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Innovation

Working with a private partner, Mobise Enterprise Solutions, we developed a new application for the iPad tablet that enables appraisers to collect property data in the field and enter it directly into the database remotely for real-time assessment analysis. This is a revolutionary break-through that will increase the accuracy of assessments, generate significant efficiencies, and save taxpayer money.

Previously, appraisers used heavy, bulky, outdated tablets that were incapable of real-time data entry or analysis. Worse yet, they had short battery lives (as little as two hours) and cost about four times as much as iPads. In fact, purchasing iPads saved taxpayers an estimated $400,000 in hardware replacement costs.

The increase in efficiency means appraisers save time in the field – about 8,000 hours a year.

Another new DOA program generated almost $1 million in new revenue for King County services in its first year, and reinforced our commitment to fairness and accuracy.

In our community, it is important that the tax burden is fairly shared among all taxpayers. For example, if some business owners don’t pay their personal property taxes, others must pick up the slack. To ensure fairness, DOA’s Business Personal Property Audit Program educates taxpayers about their responsibilities and encourages voluntary compliance, backed up by an in-house auditing team.

The program began with an amnesty period in which penalties were waived to encourage delinquent business owners to come forward and self-report. Following the amnesty period, personal property auditors visited businesses to provide information about personal property taxes and work with business owners to comply with the law.

The results were remarkable. In 2012, nearly 1,700 new personal property accounts were added to the tax roll representing $300 million in value. These new accounts generated almost $1 million in new property tax revenue – returning about $6 for every $1 invested in the program.