The Cook County Board Will Consider New Integrated Property Tax Technology
The technology which manages Cook County’s property tax system would see a marked upgrade under a proposal introduced today before the Cook County Board of Commissioners.
A $30 million contract for an Integrated Property Tax System will first be heard by the Board’s Technology Committee before being brought back to the Board for final consideration. The upgrade would impact the Offices of the Assessor, Clerk, Treasurer, Board of Review, Recorder of Deeds and Department of Geographic Information Systems. It will be managed by the County’s Bureau of Technology and replace four-decade-old technology.
The new solution creates an improved central database of the County’s 1.8 million property parcels and all of the related data behind each parcel from each of the agencies engaged in the County’s property tax system. It will also provide more streamlined ways of processing property services as information is viewed, accessed and edited between agencies and taxing districts.
“The Integrated Property Tax System is a landmark collaboration effort for the County’s property agencies,” said President Toni Preckwinkle. “The old property tax system, supported by 1970’s-era mainframe applications, has performed reliably and remarkably well for 40 years, but it has reached the end of its usable service life. It’s high time we bring this technology into the 21st century.”
The benefits of the project go beyond software, allowing the County to re-engineer and automate additional business processes. The system will provide a single view of each property PIN; previously each agency kept its own records. The new system also allows for data analytics and reporting.
“As an integral stakeholder in this project since its inception, I firmly believe it is essential to modernize the legacy system that performs one of the core functions of the county — the administration of the property taxes,” Cook County Clerk David Orr said. “My office looks forward to giving taxpayers greater access to delinquent property tax records, providing local taxing districts with a sophisticated two-way communication portal, and realizing increased government efficiency.”
Cook County Assessor Joseph Berrios said, “The Assessor’s Office is pleased to be part of this collaborative effort as it brings together these groups for added efficiency. The Integrated Property Tax System will improve assessment, appraisal, collection and other property tax operations, as well as save taxpayer dollars. Also, the public portal makes the Assessor’s Office more accessible.”
“We’ve modernized the Treasurer’s office systems in order to provide efficiencies to the public. However, we’ve had to work around a 40-year-old county mainframe system. The future for the property tax system has been calling for a long time and at last we are answering,” Cook County Treasurer Maria Pappas said. “We have worked around the old system as well and as long as possible. Now, by integrating the real estate offices, we can have a new level of operational efficiencies and economies that will allow us to provide even greater services to the people.”
Once implemented, the new system will improve public-facing services and increase transparency. The system will also increase the accuracy of records.