HCPA recognized with international “Digital Government” award

CONTACT: Bill Ward, HCPA Director of Business Services/Media Relations. Office Tel. (813) 276-8910, cell (813) 297-2142

TAMPA -- Hillsborough County Property Appraiser Bob Henriquez and his office have received an international award for the HCPA’s cutting-edge desktop appraisal system, Henriquez announced today.

Henriquez's office has been recognized by the Center for Digital Government, which annually presents the Best of the Web and Digital Government Achievement Awards (DGAA). Now in its 20th year, the Best of the Web awards recognize city, county and state governments for outstanding portals and websites based on innovation, functionality, productivity and performance.

The DGAA awards are presented in eight categories. The HCPA won its award in the "Government Internal" category for its innovative desktop appraisal software called GeoViewPort (GVP). The HCPA co-developed GVP, as well as its associated Management Module, with the Canadian software firm iLOOKABOUT. The DGAA winners represented a broad spectrum of government agencies from across the United States and around the world, including New Zealand.

"The HCPA's vision is to be one of the most effective and efficient property appraiser's offices anywhere and we believe this award speaks to that," Henriquez said. "With GVP, we are literally on the cutting edge of property appraising and the benefits to the taxpayer more than makes up for the initial investment."

GVP utilizes a combination of existing HCPA data and high-resolution aerial and ground-level photography to make extremely accurate property assessments of Hillsborough County’s nearly 500,000 parcels.

In most cases, the data and images used within GVP affords the HCPA even more assessment information about an individual property than what an appraiser could see if they were physically standing in front of it.

The HCPA still conducts property reviews in the field, but GVP has allowed the HCPA to dramatically decrease the need for those field reviews and therefore has resulted in significant savings for the taxpayers of Hillsborough County in fuel, repairs, drive time, paper, ink, scanners and printers. To help reduce the cost of on-site inspections and lessen its carbon footprint, the HCPA has also transitioned to a fleet of gas-electric hybrid vehicles.

Moreover, using GVP has allowed the HCPA to review its yearly quota of 25 percent of the county more accurately, which has resulted in adding potentially millions to the county tax roll. For the 2014 review year, about 10,666 parcels experienced value changes as a result of using GVP, both adding and subtracting parcel value information. The HCPA estimates these changes have been responsible for adding $9.2 million of residential value to the 2014 county tax roll, which, annually, would result in approximately an increase of $184,000 in revenue for the county’s cities, school board, and other local taxing authorities.

Since this value increase is added to the tax roll in perpetuity, over the course of 10 years, the county could see $1.8 million in added revenue for just that one quarter of the county. If similar value increases are found in the remainder three quarters of the county, the revenue increase could eventually approach a total of $7 million.

For a list of the CDG's 2015 award winners, please visit http://www.govtech.com/cdg/digital-government-achievement/Best-of-the-Web--Digital-Government-Achievement-Awards-2015-Winners-Announced.html

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The Hillsborough County Property Appraiser is an elected official charged with the duty and responsibility to appraise all of the property in the County. This includes real estate and tangible personal property (the equipment, machinery and fixtures) of businesses.