Aerial pics available to publicPublished 10:18am Friday, August 30, 2013
One of the most important functions of the Lawrence County Auditor’s Office is to accurately document all real estate and property improvements in the county.
This week we have made available for you brand new aerial photography on the map portion of my website: www.lawrencecountyauditor.org
The previous photography on the website was more than six years old, so these new images will provide you a more accurate and a more current representation of all of the property in Lawrence County.
These new photos, combined with other features I have previously added to the website, will help in fairly representing the property in Lawrence County, and in turn, help facilitate the real estate market, ultimately making it easier for you to buy and sell a piece of property in our county.
I found it very interesting how the aerial photography process takes place. Our vendor flew planes over the entire county in a grid formation on a sunny day in March of this year, after the snow melted and before the leaves blossomed.
Using sophisticated high definition cameras, the airplanes were able to capture a distinctively clear image of the properties in our county. We were then able to place a copy of the aerial images over the parcel map to give the estimation of parcel lines right there on the website.
This process creates a county “plat map” at your fingertips, 24/7. Keep in mind however that these lines are not the official property lines. You need to have the actual survey to determine the exact location of a property line, but generally, the website does give a good idea of where the line is.
As we improve the process of more accurately collecting and reporting information, it is important to remember that for nearly 200 years the county auditor’s office has had to rely on eyesight and pencil and paper to track property changes.
Keeping that in mind, it is entirely possible that over the years, some properties may not have made it on the tax books or some property improvements may not have been removed from the tax books if they have been torn down.
These new photos will go a long way to help find discrepancies, but as you may remember, well over a year ago, I added the ability to anonymously report a discrepancy on any property by using the website.
Combined, these tools will help correctly identify property in Lawrence County.
By utilizing modern technology which is more efficient and more accurate than in years past, it saves you, the taxpayer, money, while the accuracy gained ensures that taxes are applied more fairly to both you and your neighbor.
Hopefully, this new photography will help give you better information, which will make it easier for you to buy or sell a piece of property in Lawrence County, while at the same time, make the appraisal process more fair to all property owners.
Jason C. Stephens is a Getaway resident and former county commissioner serving his first term as Lawrence County Auditor. He can be reached at (740) 533-4310 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.