Skip to content

GIS: A Hidden Gem in State Revenue Agencies

By David Salzer, Director of Business Development, Catalis Tax & CAMA

In the realm of modern technology, geographic information systems (GIS) have emerged as a critical tool for enhancing efficiency and accuracy across various sectors. While not yet universally adopted, state revenue agencies are increasingly recognizing the potential of GIS to revolutionize their operations. GIS is transforming state revenue agencies, making complex data understandable and actionable for all, regardless of their technical background.

Unveiling the Power of Geospatial Technology in State Revenue Agencies

The adoption of GIS in state revenue agencies is still a growing trend. However, it holds the key to unlocking insights that can streamline processes and improve decision-making. These agencies amass a wealth of data about individuals, businesses, and activities, all intertwined with specific geographic locations. This is where GIS steps in, transforming raw data into visual maps that are easy to comprehend and act upon.

Mapping People, Activities, and Locations

Imagine a dynamic map that effortlessly displays the who, what, and where of tax-related activities. From property ownership to business operations, GIS can create a nexus, uncovering the intricate relationships between people and places. This visual representation goes beyond columns of numbers, allowing even non-experts to grasp the patterns and trends hidden within the data. Whether you’re a seasoned analyst or a casual observer, GIS makes data more accessible and engaging.

Aggregating Land Records: The First Step

To harness the full potential of GIS, state revenue agencies need to start with a solid foundation: comprehensive land records. This entails aggregating local geospatial parcel data, property assessment data, and real property sales data. By centralizing this information, agencies create a unified repository that serves as the backbone of their GIS initiative. This step sets the stage for accurate and holistic insights into property values, tax assessments, and revenue collection.

Geocoding Tax Activities: From Data to Insight

Geocoding brings flat data to life on a map. By assigning geographic coordinates to addresses and locations, state revenue agencies can plot tax activities with pinpoint accuracy. This translates to improved assessment accuracy, as well as the ability to identify trends and discrepancies across different regions. Whether it’s tracking property transactions or visualizing tax compliance, geocoding empowers agencies to make informed decisions and allocate resources effectively.

Embracing GIS: A Benefit for All

The beauty of GIS lies in its accessibility. It empowers both seasoned analysts and those less familiar with complex data to explore information intuitively. For a casual user, the ability to view data on a map simplifies the understanding of intricate relationships. For instance, you can see how property values change across neighborhoods or analyze how local businesses contribute to the revenue stream.

Imagine a scenario where a revenue agency is exploring potential tax evasion. With GIS, they can overlay tax payment data onto a map and spot unusual patterns. A casual user could instantly grasp that certain areas exhibit significantly lower tax compliance rates, prompting further investigation. This democratization of data insights makes GIS a game-changer, ensuring that everyone, regardless of technical expertise, can contribute to informed decision-making.


The integration of geospatial technology into state revenue agencies holds immense promise, paving the way for a new era of data-driven decision-making. By starting with the aggregation of land records and harnessing geocoding capabilities, revenue agencies can gain a comprehensive view of tax activities across their jurisdictions. GIS offers a powerful means for unlocking the potential of data, making it relatable and actionable for all stakeholders. However, to translate these insights into effective steps, robust tools for data aggregation and analysis are crucial.

Catalis provides a comprehensive suite of solutions that seamlessly integrate to drive GIS across organizations. Through Catalis Property Tax Oversight (PTO) and partnership with Esri, agencies gain access to plug-and-play data aggregation tools and tightly integrated GIS capabilities, enabling robust business intelligence and analysis. This bridge between GIS-driven insights and practical actions empowers revenue agencies to optimize revenue collection and ensure a fair tax system, benefiting everyone involved.

Visit for a comprehensive list of our government/public sector solutions.


More from Catalis