The Pitkin County commissioners this week were briefed about the first changes in 20 years for fees that are charged to people looking up property records.
County Assessor Tom Isaac told the commissioners that his office’s new website, after two years of work, is able to offer record seekers a more user-friendly experience.
Where once people who wanted in-depth records were charged $60 every time, now they can opt into a membership with the assessor’s office for $35 a month, or $350 a year, that offers unlimited access, Isaac told the county board.
His briefing came during a work session, and the commissioners made no formal vote to approve the new fee structure, though no objections were raised.
The system has been successfully running for a couple of months, and there have been no negative comments, Isaac said.
Perfunctory data like ownership information for an individual property, when a home was last sold, square footage and number of bedrooms for a residence will continue to be free.
The new membership is targeted toward residents and businesses seeking, for instance, information such as addresses for a specific neighborhood, all condominiums in Aspen with two bedrooms or more, or homes in Pitkin County valued at more than $5 million, Isaac said.
“It just depends on what their needs are,” he said. “Someone wanting to set up a maintenance company, they can use it for that.
“People are used to getting all kinds of mailings, and they all come from us.”
Using the new website, people are able to generate and customize reports for mailing labels and analyses, said Debby Payne, administrative deputy in the assessor’s office.
Commissioner Rachel Richards said she agreed with the new site and its payment schedule.
“Based on commercial use, I think it’s an appropriate fee,” she said, adding that it seems in line with what other counties are charging. “People are data-mining more than ever.”
“Is the list of people asking for such a list available?” asked Commissioner Michael Owsley, drawing laughs.
Isaac said the old system generated about $5,000 annually for the county, an amount he doesn’t expect to change much with the new system.