RMLS™ strives to provide property and tax data in one location for all counties where our subscribers do business. Currently RMLS™ maintains over 2.3 million property records encompassing 43 counties in Oregon and Washington.
Each county has its own assessor and its own system for maintaining property and tax records. Many systems are one of a kind—one county system still uses 3×5 cards! Although some counties provide a website where individual tax properties can be researched, many counties do not provide such convenient access.
RMLS™ obtains data from the county itself or from another tax provider and then processes it into a standard RMLS™ format. The data is quality checked to the best extent possible. Updated property and tax data is then deployed to RMLSweb each week on Tuesday evening.
Depending on availability and other factors, sales are updated either weekly, quarterly, or biannually. Some counties do not provide sale data at all. It is important to remember that regardless of the update schedule, RMLS™ data will always lag a little compared to data from the county itself. This is especially true of tax amounts due to the volume of processing required.
Along with a defined primary set of property data (tax ID, acres, site address, market values, sales data, etc.) each county also has a unique set of ancillary data (heating, foundation, parking, etc.). Each data item also has a “fill factor” unique to each county. For example, in Baker County 98% of properties have a zoning value, in Jackson it is 83%, in Tillamook it is 72%, and in Benton it is 0%. RMLS™ analyzes these data items and factors and then displays the most relevant data on the tax report. Every county’s tax report is therefore slightly different.
The property and tax data also contains errors and omissions. Humans, computers, and governments are involved in the process and mistakes do occur. Whenever a subscriber encounters such a situation, they should contact us (you can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org) and provide sufficient details (county, tax ID, description of error) so that research can be done and the proper correction made. Most cases are resolved with the next update from the county. In the meantime, subscribers are advised to put a comment about any tax issues into the listing’s private remarks field.