Monthly Tax Assessor’s Meeting Discusses Owner Privacy and

Published 7:50 pm Friday, September 8, 2023

One highlight that the board reviewed was an instance where the housing authority sold a house to a private citizen. Appeals were noted as being less than one half of one percent.

The Board also discussed Senate Bill 215. They discussed the impact of landowners requesting that their identifying information be removed from a parcel of land.

The Board discussed requests for information about land from mortgage companies, and whether they should solely refer people to qPublic to avoid giving away identifying information. There was a hypothetical situation posed by one of the board members that even if thousands made legitimate requests, one person could still request information that might allow a public official’s whereabouts to be made known. One instance had occurred, though only one officer currently was requesting his information removed. Census calls was one of the other issues that was brought up.

Andrew Blood gave a presentation on Qpublic has worked with Sumter County for fifteen years. He discussed how many counties have asked for new innovations, allowing them to learn how to improve service for other counties.

“When you look at the activity of your site over the last three years, really before COVID, y’all are almost double the amount of activity that you’re seeing in terms of traffic.”

He mentioned that there are counties that post their notices online, alleviating the need for taxpayers to depend on mail. Mr. Blood also said that homestead exemptions can be filed securely online.

He also talked about online appeals.

“The biggest thing about it is not really the online appeals aspect, but it serves as more of a transparency and education tool of showing the taxpayer the same way as if they came into the office. Six years ago, we were talking about how we can help the taxpayer with their value and understanding the appraisal process and what the job of the assessor is. So what happens if the taxpayer disagrees with the value, or is just confused? What better way for a taxpayer to understand the appraisal process than to allow them to have all the tools to allow them to be able to do it themselves?”

He described the application.

“They see their parcel. They see all the recent sales around their parcel. It sections out square footage and all the different factors you would want that specific type of property to utilize.”

He stated that if the taxpayer finds issues that are still unresolved, they can continue with the process to appeal. The board discussed the value of the application.

They asked for the cost for upgrades and information about other counties. Mr. Blood mentioned he would give costs for a standard upgrade and an advanced upgrade and break down the different costs associated with each of them. He said it would be less than thirty days to for the Board to see results after qPublic received their acknowledgement agreement.

The board hoped to vote on the information from Mr. Blood before the next session. Afterward they went into executive session for personnel issues.