County gets bids for planned tax assessment system upgrade

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Cape Girardeau County commissioners received bids Monday on software intended to hold personal and real estate property information. The bids ranged from $560,000 to $1.4 million.

The upgrade would be part of a major overhaul of the software systems used by the assessor's and collector's office. Resident billing or assessment will not be affected.

The current 20-year-old technology will be replaced soon, allowing better interfacing between the assessor and collector and other government agencies. The software holds information about personal and real estate property, current values and improvements and taxes.

The county commission opened bids Monday for the new system. One from Tyler Technologies was about $560,000, while a second from Manatron was $1.4 million. Eric McGowen, the director of the information systems office, said he does not know why there is such a large discrepancy in cost. McGowen will study the bid proposals and report back to the commission a recommendation in about a week to 10 days, associate commissioner Jay Purcell said.

Implementation will be a two-year process because of the complexity and depth of the software. A new mapping and Geographic Information System was purchased within the last five years, and the new software must operate with the mapping program.

Money will come from the technology fund. This software update has been expected for years, McGowen said. He said he thinks there is currently between $600,000 and $700,000 in the fund.

Purcell hopes that with the new system citizens will be able to check their tax bills online, although that is under review.

"This will move us from an antiquated main frame environment to the modern day," McGowen said.

335-6611, extension 123

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