Tyler beginning reassessment data collection Thursday

Data collection for Washington County will begin in city’s 5th Ward

September 24, 2013
Washington County workers installed this sign for reassessment central at the former youth detention center near the fairgrounds and health center in Arden. - Barbara Miller / Observer-Reporter Order a Print

Residents of Washington’s 5th Ward will be the first in the county to see Tyler Technologies property reassessment data collectors as they embark Thursday on the task of reassessing 118,000 parcels.

“We’re going to be doing the entire city first,” said Wesley Graham, project supervisor for Tyler Technologies, which has a $6.9 million contract with the county.

People might assume that the Washington and McGuffey school districts will be the first to be reassessed because those two school districts brought suit against the county.

That’s not the case, said Robert Neil, the county’s reassessment project manager and former Washington County chief assessor. During Washington County’s last reassessment, which took effect in 1981, Neil was field operations supervisor in charge of data collection for the county.

He said data collectors’ presence in the city is coincidental.

During this phase, company data collectors, clad in chartreuse vests, will go door to door to gather information about each property between 8:30 a.m. and about 4:30 p.m., door-knocking and speaking with an occupant of a home who is 18 or older.

They will verify exterior measurements of all buildings, ask for information about the interior of homes and note the dwelling’s age, type of basement, number of rooms, baths, fireplaces, interior finish components and anything that is unique to the building.

Data collectors will not ask to enter a house, but if a homeowner wishes to have the interior inspected, the data collector will comply.

“They may want us to see something,” Graham said.

An example would be a homeowner wanting to prove that an area inside the home is a cathedral ceiling, not a room.

The data collectors also will be using a tape to measure the home’s exterior.

All Tyler employees will have photo identification, and if anyone has questions about their intentions, homeowners are encouraged to call Tyler’s local number in Arden, 724-228-5019, or the Washington County Tax Revenue office, 724-228-6850.

The firm estimates that 65 percent of the residents won’t be at home when the data collectors come through a neighborhood. In that circumstance, the data collectors will leave on the door a form asking the owner or occupant to fill in information and mail it back to the Tyler Technologies project office at 50 Old Hickory Ridge Road, Washington, PA 15301.

“If you give information to the data collector, it’s going to be to your benefit (for quality control of the data),” Neil said.

Employees of Tyler, of Moraine, Ohio, will start working on the 6th Ward once the 5th Ward is completed, with other areas of the city to follow at times to be announced.

Reassessment of commercial property won’t start until after the first of the year.

Barbara S. Miller covers politics, Washington County government and a variety of other topics for the Observer-Reporter. She is a graduate of Washington & Jefferson College, majoring in English and history. Follow her on Twitter @reporterbarb.

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