Tax officials continuing work on new property maps

Published 5:00 am Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Maps that “could be of great use” to county agencies andresidents are presently being prepared by the Lincoln County TaxAssessor’s office for general release later this year.

The new color maps will replace 10-year-old blue and white mapsthat are outdated, said Tax Assessor Nancy Reeves Jordan.

The new system will assist the tax assessor’s office in keepingproperty ownership, utility use and other information up to datebecause they can be continuously modified to reflect changes.

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The old maps show only property lines and parcel numbers thatwere hand-drawn a decade ago by county clerks, said Leon Perry,county tax appraiser and mapping project supervisor. The maps canbe copied and printed, but few other changes can be incorporated intheir design.

The new maps employ state-of-the-art technology that not onlyallows the maps to display property lines, political boundaries andparcel numbers, but can be accessed by computer. All knowninformation on a piece of property can be accessed by a computerthrough a layered system that can show all or part of theinformation on the property.

For instance, the aerial photo of the property can be removed toshow line drawings of only the property lines, streets, gas orpower lines, fence rows, water sources or other items ofinterest.

“The computer knows what all those lines are. I can click on aline and find out what kind it is and how long it is,” Perrysaid.

A simple mouse click on a property can also reveal additionalinformation such as the deed date and location, property owner,size and layout of the house, history of past sales and otherimportant information.

Also on the computer, the scale can be changed to closeups of anindividual property or a distant view, such as the city ofBrookhaven, he said.

“There are so many different departments that can use this whenwe get done with it,” Perry said.

The aerial photography of the city of Brookhaven has arrived andthe tax assessor’s office is busy adding the additional informationto the computerized photos, Perry said.

“These are excellent photos,” he said. “There’s a lot of detailin them.”

He expects the city maps to take an additional three to fivemonths to complete. There are approximately 11,000 parcels ofproperty in the city to identify, mark and provide informationon.

County aerial photos should arrive around mid-May, Perry said,so they will be able to immediately start on those once the city iscomplete. The county maps will take longer to complete becausethere are approximately 25,000 parcels of property.

“What I’d like to do is try to finalize all this for the nextJune (2007) land roll,” Perry said. “I don’t know that we can getit done by then, but it’s what I would like to see happen.”

Once completed, Jordan said, the maps will be available forpublic use as well. Eventually, people would even be able to viewthe maps from their home.

“They will also be on computer and eventually, once it’s allcomplete, will be available online,” she said.

At the tax assessor’s office, clerks will be able to make colorprints of maps from sizes ranging from an regular sheet of paper toposter-size.