By Conrad Dudderar
A proposed upgrade at the Canadian County Assessor’s Office will provide property owners with better on-line access to detailed information about property values and other data.
The Canadian County Assessor’s Office plans to convert to a new Computer Assisted Mass Appraisal (CAMA) System. Estimated cost is $250,000-$300,000 to cover the conversion and ongoing maintenance.
CAMA is a foundational system the assessor’s office uses to collect data about all property in Canadian County to establish market value.
The Assessor’s Office has been using the current system (Landmark) since 2009.
“We’re looking for proposals for a new system that is more robust and integrates with more applications,” said Wehmuller, who’s been county assessor since 2011.
“We’re looking at something that’s more sequel based that offers more mobile applications and overall better support to establish market value for properties throughout the county.”
The planned system upgrade will provide integration with more applications so property owners can fill out forms electronically and have easier access to information.
“We look forward to having more accessible information online,” Wehmuller added.
Canadian County now has about 85,000 real and personal property accounts.
During Wehmuller’s 12 years in office, Canadian County’s net assessed valuation has more than doubled – increasing from $890,768,827 ($890+ million) to $1,937,123,319 ($1.9+ billion).
“Our valuation has grown more during my tenure in office than it did in the previous 100-plus years since statehood,” Wehmuller said. “That’s just a reflection of the tremendous growth in Canadian County and our county being a great place where everybody wants to live.”
Canadian County’s assessment ratio is 12% of market value.
Canadian County Commissioners, at their Sept. 19th meeting, approved advertising for bids for the CAMA system project.
“This will move us in the same direction of some other larger counties that neighbor us,” Wehmuller told commissioners. “We’re going to go out for proposals and see what we get.”
District 1 County Commissioner Marc Hader is all on board.
“I’ve always been an advocate of us trying to have as good of an access to data as we can have for the citizens,” Hader said. “I feel the assessor’s website kind of ‘greases the wheel’ of commerce.
“That’s a healthy thing for our community.”
Canadian County, the fastest-growing county in Oklahoma, is the state’s largest county on the Landmark system.
Historically, larger counties use CAMA systems with more integration applications to offer more to county taxpayers.
With an estimated population of about 160,000, Canadian County is Oklahoma’s fourth largest counties behind Oklahoma, Tulsa and Cleveland.
Oklahoma and Cleveland counties are on a CAMA system called Patriot.
“That’s one we’ll want to look closely at since they’re neighboring counties,” Wehmuller shared. “Any other companies that meet the requirement of the RFP (request for proposals), we want to take a look at to make sure we’re not missing something.”
About five other CAMA systems are operating across Oklahoma.
Proposals for a new CAMA system in Canadian County will be reviewed in coming weeks. County commissioners ultimately will decide which company to award the contract.
The entire conversion process will take at least a year to complete.
Meanwhile, property owners are encouraged to check out the Assessor’s link (under “Departments”) at www.canadiancounty.org .
There people can view the assessor’s newest web tool, “Community,” which provides data about property values, sales prices, permits, and population. Property searches may be made by address or owner name.
“There’s a lot of good, quality information available on there,” Wehmuller said. “I encourage people to check it out.”