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OCPA to Return $1.87 Million to Orange County

Through an array of cost-containment processes and scrupulous financial management, the Orange County Property Appraiser’s Office (OCPA) will return more than $1.87 million to Orange County. Most of the money – some $1.43 million – was saved through expert oversight and stewardship of operating funds. Now in his sixth year as Property Appraiser, Rick Singh, CFA, further announced today that under his leadership, OCPA has returned an average of $1 million per year to Orange County. This year’s total the largest amount ever returned in a single year.

“I am extremely proud to announce this number to the community,” said Singh. “We run a tight ship at OCPA and carefully manage our resources. Returning these funds to Orange County is just another indication that my staff and I take our responsibilities very seriously and fully recognize that we serve the citizens and taxpayers.”

On top of the $1.43 million savings in operating expenses, OCPA experienced a reduction in legal expenses – 27% less than in 2018 – saving an additional $441,000. Also, Singh’s office generated $447,000 from services and fees. OCPA provides mapping and data information and collects administrative fees from area municipalities and select special taxing districts.

Since Singh took office in 2013, the office has also received high marks every year during annual, independent audits. Moreover, even while carefully managing expenses and saving taxpayers money, the office continues to have the highest assessment accuracy rating from the Department of Revenue for comparably sized counties in Florida. In addition, the office’s success rate for defending its property values at the Value Assessment Board – where property owners can contest their assessments – is 99.9%.

Continued Singh, “Through continued use of best practices in talent, training, and technology, we are constantly seeking ways to work smarter and more efficiently. We have a duty to protect the taxpayers’ interest within budgeted constraints, and I am proud that we meet and exceed those expectations every year.”

In addition to these hard-earned accomplishments, OCPA continues to rack up accolades and reach milestone achievements. Under Singh’s leadership, OCPA has returned more than $1 billion in value to the tax roll through compliance initiatives and has assessed a combined total of more than $1 trillion in property value. An award-winning agency, OCPA was recognized in 2019 with a Gold Stevie® Award and Customer Service Team of the Year by the American Business Awards®, and by the International Association of Assessing Officers (IAAO) with its prestigious “Certificate of Excellence in Assessment,” earned by less than 1% of assessment authorities. The Agency has also been honored by the Center for Digital Government with a 2018 “Digital Government Experience” Award citing its effective online strategies for meeting constituent needs.

Further demonstrating their dedication to leveraging technology to protect constituent interests, earlier this year OCPA implemented a Drone team to better value large or hard to access property. Drone technology allows the field staff to inspect properties in a less invasive manner. Additional technology on the horizon at OCPA includes utilizing machine learning to analyze aerial imagery to identify changes to properties, and conversational intelligence in the form of a "chatbot” to introduce an additional form of communication between the office and property owners

Through sustained use of best practices in talent, training, and technology, OCPA is constantly seeking ways to work smarter and more efficiently. Singh and his team are clearly dedicated to protecting Orange County taxpayers’ interests within budgeted constraints, and to exceeding expectations every year.