ChangeFinder Helps Jefferson County Find Almost $3.5 Million in Unrecorded Property Value

Jefferson County, Nebraska, generated $50,000 in additional tax revenue, which will be distributed across the county, cities, and schools.

Background

Covering 576 square miles, Jefferson County is an agricultural area in southeastern Nebraska with a population of 8,300. An EagleView customer for almost a decade, Jefferson County uses EagleView’s 3-inch orthogonal (top down) and oblique (side angle) imagery.  

Historically, the county’s emergency services department and city offices were the most frequent users of the EagleView imagery.  Recently, though, the four-person assessment team has been finding new ways to use aerial imagery.

Challenge

Like many counties, Jefferson County finds it difficult to track changes to homes, buildings and structures over time. Change is constant, with new construction, demolitions and building alterations happening every month. Tracking these changes using in-person site inspections is time consuming and expensive.

Solution

To see the changes to homes and buildings, and find unreported property, the county used ChangeFinder, EagleView’s property change detection tool.  A simple software tool that an assessor can use from a computer, ChangeFinder compares aerial imagery and building outlines from different years and highlights the property changes.

Kylie Rohr, the deputy assessor for the county, initiated and led the ChangeFinder project during 2022 and 2023.  Rohr used ChangeFinder to identify the property changes that occurred within the last decade, a process that took nine months.  

Impact

Using ChangeFinder, Jefferson County found almost $3.5 million in unrecorded property value and generated $50,000 in additional tax revenue, which will be distributed across the county, cities, and schools.

“I was like, wow! I was not expecting it to be that much,”  Rohr said.

The numbers Rohr calculated caught the attention of the county commissioners, who were interested to hear about the impact of EagleView’s ChangeFinder and its potential for the future.

“We need to continue to put this in our schedule and make it work,” Rohr said.  “It’s obviously not going to take 9 to 10 months to do (next time) because it’s not going to be such a large project every time.”

Other counties in Nebraska have heard about the results from Jefferson County and are interested in conducting their own property change reviews.  Rohr believes other counties would see a benefit, too.

“You have to have a lot of patience and it is taking the time to do it, but it’s definitely worth it,” Rohr added.

To learn more about ChangeFinder and other ways EagleView’s aerial imagery benefits county assessors, visit  eagleview.com/industry/government/