A recent blog post on Project Syndicate by Ester Dyson, a leading technology entrepreneur, commented on the emergence of data driven analysis which will help monitor and improve communities. Dyson notes :
Just consider: each town has its own schools, library, police, roads and bridges, businesses, and, of course, people. All of them potentially generate a lot of data, most of it uncollected and unanalyzed. That is about to change.
DSA has applied the theory of “Quantified Community” to the problem of property tax fraud. Our patent-pending methodology collects, organizes and analyzes data that was previously unexplored.DSA also culls existing data sets in new, creative ways to find tax cheats. DSA is proud to be on the leading edge of the Quantified Community movement.
Imagine if someone stole $155 out of the school bake sale funds. Now imagine that the fraud happens 10,000 times each year in Florida.
Florida public schools are funded by a combination of local property taxes, state funds and federal subsidies. Local property tax accounts for 51.11% of school funding in Florida. The housing and foreclosure crisis has dramatically cut home values on which property taxes are based. School boards are forced to choose between slashing budgets or raising millage rates.
Local officials may not be aware that the housing crisis has resulted in situations where Homestead Exemptions (which reduce the taxable value of the home by $25,000 for school boards) are no longer valid. In the wake of the foreclosure crisis, many homes that have changed ownership, usage and occupancy continue to claim homestead exemptions thereby short-changing school districts.
DSA’s patent-pending Invalid Exemption Discovery System has found over 10,000 such homes in Florida. Each invalid exemption reduces school funding by about $155. These invalid exemptions will cost Florida children approximately $1,700,000 in school funding for 2012 if action is not taken.
One of the latest buzz words in technology is “Big Data”. A recent story on NPR notes:
As the term suggests, it is huge in both scope and power. Analyzing big data enables anything from predicting prices to catching criminals, and has the potential to impact many industries.
DSA has applied Big Data principles to the analysis of property tax rolls. The size and scope of tax rolls were once an impediment to detecting fraud, however the opposite is true today. DSA’s Invalid Exemption Discovery System crunches through massive amounts of data looking for patterns that suggest property tax fraud.
Everywhere you look, there’s an opportunity to collect more data and then apply a statistical or mathematical approach to understanding what’s happening - Chris Kemp, chief executive officer of Nebula
“They plan to use nasty letters, public shame and foreclosure — the legal equivalent of breaking kneecaps.”
Many of the properties ended up on the list because of property tax exemption issues. Included on the list is undeveloped land owned by a church funded group. The church had planned to develop a community center.
”But the church failed to win a tax exemption on the property because of slow-moving and incomplete plans and funding for the project.”
TAMPA – Potential potholes and shuttered schools provided the impetus for technology designed to generate revenue for local governments.
The technology, which uses an algorithm and a data-mining system to identify properties that don’t qualify for homestead exemptions, was developed by Alison Jimenez, president of Dynamic Securities Analytics Inc.
Unlike approaches that focus on the characteristics of owners to detect potential fraud, Jimenez’ technology looks at property characteristics. For example, ZIP codes with high unemployment may have a substantial number of people who have fallen behind on their mortgages and moved out of their homes, losing their exemption. Wealthy ZIP codes, such as those in beach communities, could have a high number of second homes, which also would not qualify for exemptions.
By automating the process, Jimenez can offer data in a few hours, rather than the weeks it might take to gather otherwise.
Read the article online. Contact us today at (813) 994-3340 to learn the number of invalid exemptions in your community!
DSA’s patent-pending Invalid Exemption Discovery System (IEDs) was recently profiled in www.83degreesmedia.com. See the excerpt below:
“In Florida and some other states, if you own a home and you use that home as your primary residence, you can qualify for the homestead tax exemption,” says Alison Jimenez, president of DSA. “The exemption usually saves people about $800 a year in property taxes, however, there are a lot of people who are getting the exemption when they don’t use the property as their primary residence. ”
Jimenez says that by identifying these properties that should not be receiving the homestead exemption and revoking such tax breaks, counties and municipalities can recoup funds.
DSA has results for many Florida of county’s. Contact us at (813) 994-3340 to learn the amount of taxes your county could recoup.
Tampa, Fla. (September 19, 2011) – Tampa-based company Dynamic Securities Analytics, Inc. (“DSA”) has discovered a new method to detect property tax revenue that has been missed due to fraud, error, or oversight. Developed by company President Alison Jimenez, the algorithm and data-mining system identifies non-compliant homestead exemptions.
“Local governments are increasingly pinched for resources and often face the hard choice of cutting services or raising taxes. However, there is a third option – increase the collection of taxes by searching out fraud.” said Alison Jimenez. “Having a quick and efficient methodology that aids property appraisers and assessors to fairly apply property tax code will boost municipal revenue by identifying invalid homestead exemptions.”
Jimenez filed for United States Patent protections (US Serial No: 61/533324) on September 12, 2011.