May 20, 2009

Moving tax data into the 21st century

The Nevada Senate has passed AB307 which "publish[es] an annual list of property taxpayers and their property values on an Internet Web site rather than in newspapers."

The effort, sponsored by Assemblyman Paul Aizley, would save Clark County $500,000 a year and Washoe County $70,000.

Already stinging from declining revenue sources, newspapers are sure not to be happy with the move. In addition:

Barry Smith, executive director of the Nevada Press Association, had said the change would diminish access, and he pointed to the 300 agencies in Nevada that have their own Web sites. While the Web sites are helpful, he said they become "a maze of 'Where do I go to find what?'"

I'm sorry, but Smith's arguments don't convince me. I'm sure the records were printed in newspapers in the beginning because it was the most cost-effective way of getting that information out. Had the internet been then what it is now, newspapers would not have factored into the equation.

Access wise, computers and the internet have become what newspapers were. If someone doesn't have access to them, many public libraries have free internet access.