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The County Assessor identifies lists and calculates the assessed values if all Real and Personal property. Property taxes in Indiana are collected by the local County Treasurers, based on assessments that are provided by the assessor. These assessments are based on guidelines and regulations set forth by state legislators and adopted by the Indiana Department of Local Government Finance. The County Assessor performs the following duties:
  • Oversees the General Reassessment process.
  • Calculates the total assessed value of all real property in each taxing district.
  • Verifies and reviews the self reported values of all personal property in each taxing district.
  • Insures countywide uniform Property Assessment Equalization.
  • Certifies current Assessments to the County Auditor’s Office.
  • Serves as Member/Secretary of the County Property Tax Assessment Board of Appeals.
  • Administers Sales Disclosure Process.
  • Utilizes sales of land (Sales Disclosures) to establish base market rates and values in each neighborhood, adjusts base values for location, nearness to amenities and other influence factors.
  • Collects and maintains sale information on properties sold from 1999 to present.
  • Discovers and identifies omitted property.
  • Is responsible for the selection of Assessment Software and Computer Systems.
  • Processes Not-For-Profit Property Tax Exemption Applications.

3/17/2012 9:00:00 AM
Public Information
New technology makes local records easily accessible
Madison Courier Staff Writer

Maybe you've always suspected a certain relative didn't really own that house that is so much nicer than yours. Or you've been curious whether the neighbors are being taxed for their new garage and deck. Perhaps you want to know how much a house with a for-sale sign is on the tax rolls for, or the dimensions of your farm pond. With an election coming up, maybe you want to look up which County Commission district you live in.

The answers are public information that has long been available at the Courthouse, but now property and geographic information is also available online to anyone with access to a computer, and it's free.

Professionals who use the information on the site, named Public GIS, include real estate agents, insurance agents, appraisers, banks, attorneys and surveyors, said Jefferson County Assessor Tina Gleeson. Owners of rental property like to use the information to compare their property with other properties, Gleeson said.

Real estate agent Richard Armstrong is one who uses it a lot.

"It's great," Armstrong said this week while visiting the Courthouse. "It saves so much time. ... Think of all the trips we'd have to make down to the Courthouse or call them."

Public GIS was developed by Indianapolis-based WTH Technology Inc. not only for Jefferson County but also for 27 other counties in Indiana, including Jennings and Ripley, and counties in other states.

WTH - Where Technology Happens - was doing other geographic information systems, or GIS, work for the county, and making Public GIS freely available in Jefferson County evolved from that, Gleeson said.

Cities use the information for planning and zoning cases, schools use it to figure out bus routes, police use it to map crimes, dispatch centers use it to track the locations of emergency vehicles and assessors use it to study properties.

There are a couple of ways to get to Public GIS:
• Go to jeffersoncounty.in.gov and click on the GIS logo on the right
• Go to jefferson.in.wthgis.com. Links to other counties with Public GIS are on WTH's main website, wthgis.com.

Once on the site, the place to start is on the left, with the directions or how to use Public GIS. In the upper right corner is a box labeled "Search for ..." where the kind of information sought is typed.

Gleeson gave a training session on using the system, and said she would give another if there is enough interest.

Gleeson said the best way to learn how to use the system is to just "play with it" and try out the various options. Don't worry about breaking it because it won't break, she said.

She likes to have what she is looking at displayed on an aerial picture. She advised having everything else on the screen before clicking on the box to add an aerial picture because the aerial picture can take a while to load.

Users who get stumped or do not understand the information - such as the details of the assessment of a piece of property - can call Gleeson's office, 265-8905 or send an email through the county's website, jeffersoncounty.in.gov.

Having the files easily available to the public is part of "transparency" in government, and shows the government has nothing to hide, Gleeson said.

Reprinted with permission of The Madison Courier. ©2012 The Madison Courier

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