We are pleased to announce a new family member: Robertson County Appraisal District. We are also honored to further support Limestone County Appraisal District with new services! Each appraisal district will be debuting their new services beginning January 1, 2018.
Robertson County Appraisal District will be utilizing our Website Hosting, Property Search, and Online Protest services. Robertson CAD will also be benefiting from our GIS Interactive Map and GIS Support services.
The Limestone County Appraisal District has been a Website Hosting client of ours for the past few years. They will be adding our GIS Interactive Map, GIS Support, GIS Production and GIS Training services beginning in January. The appraisal district will also benefit from our IT Maintenance for both Workstations and Servers, plus our Automated Backup service.
Our IT, Website, and GIS teams are already preparing for the go live date in January, and we would like to extend the warmest of welcomes to our family members. If you would like to know more about our IT, GIS, or website hosting services, please contact us at email@example.com or 800-247-9045.
At BIS Consulting, we welcome the State of Texas requirements for the production and maintenance of digital mapping data. This helps ensure that taxpayers are charged the fair and appropriate amount of tax for their property. When Brandon Kay and Britt Martin established BIS Consulting, one of the cornerstones of the business was to provide the small-budget appraisal districts with the same level of customer service and technologies as the larger appraisal districts. Over the years, we have evolved and refined our products to stay true to this mission and keep up with the latest standards and requirements from organizations such as the IAAO and the State of Texas. Earlier in 2017, and in accordance with the IAAO’s new “Standard on Digital Cadastral Maps and Parcel Identifiers” recommendations, our GIS department introduced the GIS Lease product.
Our GIS Lease product is available to districts of 10,000 parcels or less in size. The product is based around the premise of providing an accurate and up-to-date approved-standard Digital Cadastral Map for appraisal districts in a highly cost effective way. The digital map is built using the ShapeFiles format, based upon the county’s existing reference material in high quality DGN or KMZ format. Providing the county has our two year GIS Maintenance service contract, we can provide the service and the appraisal district receives the GIS Production and GIS Interactive Map as part of the GIS Lease solution, valued at over $20,000! This unique solution allows smaller districts to afford full fledged GIS Production.
BIS Consulting is pleased to announce that Crane County Appraisal District has joined the BIS family. Crane has signed up for our GIS Maintenance service, incorporating the GIS Lease service, together with our website design and hosting package. Our GIS and website teams are busy preparing these services for Crane CAD and they will be coming soon to a web browser near you!
Do you work for a small county and are you in need of GIS Production? If so, please contact our GIS Manager on firstname.lastname@example.org or on 800-247-9045.
BIS Consulting is happy to announce the introduction of four new clients to our family: Henderson County Appraisal District, Cherokee County Appraisal District, Willacy County Appraisal District and the Wilson Tax Office. These offices have recently started using one or more of our support products and services. Henderson CAD has signed up to use our full website suite, which encompasses Website Design and Hosting, plus our Online Protest, Property Search and Online Forms technologies. In addition to the website suite, beginning October 1st, Henderson CAD will also be using our GIS Interactive Map and GIS Training services. Our teams are currently busy preparing Henderson CAD’s new products.
Cherokee CAD is gaining a new server combined with our IT Maintenance contract. The new server is due to go live on Friday, September 1st, and as you might imagine our IT team is busy preparing and testing the new equipment!
Both Willacy County Appraisal District and the Wilson Tax Office have already activated their new services. Willacy CAD made the switch to our email and Website Hosting services earlier in the summer. You can check out their new generation website here: http://www.willacycad.org. The website is designed to work on all sorts of devices and allows Willacy CAD’s property owners to connect with the appraisal district no matter where they are.
The Wilson Tax Office opted for a new server, which was installed in mid to late July 2017. In addition to the server, the Wilson Tax Office is also taking advantage of BIS Consulting’s IT Maintenance plan to protect the server. The Tax Office’s new hardware went live on July 19th.
Can we help you and your business? BIS Consulting provides a range of products and services, from IT equipment, support and maintenance, to website design and hosting, GIS mapping data and support. Interested? Want to know more? Call us on 800-247-9045 or email us at email@example.com.
