News (AP) - Technology helps Oakland County reap MAA Award

Oakland County's Equalization Division has garnered The Michigan Assessors Association (MAA) 2010 Distinguished Assessment Jurisdiction Award because of its online personal property filing system. This is the first time the county has received this recognition.

"This award is not only about excellence, but also about innovation," said Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson. "My Equalization Division Manager Dave Hieber and his staff continue to find ways to deliver better services at lower costs to taxpayers."

The Distinguished Assessment Jurisdiction Award "is conferred on a state, county, or local assessment agency that has instituted a technical, procedural, or administrative program which is, for the affected jurisdiction, an improvement over prior programs, and which is generally recognized as a component of model assessment system and a contributing factor to equity in property taxation," according to the MAA.

The county's online personal property filing system, created in collaboration with the Department of Information Technology, allows those who pay taxes on machinery and equipment to file online rather than fill out and mail forms to the county. It is a user-friendly system that makes it easy for taxpayers to file or amend their personal property statements from year to year. It also improves the efficiency of Equalization Division employees who do not have to open envelopes, sort and file thousands of tax filings.

"The award recognizes our employees' ability to initiate new ideas and programs that render our staff more efficient; while also creating an easier and more cost effective system for taxpayers," said Hieber.

Oakland County's online personal property filing system will serve as a model for future online property tax filing improvements by the Equalization Division. To view the form, navigate to To view the award criteria in detail, go to

Published: Mon, Aug 16, 2010