New CAMA System Better Serves Counties

August 24, 2020 by Meredith Trimble

New CAMA System Better Serves Counties

The Property Valuation Division (PVD) of the Kansas Department of Revenue goes above and beyond to provide fair and equitable taxation for all the state’s 105 counties. In addition to oversight, the PVD provides a single computer-assisted mass appraisal (CAMA) application to all county jurisdictions to assist appraisers in accurately valuating real property.

Meeting the unique needs of so many different appraisal districts, however, is no small feat. Particularly as the department’s legacy CAMA system necessitated redundant workflows and manual tasks. In addition, with each county maintaining its own data on siloed servers, leveraging accurate data and streamlining processes proved challenging.

For a more agile, customizable solution, the PVD replaced its aging CAMA system with a new one capable of standardizing operations and connecting communities across the state.

New APIs

One of the new system’s biggest benefits is its API capabilities allowing staff to tailor system functionality to meet the individual needs of each county. Staff can add tables, modules, and calculations without modifying the system’s source code. The intuitive approach works for everyone, even employees without programming experience. This ability to add customized tables and depreciation calculations makes it easy for both rural and large metropolitan areas alike to meet their jurisdictional requirements.

Most popular is the system’s ability to create transformation variables used for multiple regression analysis. While the PVD provides counties with a standard set of market transformations, there is always a local desire to create new variables to better calibrate models for comparable area sales.

Digital Valuation Calculations

Conducting valuation calculations in the system also eliminates manual data entry and reduces errors. A standardized form to calculate the current state of new construction, for example, offers check boxes for field appraisers that represent each phase of construction. This “percent complete” page simplifies data recording and completion calculation and even applies the data to relevant areas in the cost approach.

Custom Reporting

Because custom data variables can easily be exported, both the PVD and the counties can see real-time snapshots of production data. This allows all stakeholders access to accurate information for data analysis, quality control, compliance oversight, and reporting.

These benefits and the significant return on investment for more than 100 counties in the State of Kansas earned the PVD a 2020 Tyler Excellence award for innovation.

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