County’s new tax records system given go-ahead

By Peter Bodley
Contributing Writer

Implementation of a project to replace the county’s existing integrated property, assessment, tax, land and vital records system was given the green light by the Anoka County Board Feb. 14.

The board approved a phase 2 contract with Tyler Technologies Inc., based in Plano, Texas, for professional services to replace the existing system at a cost not to exceed $3.27 million with an additional change order amount of up to $400,000.

The county’s existing integrated property, assessment, tax, land and vital records system, which was installed in 2004, is obsolete and has reached the end of its life, according to Jonell Sawyer, division manager of property records and taxation.

Work on the project began in 2015 when a request for proposal was issued, two responsive vendors were interviewed and Tyler Technologies was selected for both phases of the project, Sawyer said in an interview following the board action.

The County Board approved the first phase, development of a requirements definition, which included a detailed review of current business processes, plus a gap analysis at a cost of $410,000 in January 2016 and that was completed Jan. 26 this year, she said.

The present system is integrated, but the gap analysis revealed the need for some modifications; for example, torrens is currently a separate application and it will be integrated into the new system, according to Sawyer.

An entirely new system will be installed under the contract with new hardware and software, and implementation will include migration, moving data from the current system to the new one, Sawyer said.

“We will be modernizing and streamlining the system, creating some efficiencies,” she said.

Implementation is anticipated to take a couple of years and the current system will continue to be used until the work is complete, Sawyer said.

The existing system is operated in-house by the county, but Tyler will host the new system, and this is designed to make maintenance and parts replacement for both hardware and software more efficient, she said.

It will also free up time that the county’s information technology staff have spent on the existing system, Sawyer said.

Tyler Technologies is familiar with the Minnesota tax system through similar projects in Dakota and Olmsted counties, she said.

The replacement project has been included in the County Board’s capital improvements budget and will be paid for from recorder technology and compliance funds, not property tax dollars, according to Sawyer.

Revenues for this fund come from fees paid by people recording documents. The revenue can be used to finance projects, like the replacement of the integrated property, assessment, tax, land and vital records computer system, that help with the recording of documents process, Sawyer said.