County assessor's office receives upgrades

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Office drops $12,000 on new server, workstations after old server crashed

The county assessor's office received a technology upgrade this week.

Recently, the servers crashed in the assessor's three offices: The computer appraisal department, the real estate department and the personal property office. The computer systems and appraisal software, which are required by the Missouri State Tax Commission, figures the valuations. The values are then transferred to the collector's office in September, allowing the collector to print and mail the yearly tax statements.

The offices had to rely on a temporary server until the Missouri State Tax Commission and the Barry County Commission approved a bid for a new integrated server and eight computer workstations, including installation and setup.

The cost was $12,248.47, and the bid for the work was awarded to MDC Technology Group of Monett.

In upgrading the server, it was also necessary to update the workstations to allow the technology to work together.

"Each year, we budget for office supplies and computer hardware and software, which the county and state approves," said Sherry Sears, Barry County assessor. "We cannot spend anything out of the assessment fund unless it is totally approved."

According to Sears, the systems had been slow and locking up, preventing the staff from working.

"The upgrades will make the system faster, more efficient and enable us to work quickly, therefore, more accurately," Sears said.

The previous upgrade was in 2003.

On Monday, while the courthouse was officially closed for Presidents Day, Sears arranged for MDC Technology group to install the new equipment so that it would be ready to accommodate tax payers the next day.

The funding for the computer hardware equipment came from the 2013 budget.

The assessor's office receives a $3 reimbursement per real estate parcel from the Missouri State Tax Commission, providing they meet all state requirements and deadlines. This reimbursement has gone down from $5.99 in 2008.

In addition, the assessor's office gets 1 percent of the total taxes collected from the collector's monthly holdings and another 1/2-percent from the total taxes collected, with a cap of $75,000.

The assessor's office also receives funding from the sales of property record cards, maps and plat books.

The office has recently started making their own county plat books, and they are available in the assessor's office for $40 each.

The assessor is responsible for assessing all real and tangible personal property, and creating the records, as well as, assessing each parcel of land and the structures on it every other year.

Personal property, such as boats, automobiles, livestock or farm equipment, should to be assessed between Jan. 2 and March 1 to avoid a penalty.

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