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Know how to get data compilations
While just about all the data collected by the assessor is public information, the assessor has no obligation to offer and deliver data free of charge in every custom-designed compilation that city residents can think of.
One may always walk into the assessor’s office and look up individual sales or assessment data on individual parcels at no charge. On a one-item-at-a-time basis, users will find some data accessible via paper records, other data accessible via a public terminal, and yet other data available via the assessor’s web site.
However, for large data compilations (say, all sales of homesteaded single family residences within the last two years) displaying information specified by the user, the assessor must identify the locale of the requested data within some two dozen electronic files, link the desired files, query them, and then dump the results into a format that is printable and can be attached to an e-mail. This requires time and effort, and there are fees for such data compilation requests. Query fees range from $50 for a request that can be met with a pre-existing query to $250 (or more depending upon amount of data) for a request that requires writing a new query.
There is some data compilation available to subscribing members of the assessor’s web site. Most notably,
there is a downloadable spreadsheet file of city land sales going back to 2004 that is updated weekly. Contact
the city assessor for membership application information.