The TAAO & ICTA Conference is described as “the premier event for all property tax professionals in Texas.” The theme for this year is “Smooth Sailing.” The TAAO & ICTA Conference will take place Sunday, August 27 to Wednesday, August 30 at the Omni Corpus Christi hotel in Corpus Christi, Texas. There is a wide and varied series of presentations on a number of topics, including our very own Britt and Brandon, as well as some less serious events. There’s a golf tournament, a Fun Run, yoga class, and ice cream! If you haven’t signed up to participate, we recommend you visit this website http://www.taao.org/?page=conference and complete the registration form.
We are proud to sponsor the conference again, and the sponsorship includes the brochure, the Flight Simulator, and the band that you’ll be able to watch aboard the USS Lexington. Oh? Didn’t we mention that there’s a live band aboard the USS Lexington?! We have a stand at booth #9, next door to our partners, Thomas Y. Pickett and Certified Payments. This year, we have designed a “Popeye the Sailor Man” booth and theme to go along with Smooth Sailing, be sure to check it out! You might want to bring along some spinach as we will be lending our own unique lean on Smooth Sailing! At our booth, you can learn about BIS Consulting and what we do. We’ll be showcasing our new free TAAO Chapters website, which has been built to allow local chapters of TAAO to publish their meeting agendas and notes.
If you feel the need… the need for speed… be sure to join Lt. Pete Mitchell and Lt. Nick Bradshaw – that’s callsigns Maverick and Goose – on the USS Lexington, where we will be handing out freebies to all you budding US Navy aviators out there!
As you can see, we are all very excited to be back at the TAAO & ICTA Conference. We hope to see you there, sailors!
Look for us and our booth neighbors TYP and Certified Payments!
Two members of the BIS Consulting GIS team have been working with the City of Brookshire and researching their records, dating back over seventy years, to confirm the city boundary. After over two months of work, the GIS team members were able to clarify and confirm the city boundary and, during the process, discovered at least forty- three parcels that had not paid taxes to the City of Brookshire for a number of years. This city is a relatively small town; therefore, these missing parcels represent a noticeable drop in tax revenue.
During the investigation and data reconciliation project, the GIS team mapped out twenty-six annexations and have re-established the City of Brookshire’s extraterritorial jurisdiction, or ETJ. In effect, this allows the City of Brookshire police, ambulance and fire crews to service this area beyond the official city boundary.
Now that the investigation is complete, GIS is sending their data to Waller County Appraisal District, so that the county records may be updated. You can see the map data at this link gis.bisconsultants.com/cityofbrookshire/
If you would like to know more about BIS or how our GIS team can provide a great service for you, please call us on 800-247-9045 or email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Walter Stoneham Scholarship Committee has reached out to BIS to help promote these exciting 2017 TAAO & ICTA Conference events! Sign up for the Fun Run or Yoga class and mention BIS on your registration form to receive a 5 card booster pack of BIS Trading Cards!
Our goal at BIS is to help you be productive while keeping your data protected. Over the last week, it has been brought to our attention that an email scam has hit a few districts and is proving to be very sneaky. We want you to be aware so you can alert your staff and be proactive with these scams.
Key items to look for in this email scam:
The email is appearing to come from the chief appraiser’s email address and they are sending it to the finance person or the deputy.
The subject line reads “Transaction Request”
The body of the message reads “OK, I’m busy right now and i want you to process an outgoing domestic instant wire bank transfer today. So, i need you to email back and reconfirm what information required in order for you to process the transfer.”
The signature is the chief appraiser and underneath it reads “Sent from my iphone”
What should you do if you received an email like this and have responded?
Do not respond. If you have, do not send any more responses.
Change your computer login password.
Change your email password.
Run a malware scan on your computer just to be safe.
Call BIS for assistance with any of the above items.
The best way to protect your office is to promote communication.
Share this article to your entire staff.
Tell them they should always ask you in person or on the phone when they get an email of urgency to send money.
Remind them to use secure passwords and never use a family members name or a birth date as this information is all easily available on social media and can be accessed by virtually anyone.
If you would like any more information please feel free to give us a call at (800)247-9045.
Remember – being Proactive will keep you Protected so you can stay Productive.
BIS Consulting is pleased to welcome three new county appraisal districts to our client family: Fisher, Potter Randall and San Patricio. Fisher County Appraisal District has signed up to use a number of our services. Fisher CAD will be using our GIS Interactive Map and GIS Hourly Support contract. The GIS Interactive Map service will provide the appraisal district with access to our online, interactive, and shareable mapping software.
