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County Tax Assessment Uses Latest Technology to Streamline Appraisal Practices

Each year, the Tax Assessor’s Office gathers images of properties from across the county. This year, you may notice some futuristic looking vehicles rolling through your neighborhood. Cyclomedia vehicles will drive through parts of Buncombe County in order to capture high quality images that will aid the Tax Assessor’s office as they analyze property and neighborhood conditions.


Using this type of technology is part of our ongoing commitment to excellence in appraisal practices. The International Association of Assessing Officers’ standard on mass appraisal practices notes the benefits of using technology to improve street-level photography. “We have found that some of our more traditional methods are not as cost effective as we would like them to be, especially in the rural areas, when it comes to drive time versus images captured,” notes Assessor Keith Miller. “This technology is very similar to Google’s street view. Where we would have used a single image in the past, we can now use hi-resolution panoramic imagery.” As Buncombe moves toward the 2021 Revaluation we hope Cyclomedia technology and imagery will help our office to:

  • Perform accurate desktop assessments of real property
  • Perform desktop measurements with high level of accuracy. 
  • Update and validate recorded information
  • Identify images by time/date
  • Create reports with measurement and notes
  • Analyze data more quickly and accurately at less cost
  • Respond to assessment appeals in a timely manner
  • Increase staff efficiencies and accuracy of data
  • When dealing with customer requests/inquiries we can immediately access a 360-degree perspective of property and neighborhood

This high level imagery will also be available to public safety officials such as Emergency Services and the Sheriff’s Office to respond to emergency situations.

Privacy statement from Cyclomedia

CycloMedia Technology, Inc. has partnered with Buncombe County, North Carolina to assist their tax assessment workflows. CycloMedia collects 360-degree imagery and LiDAR data from public roadways. Often, tax assessors must go house to house and street to street to take individual images of homes to be used for tax assessment purposes. CycloMedia expedites this process and makes it more cost effective and environmentally friendly by collecting images automatically as they drive public roads.

Once imagery and data has been gathered, they are processed, transferred to a database, and ultimately delivered to Buncombe County for tax assessment purposes. Images are taken of the front of commercial and residential properties. CycloMedia does not travel onto private property and collects no data on the inside of commercial or residential properties—neither the imagery nor LiDAR can see into windows or beyond walls. To ensure the public’s privacy, CycloMedia blurs faces and license plates from all collected images. Furthermore, CycloMedia’s data is not real-time, and only reflects the environment as it was on the day images were taken. CycloMedia does not make video recordings.

Technology used by CycloMedia is similar to that used by Google, Apple, and other companies that collect data for mapping purposes.

If you have any concerns, please email or contact the Buncombe County Tax Assessors Office.