logan County covers nearly 1,800 square miles and is home to approximately 22,000 people. Buttes, hills, and mountains cover its landscapes, and the county has strong agricultural and energy-production industries, which drive a significant portion of the local economy. As with every county, the administration of land records—including the ownership, value, and use of the land—is important for the county's residents, landowners, and businesses as well as its management. The Logan County Assessor's Office is responsible for maintaining vital land records data including GIS information. In addition to managing and maintaining over 12,000 parcels, the office's responsibilities include providing this information to constituents and other stakeholders regularly. Beyond simply providing the data to the public, the office needs the data to be easily accessible and simple to consume.
A Higher Standard for Stakeholder Engagement
The county had been using Esri technology for over a decade. In 2020, the Logan County Assessor's Office made the decision to modernize its parcel management using ArcGIS Pro and ArcGIS Parcel Fabric. Although the county was providing land information to the public through various ArcGIS Online applications, the next step in the modernization effort was to improve stakeholder engagement. Logan County assessor Peggy Michaels wanted to provide a modern, robust, and user-friendly interface for county residents to interact with GIS and land records data, as well as to promote economic development to new investors, industries, businesses, and residents, with land information at their fingertips. Other goals included creating efficiencies within the assessor's office by reducing foot traffic; phone calls; and, consequently, costs, while providing reliable information quickly and efficiently. Michaels wanted the office to provide not just map data but a one-stop shop for assessment information.
The Perfect Solution
Previous solutions were cumbersome, unreliable, and outdated. The county was searching for a solution that could deliver this information reliably via a platform that was easy to navigate. In addition, the county's public apps were always map centric, with search functionality being secondary. The county wanted a solution that would enable the public to search for and find information at the entry point and allow users to quickly get in and get out with the information they were looking for. As important as the functionality of the solution was, so were stability and reliability for delivering up-to-date, accurate information regularly.
Logan County turned to Esri partner Sidwell to find the right solution, which would require no customization and could be supported by Esri. Sidwell introduced the county to Esri's Equitable Property Value (EPV) solution, an intuitive solution under ArcGIS Solutions, and Logan County staff immediately recognized that this was the perfect solution to meet their needs. As part of the county's ArcGIS subscription, ArcGIS Solutions is included with no additional cost. Together, the county and Sidwell configured the EPV solution, one of the many ArcGIS Solutions available, to meet the county's needs.
Robust yet Simple Functionality
The EPV solution is search based and serves as a one-stop shop for assessor offices. It is a simple yet powerful solution that provides the public with more than just map data. In addition, the solution provides a commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) software alternative that requires little or no customization. The EPV solution is device agnostic, working and displaying beautifully on desktops, tablets, or mobile devices. A graphics-rich home page allows the county to showcase key metrics such as the total assessed value of all the parcels as well as provide links to helpful web maps and applications. The functionality is robust but intuitive and simple for the end user. A parcel dashboard highlights the specifics of a parcel of land including current and historic valuation; all improvements located on that property; and flood zone classification for areas including the school district. Another key feature is a configured dashboard that shows historic valuation trends for specific neighborhoods and the county as a whole. Further functionality includes a property tax calculator, which allows potential buyers to anticipate what their tax burden would be based on an estimated sale value.
Modernization Results and Benefits
Deploying this cutting-edge solution is changing how the assessor's office presents itself to the public online while increasing transparency. "Our new EPV solution allows for streamlined processes to automate and update our land records information on a consistent basis and provides our constituents with the most accurate and up-to-date information," said Michaels. The county takes pride in providing greater efficient customer service while at the same time cutting overhead costs. "We envision that this solution will minimize our staff's time spent fielding questions from the public as [residents] are now able to easily find this information on their own," said Michaels. People are now able to access this data from any device at any time with the assurance that the property information is accurate and up-to-date and without the need for county staff to direct them to it. The solution is rich in images and graphics that keep the public engaged.
A major benefit is that the county was able to take advantage of its Esri GIS investment and come full circle with its modernization project with ArcGIS Pro, Parcel Fabric, and ArcGIS Online. "Deploying [the EPV solution] is the culmination of our GIS journey and investment to provide the best customer service to our constituents," said Michaels.
The county plans to continue to grow the EPV solution as Esri releases new capabilities for it. "This is an added benefit," said Sidwell vice president Tony Pellettiere. "As Esri continues to add new functionality to [the EPV solution], our clients continue to benefit."