Orange County (California) Property Tax System Development

2023 NACo Achievement Award Winner

Orange County, Calif., CA

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About the Program

Category: Information Technology (Best in Category)

Year: 2023

Orange County‘s, California, legacy property tax system ran on a mainframe that was originally developed in the ‘80s. At over thirty-five (35) years old, the system was antiquated and out of date. Its programming languages and database were past their end-of-life. Further, the County was facing retirements by staff members who supported the system and finding skilled individuals to backfill them was becoming challenging. Finally, the legacy system was expensive to maintain. A solution was necessary. Orange County decided to develop its own solution. The new system would either meet the legacy system as a “Like-for-Like" model or would surpass it. The County built a team from internal resources, previously embedded vendors, utilization of retirees, and a third-party vendor to develop the new system. The effort faced many challenges along the way. The project was originally planned for two years; however, it took five. The development effort became a war of attrition. In the end, the County was successful. Orange County moved its new automated property tax system into production in September, 2022. The new system was brought online in the middle of the Secured Tax Roll season. The system’s quality proved itself as it operated without issue.