City of St. Louis CAMA Implementation Case Study

DEVNET Selected As Preferred Provider of CAMA Software for City of St. Louis

About The City of St. Louis

  • The City of St. Louis, Missouri is located on the Eastern/Central border of Missouri along the Mississippi River.
  • Since 1876, St. Louis has been an independent city, and is not part of any county. St. Louis operates as both a city and a county. The Assessor’s office operates with a staff of approximately 62 employees.
  • In June of 2016, the City of St. Louis Assessor’s set out to replace its Computer Aided Mass Appraisal (CAMA) system for real and personal property.
  • The Assessor’s office CAMA system at that time was developed and installed in 1983-1984 for both real and personal property. It was written in COBOL
    computer language and run on an IBM DB2 relational database.
  • Missouri law requires the biennial reassessment of real estate (odd numbered year) and the annual assessment of personal property.
  • At the inception of the project, there were 138,980 parcels in the City of St. Louis subject to valuation.

Goals for The New CAMA Solution

The City had many goals in mind for the transition to the new CAMA solution.

  • To replace our out-of-date real and personal property CAMA systems with a new, state-of-the-art system.
  • Gain efficiencies through technology to allow for more time to analyze data instead of spending a majority of time on manual processes.
  • Implement a solution that minimized paper processes and contained built-in document imaging.
  • Move to a real estate CAMA system which included a Sales Comparison Approach which could be applied for both Residential and Commercial properties for both Residential and Commercial properties.
  • Implement GIS solutions as part of the CAMA system.
  • Find a system that could maintain TIF, Abated, and Special District properties.
  • An integrated appeals system that could track and schedule appeals at all levels of the appeal process.

Solutions & Vendor Selection Process

As part of the formal RFP process, DEVNET was selected as the awarded vendor to replace the existing COBOL CAMA solution. DEVNET worked with the City Assessor’s office to perform GAP Analysis, install DEVNET solutions and train and support the Assessor’s office staff on-going.

The DEVNET solutions contracted and installed at the City of St. Louis include:

  • Computer Assisted Mass Appraisal (CAMA) Software
  • Property Assessment and Administration Software
  • Property Tax Calculation Software
  • Appeals/Board of Equalization/State Tax Commission Software
  • Railroads and Utilities Software
  • EdgeMaps GIS Integration for Visualization
  • wEdge Online Property Tax Portal Website
  • Personal Property Online Filing

Implementation & Go Live

Following the timelines established by the City and DEVNET, the initial solutions went live in January 2019. These included Property Assessment, Personal Property, Tax Calculation and online e-filing of Personal Property Declarations.

In January 2020, DEVNET launched Real Estate Property Assessment and Administration, Real Property Mass Appraisal, Analytics Product Suite, real Property Tax Calculation, Appeals/BOE, Railroads and Utilities Module, CAMA, GIS and Web Integration.

City of St. Louis Project Successes

The DEVNET system has provided a level of efficiency and usability that has improved our processes and procedures, and resulted in more accurate and reliable information and data from the moment it was implemented.

For example, it used to take months for us to analyze and calculate the market data to implement location factors during each reassessment. Using the built-in ratio studies that are fully integrated with all parcels, we were able to do in a few weeks what used to take a few months.

Through DEVNET, we have been able to implement an online solution for citizens to return their Personal Property Declarations which is much more efficient for both the taxpayer and our office. The citizens expect these kinds of abilities to do business with our jurisdiction and DEVNET allows us to meet those expectations.

When filling out all the various reports required of the Assessor’s office, the data used to be pulled from several different queries out of the mainframe and combined with spreadsheets maintained by staff, and then get manually assembled. Now those reports pull from DEVNET on-demand with all the data included. It is a huge time saver!

In our old CAMA system, we would make changes on parcels, send them to the computer room to be updated overnight, and then pick up the changes the next day to see how they affected a parcel. Now, appraisers can make changes to parcels and see the changes immediately without any wait.

DEVNET is allowing us to transform to a highly efficient, highly responsive office utilizing state-of-the-art technology and DEVNET provides excellent customer service to help us.

Michael Dauphin, Assessor