The Need to Update Your Antiquated System

Industry: County Government
Location: Atlanta, GA
Employees: 6,000+
Years as a Tyler Client: 21
Budget: $517 million
Tyler Products Used: iasWorld

The Facts

With a population of more than 1,033,000 situated on 528 square miles near the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Fulton County is the largest county in Georgia. 98% urban with approximately 348,000 housing units, Fulton County is home to Atlanta, the state capital and county seat, and is the leading distribution center for goods and services in the southeastern United States. Many corporate headquarters, such as the CNN Center (the global headquarters of Turner Broadcasting System), Coca Cola and Delta Airlines are located in the County, as well as several colleges and universities, including Morehouse College, the Georgia Institute of Technology and Georgia State University.

Key Challenges

  • Replace out-of-date CAMA and tax billing and collection software
  • Improve the accuracy of property homestead exemptions
  • Replace inefficient manual processes with time-saving streamlined or automated processes

Benefits: Financial and Beyond

  • Easy access to property assessment, valuation and tax bill data for timely decision making by the County tax commissioner and assessor
  • More than 15,000 misidentified homestead exemptions corrected resulting in more accurate tax bills for taxpayers and an updated County tax digest
  • Updated valuation tables and mass appraisal practices helped the County eliminate all overrides within the database and provide accurate and up-to-date parcel values

Fulton County Best Practices

  • Implemented fully-integrated iasWorld applications across the County's tax commissioner and assessor offices for streamlined processes and easy access to information
  • Worked in close collaboration with Tyler staff to develop and implement customized reports to meet County needs

Why Tyler?

  • Tyler has more than 60 years of experience in the appraisal and tax software and services industry
  • iasWorld is a fully integrated, Web-based CAMA and tax billing and collection solution
  • Tyler understands county needs, users and business practices, and has proven their commitment to partnering with Fulton County for more than 20 years
  • Tyler is the largest sole provider of software and services for the public sector, covering all solutions for ERP and Financial, Document, Pension, and School Management; Land and Vital Records; Appraisal and Tax, Courts and Justice; Public Safety; and Citizen Services

iasWorld's mass appraisal tools allow us to reappraise whole neighborhoods in one fell swoop.

James Watson

Systems Manager - Fulton County, GA

The Need: Upgrade Outdated Legacy System

As the largest county in Georgia with more than 348,000 properties to assess, value and calculate tax bills for, Fulton County needed a property assessment and taxation software solution that was up to date, accurate and easy to access at all times. Since 1990, Fulton County had been using a combination of MAS an OASIS, two of Tyler's legacy software solutions. After more than a decade, the systems no longer offered the flexibility, functionality or fast access to data to meet the County's complex and changing needs.

That's why in 2003 the County decided to upgrade to a new system, one that would address their challenges in an efficient and cost-effective way. Their decision: implement iasWorld, Tyler's integrated CAMA and tax billing and collection solution, and continue partnering with a company that already understood their users, their challenges and their needs.

Working Together to Implement the Right Solution

In 2003, implementation of iasWorld began in the County's tax commissioner and assessor offices. The goal: make it easier for employees to search, access, and maintain property record data and improve process efficiency. "The tax commissioner had a vision of the system he wanted, and Tyler worked closely with us to develop a system that met those needs," explained James Watson, Fulton County systems manager and head of the iasWorld implementation. Because of iasWorld's inherent flexibility, the Tyler implementation team and County employees were able to configure screens, processes, and functionality to address County-specific challenges, including creating and implementing highly customized reports crucial to County efficiency and accuracy. "I am always impressed with Tyler employees," Watson stressed. "They are always willing to go the extra mile to do what we need."

Streamlined Processes and More Accurate Data

In 2007, iasWorld was live in both the County's tax commissioner and assessor offices and by 2009 the County was reaping significant benefits. Processes that were previously done manually are now streamlined or automated, saving users time. iasWorld automatically performs tax adjustments each night, employees can produce taxpayer reimbursement checks right from their desks, and tax administrators can efficiently calculate and settle 10,000 to 12,000 receivables each month, balancing these receivables within a few dollars — something that couldn't be done with their previous system.

Using iasWorld's advanced Oracle database, the County was also able to make dramatic improvements to the homestead exemption process. By running extensive queries, employees were able to find and correct more than 15,000 improperly assigned homestead exemptions. 2010 tax bills were calculated, reconciled, generated and printed in nine days — an important achievement for the County and its citizens as in past years this process could take up to four weeks to complete.

But the benefits of using iasWorld haven't stopped there. In the older system, keeping cost, land and neighborhood tables up to date was challenged by cyclical valuations, efforts to keep the digest in compliance and a lack of system controls to reduce errors. These out-of-date tables affected the County's ability to perform mass appraisal. "Half of the parcels contained in our database were in override, meaning each parcel was manually given a value in order to make up for the inaccurate cost tables," explained Watson. Within two years of implementing iasWorld, all overrides were eliminated and parcel values are now accurate and up to date. "iasWorld's mass appraisal tools allow us to reappraise whole neighborhoods in one fell swoop,"; he said.

A Continuing Partnership

Today, Fulton County is recognized as having one of the first fully integrated tax systems in the state of Georgia, a fact that can be attributed in part to the close relationship that exists between the County and Tyler. "Working with Tyler is always a positive experience from the top down," said Watson. "Tyler has had a presence in Fulton County for more than 20 years and continues to provide the people and the assessment and taxation tools the County needs."

Case Study Highlights

  • Largest county in Georgia with more than 348,000 properties
  • Corrected more than 15,000 misidentified homestead exemptions
  • Eliminated all overrides within the database and reappraised whole neighborhoods at a time
  • All parcel values are now accurate

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