Manatron Announces Results of Second Annual Tax and Land Records Management Systems Research

Portage, MI — Oct. 12, 2011 – Manatron, Inc., a leader in providing integrated property tax and land administration software for governments worldwide, today announced the results of the company’s second-annual “Records Management Systems Research Study”, which surveyed top records management officials in counties across the U.S.

Manatron commissioned independent, third-party research firm Advanced Analytics to conduct the study. Advanced Analytics mailed a four-page, self-administered questionnaire to recording officials serving in small, medium and large counties across the country (existing Manatron clients were excluded). In total, 2,494 questionnaires were mailed with the primary objectives to investigate the present views and future needs of records management officials, and provide benchmark data for future product planning. The response rate to the survey was greater than 9%, with a +/- 3% margin of error.

As in last year’s inaugural study, the research surveyed general information about each county and the process and services currently used, as well as specifics regarding the officials’ views and ratings of various records management systems. The primary findings are described in detail below:

Technology utilization continues to increase across all counties
• Since 2010, “onsite public inquiry” stations – meaning stand-alone technology / computer stations provided by jurisdictions for individuals to conduct records searches onsite – increased to 75.7%, up from 67.9% the previous year. Overall, the general availability of online public inquiry stations provided by these jurisdictions increased to 48.5%, up from 36.6%.
• The number of eRecordings, property records filed online versus in-person, increased to 10.84%, up from 2.63% in 2010. This is reflective of the general upward trend of counties offering more technology and online services,
• Finally, automated redaction provided by jurisdictions increased to 36.1%, up from 30.9% the previous year. 

Staffing trends
• Staffing decreases remained stable, with some counties reporting hiring. The number of counties reporting decreases in staff dropped to 40%, down from 70% in the previous year.  The number of counties indicating increases in staff jumped to 9%, up from only 1% in 2010.

Other trends
• The overall number of documents recorded decreased across the board.  This is likely a reflection of the larger declining real estate trends occurring across the U.S.  The number of documents recorded by county size (population):
        a. Counties with <50k – documents recorded dropped by 10.1%
        b. Counties with 50-100k – documents recorded dropped by 6.4%
        c. Counties with 100-250k – documents recorded plummeted by 53.3%
        d. Counties with >250k – documents recorded plummeted by 51.8%

• When asked to cite the most important jurisdictional needs a records management system must meet, 86.3% of respondents noted ‘improving efficiency’ as a top priority, which was up from the 77.9% reported in 2010. Other top needs included improving accuracy and data safety. The need to decrease foot traffic in the county office was down to 74.4% from 88.3% in 2010. The marked drop in the need to decrease foot traffic may be explained by four larger trends: an increase in the total public inquiry stations in respondents’ offices, an increase in the number of jurisdictions offering online public access to records, an increase in eRecordings and decreases in total recordings, as reported above. 

Manatron will repeat the research on an annual basis to continue to compare shifts and detect future trends in county government offices.  

About Manatron, Inc.
Manatron, a Thomson Reuters business, provides software and services for governments worldwide to completely, fairly and efficiently assess real and personal property, and to bill and collect the related property taxes in their jurisdictions. Manatron’s software manages the entire property life cycle, which includes land registry, cadastral mapping, deed recording, land records, GIS (Geographic Information System) integration, valuation, assessment administration, personal property, business licenses, cashiering, tax billing and collection, delinquents and tax sales and e-government. The company’s corporate headquarters is located in Portage, Mich., and has offices throughout the United States. The Manatron International headquarters is located in Silver Spring, Md., with additional offices in Kiev, Ukraine and Cochabamba, Bolivia. Manatron currently serves over 1,600 customers and manages approximately 45 million parcels. More information about Manatron, Inc. is available at the Company’s website In addition, learn more about Manatron on Facebook and Twitter.