Software investment will bring County assessment into 21st century

GEORGETOWN – Sussex County’s proposed Fiscal Year 2016 budget includes funding for state-of-the-art software that will bring County assessment into the 21st century.

As a capital project, the county is banking $800,000 on CAMA (Computerized Assisted Mass Appraisal) – a software package used by government agencies to help establish real estate appraisals for property tax calculations.

27 COUNTY CAMA todd lawson

In presenting information on a new automated system Sussex County aims to implement for property assessment and tax bill preparation, County Administrator Todd Lawson holds cards pertaining to his property currently used in the manual system. (Sussex County Post/Glenn Rolfe).

The automated, digitalized CAMA system will eliminate the manual paper/sketch system the County has been using for decades.

Presently, there are upwards of 160,000 to 180,000 parcel cards – compiled through manual assessment – in cabinet storage in the County Administration building on The Circle.

“Those have no backup,” said County Administrator Todd Lawson. “If we were unfortunately to have a problem in this building (County Administration Building), records could be compromised.”

With CAMA, County assessment staff will have in their hands tablets with modern software and at their fingertips instantaneous information: direction to property, google mapping, parcel work flow, parcel identification.

Information and data on structures – dwelling, deck, garage, shed, etc. – are fed into the tablet and immediately shot back to the computer in County Administration building.

“It takes the manual element out of the way things work right now,” said Mr. Lawson.

With the CAMA system, tax bills will be completed in a matter of seconds or minutes.

“It’s a multi-year venture,” said Mr. Lawson. “We’re very, very excited about it.”

County Finance Director Gina Jennings said the County is presently receiving bids.

“Our plan is not to exceed the $800,000 for the entire project,” Ms. Jennings said.

News Editor Glenn Rolfe can be reached at grolfe@newszap.com.

News Editor Glenn Rolfe can be reached at grolfe@newszap.com

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