If you're a Canyon County homeowner you may have noticed a special notice on the assessor's website. The notice states a subscription is now required to access tax information through the database. However, the subscription is not new.
Since 2006, Canyon County has required a subscription for people who want to access tax information multiple times a week. Canyon County Chief Deputy Assessor Joe Cox says the only reason people are even seeing the special notice now is because that subscription was free last year, while Canyon County looked to switch their software providers.
“97 percent of the use of the site is all for business use and very little is private use,” Cox said.
Businesses, such as title companies, realtors, and developers.
“My bread and butter group is about 60 people and they're probably hitting our site about 350,000 hits a month,” Cox said.
Cox says that's why he believes those businesses should pay a $40 fee.
“I don't think there's any harm in charging the heaviest users for using it for a business use to help subsidize the cost of running and maintaining the software,” Cox said.
Depending on how much information someone may be looking for depends on how much they pay. If someone would like to see a full geographical map of the surrounding area, the cost will range from $1,000 to $3,000.
“Sometimes your developers will use it because they want to know where the power grid is, where the sewer lines are in a relationship to the ground before they buy it,” Cox said.
If someone would like to view home information, like room count, square footage, or even the type of construction, it's $40.
“The lion's share of those people who buy that information are using it for a business purpose,” Cox said.
If all you want to see is the homeowner, address, and assessed value, that's all free if you have the address.
“If you wanted to look-up your mom's assessment and see what her assessment was last year, this year, whether her name is on the property, the legal description, that is all available for free,” Cox said.
If someone would like to see more detailed information, and not pay the $40, a homeowner can either call the assessor's office who will provide them with more tax information for up to three homes. The homeowner can also go down to the assessor's office and look-up that detailed information.