County explores launching local property tax information website
Realtors and residents may have an easier way to search out tax information on Carbon County properties.
Barry Horsley, from the county's information technology department, unveiled a website at the Feb. 20 board of commissioners meeting that would allow people to log in and search for most of the information available on a piece of property.
"This would provide 90 percent of what realtors requested," said Horsley.
Apparently Carbon's realtors had lobbied the county to streamline the process necessary to research a piece of property. Horsley's website appears to be the answer.
However, the discussion at the Feb. 20 meeting made it clear that the site would be accessible to anyone, whether they were a real estate agent or an interested resident or even someone seeking information on Carbon County from out of state.
The site will contain a plethora of details pertinent to each property including:
A tax identification number.
Owner's name and mailing address.
According to Deputy Carbon County Attorney Christian Bryner, the site would not pose any privacy invasion issues as all the information displayed is part of the public record.
A similar site from the County of Sacramento Assessor's Office affirms that all of the above information is part of the public record.
The Sacramento site expands the list to also include assessor's parcel number, property address, property values, homeowners exemptions and zoning codes.
The commissioners acknowledged that the county would be joining a growing trend of property information being posted on the Internet for easier access.
"It's true that many rural counties have moved in this direction," Commissioner Bill Krompel said.
Creating and running the site was not the main issue bandied about at the meeting, how many public licenses to purchase and how much to spend on them dominated the discussion.
Horsley explained that system has five licenses upfront but if the county wanted additional ones that 15 licenses could be purchased for $4,600 or 20 for $5,000. Each license allows a person to be logged onto the system.
County Recorder/Assessor Marilyn Graham stepped up on the conservative side of the question.
"I don't think that the county should be eating all these fees," she said.
Commissioner Steve Burge suggested creating a one-time user fee for people who might just want to search about one particular property.
It was however, Commissioner Mike Milovich who brought the discussion home, recommending that heavy users, such as realtors, should buy their own license for the site. The license costs $200 and there was a suggested $25 annual fee as well.
"I think we should establish a free five-license site for general use for the public," he said. "Attorneys and realtors can fill out an application for their own license."