Assessor's office being upgraded
ACADIA PARISH - When James “Jimbo” Petitjean took office as Acadia Parish’s assessor, one of the things he noticed was how much easier things could be for his constituents.
“I can remember back when people were saying we needed to catch up to the technology of the ’90s,” he said with a laugh. “Now that we are in 2013 there is so much more technology out there that can make things easier and more accessible for the citizens of Acadia Parish.”
On Wednesday, he called The Post-Signal to discuss the improvements on the tax statements that his office mails to the citizens in the different municipalities in Acadia Parish.
The new statements arrive in a much larger envelope — nearly twice the size as the small, blue envelopes that were previously used — and the enclosed statement is broken down in a way that makes things easier for the recipient to understand.
The envelopes are also stamped with the words “Important Tax Document Enclosed.” They will also include a return envelope for the recipient to use when mailing in their bill.
In short, it is much easier for residents of Acadia Parish to comprehend the contents of the statements they receive, Petitjean said.
The statements also feature a logo for each town in Acadia Parish which is prominently displayed atop each of the bills.
“This gives each of our municipalities a sense of independence and pride,” said Petitjean. “While they are all a part of Acadia Parish, each city and town has its own distinct features that makes each unique.”
For example, the city of Church Point’s logo shows a horse-drawn buggy passing in front of the city’s famed La Pointe de l’Eglise.
However, improving the statements mailed out by the Assessor’s office was just one of the improvements that Petitjean wants to make the public aware of.
“We now have all of the bills we send out on a disk,” said Petitjean. “If, for some reason, someone loses a copy of their bill, all they have to do is stop by the office and we can print one out for you.
“We also have bar codes on each of our bills that the people in our office can simply swipe to pull up a person’s information rather than having to look things up manually,” he said. “I promise you the people who work in this office are very happy with this.”
Another upgrade that Petitjean mentioned for his office’s future will be a computerized mapping system that will update any changes in the parish without requiring a new map designed by a mapping company.
Not only would it make things easier for Acadia Parish residents to get the most up-to-date information, but it would save the Assessor’s office the money required for constant map updates.
According to Petitjean, all of the improvements are in keeping with a promise he made while campaigning for the office.
“It’s all about transparency,” he said. “I don’t ever want my constituents thinking that this office is trying to hide anything. And I believe that the best way to show that is to make things more accessible and easier for our citizens to understand.”