The Cook County Board of Review, the highest volume assessment appeals board in the country, launched its state of the art Digital Appeals Processing System (DAPS) for the 2015 property assessment appeals session. The Digital Appeals Processing System will transform the paper-based Board appeals process into a digital workflow that will make filing appeals easier for taxpayers and will create a more transparent, efficient, and thorough process, which will save Cook County residents thousands of dollars. The new system will improve efficiencies by allowing for more time and resources for reviewing appeals and less time moving files and carts. Also, it will eliminate thousands of pounds of paper, the need for storage space and hours of physically sorting, indexing and transporting millions of pieces of paper each year. The project cost met budget expectations and the deadline for the 2015 assessment appeal session.
Some features of DAPS are:
- Taxpayers will be able to create accounts to receive updates about appeals, openings and closings of their townships and receive results of appeals electronically. Taxpayers will also be able to upload evidence for appeals electronically.
- Board of Review analysts will be able to send digital files for review from one commissioner’s staff to another’s electronically. In the past, paper appeals and evidence were physically sorted, indexed and transported from staff to staff and upon completion, stored in three separate storage areas. (The BOR reviewed appeals on 319,000 PINs in 2014 and 428,000 in 2013. By Illinois Statute, files for the past 5 years must be retained by the BOR.)
- The Board of Review system will allow leadership to facilitate and manage workflow in real-time. These changes will continue to aid in getting tax bills out to the taxpayers of Cook County in a timely manner. The property tax offices in Cook County have mailed the second installment tax bills on time for 4 consecutive years after 33 years of late bills. On time tax bills save Cook County and other government agencies millions of dollars.
In 2014, the Board of Review selected DataBank, from a competitive bidding process, to implement an Enterprise Content Management system using the OnBase Software program and help re-engineer the business process of the Board. Databank is an industry leader in OnBase integration and focuses on working with government institutions to streamline business processes and create efficiencies by eliminating paper-based systems.
“DAPS will transform and revolutionize how assessment appeals are reviewed and how taxpayers interact with the Board of Review,” said Commissioner Michael Cabonargi. “This is a part of an ongoing long term plan to open access to the Board of Review and streamline the process, saving residents millions of dollars by using less paper and storage. The Board will be more efficient, transparent and accessible to everyone who needs our help.”
“Since 2008, the Board of Review has embraced utilizing technology to expand access to information. The Digital Appeals Processing System implemented by the Board of Review serves not just to increase efficiency, but to create a more easily accessible process for Cook County Taxpayers,” stated Cook County Board of Review Commissioner, Larry Rogers, Jr. “The critical role the Board of Review plays in property value assessments effects the lives of everyday residents and impacts the sustainability of businesses in Cook County. As taxpayers face rising property tax bills, we recognized the importance of taxpayers not paying more than their fair share of taxes. I believe good government serves the people at their convenience.”
“This new Digital Appeals Processing System is the culmination of three years of focused effort by the Board of Review,” said Board Chairman Dan Patlak. “The effective re-engineering of our business processes as well as the utilization of technology have made the DAPS an exceptionally efficient tool for appeals management. We are proud to present this on budget, on time project to the citizens of Cook County,” concluded Patlak.
“We have worked very hard to upgrade what we inherited when we took office, which was old technology – legacy systems that in many cases were 20 or 30 years old,” said Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle. “The Board of Review is moving its technological operations into the 21st century, a major step forward and one that will have great benefits for property owners throughout the County.”
The Cook County Board of Review is a quasi-judicial independent office responsible for adjudicating assessment appeals for all property in Cook County. The Board consists of three Commissioners elected in three separate districts in Cook County. Please contact the Board of Review at (312) 603-5542 with any questions. For more information, please go to www.CookCountyBoardofReview.com.