Our GIS Hourly Support service will provide Fisher CAD access to our team of highly skilled GIS Technicians. This service is designed to support an existing GIS team by providing expert technicians on hand to help where needed. The service is ideal for providing urgent or temporary GIS Technician coverage to get your busy GIS department through a difficult period.
The Potter Randall County Appraisal District will also soon be using our GIS Interactive Map, as well as our new generation website. We will also be hosting their Online Protest, Property Search, and Online Forms submission services. Our new generation website has been designed to be fully compatible with all devices, including smartphones and tablets! In addition to containing information about the appraisal district, the website also includes links to our other services such as GIS Mapping, Online Appeals, Online Forms, and Property Search services. Our website customers can enjoy the convenience of using these services wherever they are, and on whatever electronic device they are using.
The San Patricio County Appraisal District has signed up for our IT Maintenance service, including support for both servers and workstations, plus secure and offsite backups. We will keep San Patricio’s IT equipment and infrastructure running smoothly! San Patricio will also be using our new generation website, including links to the other BIS Consulting services that the appraisal district uses, which are GIS Mapping, Online Appeals and Property Search.
Would you like to find out more about BIS Consulting’s products and services, and do you need the very best IT support and maintenance? Please call us on 800-247-9045 or email at email@example.com and we will be happy to discuss your requirements.
On Saturday, April 29th multiple tornadoes ripped through Van Zandt County. One tore a 40-mile path through the center of the County and through the county seat, Canton. Unfortunately, four people were killed and dozens were injured. Our hearts and prayers go out to those people directly impacted by the disaster. The cleanup operation will take weeks if not months.
After a natural disaster such as a tornado strike, time is of the essence. Emergency services and recovery teams need to know the most heavily damaged areas, including ownership information. County Appraisal Districts are bombarded with information requests, including imagery of the impacted areas, and the number of requests can be overwhelming.
In the case of Van Zandt County, the appraisal district asked BIS Consulting if we could help provide the information needed. The answer was a resounding “yes.”
BIS Consulting was able to provide parcel boundary and ownership information free of charge to emergency responders. Our database provides the information in an industry-standard Esri Shapefile format. We provided links to our GIS Interactive Map, which allows field operators to access the information remotely or out in the field. At the same time we contacted our industry partner, specialist drone operators and aerial photographers, SkyVision. SkyVision’s drones are flown by ex-military pilots, and are smaller and more nimble than traditional aircraft. This means that in most cases they can get closer to the affected areas. When combined with today’s small, high-resolution digital camera technology, SkyVision’s drones are able to take excellent quality photographs at very short notice.
However, before SkyVision’s drones were able to operate, the company needed plan and coordinate with the FAA and local authorities. This required information from BIS Consulting so that we could maximize the coverage of damaged areas, and this in turn meant providing details of the tornado’s track data. Although BIS Consulting was unable to confirm the optimal route until the National Weather Service had provided the tornado track data, one of our GIS team members utilized the Texas storm chaser networks to obtain an early, unconfirmed plot of the tornado track. This information was passed on to SkyVision and this in turn meant the pilots were able to plot a preliminary flight plan. When the National Weather Service released the official tornado track data, SkyVision was able to expedite their final flight plan process and the aircraft was sent up into the air on Thursday, May 4th.
Once the SkyVision drone had provided detailed imagery, they were immediately processed and added to our database – taking just five days.
This meant that Van Zandt CAD had access to detailed, high resolution photography of the impacted area only ten days after the disaster, with the advantage that this was achieved at a fraction of the cost of traditional aerial imagery techniques. We added the post-tornado imagery to the database to allow the damage to be compared and assessed with pre-tornado photographs. Furthermore, the information gathered allowed our GIS team to produce paper maps and run a number of analysis reports to show the affected properties, which can be emailed as a spreadsheet to interested parties.
BIS Consulting and SkyVision are happy to have been able to help the Van Zandt County Appraisal District in a difficult situation, where intelligent use of technology can make a real difference in bringing information to the emergency services in a timely and efficient manner. However, SkyVision’s drones and our GIS Interactive Map services are not just for emergency situations! The power of this partnership will allow most Appraisal Districts the ability to obtain high quality imagery with a robust GIS Interactive Map at a fraction of the cost and time.
See Van Zandt’s GIS Interactive Map! Click on Skyvision in the Basemap Selector