Commissioners to use fly-overs for property assessments

Tia Lynn Ivey News

Next year, Morgan County tax assessors will have a clearer picture of property values throughout the county, literally.

The Morgan County Board of Commissioners unanimously approved a six-year contract with Eagle View, for $107,358 to perform two flyovers every three years while using a precise tool called Pictometry in order to capture four-sided images of properties throughout the county.

“It’s a phenomenal product,” said County Manager Adam Mestres. “They are paying attention to detail in our county and they are able to fly at a lower level than we were getting previously.”

“The pictures are very clear,” said Chairman Ron Milton.

Eagle View, based in Rochester, NY, offers “oblique imagery” to render more accurate and in depth images for mapping and property assessments. “Oblique imagery is aerial imagery captured at an angle of 40 to 45 degrees, designed to provide a more natural perspective and make objects easier to recognize and interpret. These aerial images are captured from the north, south, east, and west directions to offer a 360-degree view of every property and parcel. Every pixel in Pictometry® oblique imagery is georeferenced, giving users the ability to interact with, measure, and extract data from these actionable images.”

According to Eagle View, the company offers governments the perfect solution to gathering accurate property assessments, which may increase a jurisdiction’s property tax revenue.

“With limited time and resources, reliably tracking year-over-year property changes is near impossible. In some jurisdictions, reassessing an updated property can take years, potentially resulting in lost revenue for the local tax rolls. That’s why nearly 50 percent of assessors across the United States turn to Pictometry® imagery from EagleView. The patented Pictometry oblique image-capture process and desktop assessment tools make remote assessment and property change detection simpler. Rethink the remote assessment process with Pictometry solutions from EagleView and get the aerial intelligence necessary for fair, equitable, and timely property assessments,” touts Eagle View’s website.

“This sounds like a great deal,” said Philip Von Hanstein, a county commissioner.

According to Guy Rogers, chief appraiser for the Morgan County Tax Assessor’s office, the new service will enable assessors to be more accurate and more efficient while doing their jobs.

“They fly at a lower level, so they can get a better angle and a clearer view, where as before we were only able to see the rooftops of the buildings,” explained Rogers.

According to Mestres, the pictometry images will also be uses for the County’s planning department as well as law enforcement, should any kind of emergency or hostage situation arise.

“In case of a hostage situation, it gives us a little advantage to be able to see what the structure of a building looks like,” said Mestres. “This will be beneficial for numerous agencies.”

The county will make annual payments just under $18,000 over the next six years.

The first fly over is slated for January 2019. The second flyover will be slated for January 2022.

“We review properties every three years,” said Rogers. “This will help us with time management and we won’t need to go out physically as much to do assessments. It’s more efficient.”

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