Dorothy Jacks was elected to the office of Palm Beach County Property Appraiser in 2016 after a distinguished 28-year career in the office.
Ms. Jacks is a globally recognized expert and champion of innovation in her field. As a Certified Florida Appraiser and Assessment Administration Specialist, she has the highest professional designation in Florida and one of the highest international designations for someone who holds the office of Property Appraiser.
During her tenure, Ms. Jacks has invested in several advanced and robust information technology systems, including software, data analytics and mobile platforms, to increase the office’s efficiency and maintain the varied and complex property data she makes available to the public. Examples include:
- Significantly expanded the office’s computer-assisted mass appraisal system (CAMA) to include the use of land and income models and sales comparisons. This expansion brought together into one system several functions previously handled by other software programs;
- Implemented Desktop Review software that allows appraisers to view a property from several different perspectives, including maps, street view and aerial photography. This software reduced the amount of time appraisers spent traveling to and from properties;
- Increased the use of Microsoft Surface tablets that allow appraisers to shift away from paper records and make real-time changes to property information while in the field;
- Enhanced the office’s Geographical Information System (GIS) to increase accuracy and reduce time-consuming maintenance of the county’s base map.
Ms. Jacks is responsible for her office’s substantial shift from several time-consuming, paper-based processes to streamlined, automated systems that reduce costs and increase convenience for customers. For example:
- Reduced the amount of time it takes to process deed transfers from six weeks to three weeks;
- Collaborated with the county Clerk of the Circuit Court & Comptroller to share electronic documents in the Value Adjustment Board (VAB) process, eliminating the need to scan thousands of documents;
- Created automated notifications related to VAB rescheduling, evidence receipt and maintenance and hearing results for appraisers;
- Added web services to increase customer convenience, including online address changes for real and tangible personal property, online filing for homestead exemptions and portability and credit card payments for data and map requests;
- Implemented video conferencing to connect service centers throughout the county.
Ms. Jacks’ combined focus on innovation and efficiency has resulted in a 10% reduction in staff since she took office in 2017.
Ms. Jacks launched her office’s first strategic plan, a roadmap with strong goals for operational excellence over a five-year period. Areas of focus include enhancing customer service, leveraging technology to improve processes, staff development, updating standard operating procedures and becoming a 100% paperless office.
In the appraisal industry, Ms. Jacks served as president of IAAO, an 8,000-member worldwide organization of professional assessing and appraising officials in 2018. Her accomplishments as president included expansion of online learning for members and the launching of IAAO Connect, an online community that allows appraisers from around the world to collaborate on complex assessment issues.
Ms. Jacks’ reputation as a strong leader is also evident in her community. She is a board member of the Friends of the Mounts Botanical Garden and the Economic Forum of Palm Beach County, and an active alumnus and former board member of Leadership Palm Beach County. She has served as president of Executive Women of the Palm Beaches and president of the Friends of the Mandel Public Library. She is also a former member of the City of West Palm Beach Zoning Board of Appeals.
Ms. Jacks received a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Florida.