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View tax, property data with new online program

Want to check the value of a county property, or locate it on a map?
   That information is now available online, according to Jefferson County Assessor Patsy Mault. People can now access all assessment and taxation data from their home or office computers.
   The address for the new Web site is: www.co.jefferson.or.us.
   Besides being more convenient for the public, Mault said, "It will be a big labor savings for our office, because we spend a lot of time on the phone answering questions for the public, realties and others."
   Mault said her office has been working on getting this data -- which is public information -- online since 2000. Some things, like details on industrial properties, are confidential and are not accessible on the Web site.
   Their former 30-year-old computer system could not be adapted to the Internet, so Mault began looking for a more modern system.
   She eventually found a system in the right price range, and after convincing the county commissioners the idea was a good one, the new system was purchased in 2003.
   The assessment and taxation office began converting data to the new system in 2004, and is still finishing the process.
   "The total assessed values are correct, but the breakdown between the improvements and the land may still not have been updated," Mault said.
   Besides property values, tax information and tax histories, county maps are also posted on the site for people to look at. The information can be called up using the address, the name of the property owner or by the property's map number.
   "It will be a real convenience for the public. And if they don't have access to a computer, they can come in here and we have public computers for them to use," Mault said.
   She added, "I hope this will pave the way for other departments to provide information on their Web sites."
   In the future, Mault said they would like to add more forms which the public can print, fill out and bring in to her office.
   "My next goal is to make the system interactive, so people can fill out forms online and e-mail them back to us," she said.