In the early days of the Bradley County Assessor’s Office most records were kept in bound hand written books maintained by the assessor and whatever staff he may have acquired. They were hand written for the most part and later typed. Typically the notes were simply the name of the property owner, short descriptions of what was there, such as house and lot, or 160 Acres with house and barns. The descriptions usually included the owners of adjoining properties for references to boundaries, such as "Bounded by: John Smith on the North, Robert Smith on the East, George Washington on the South, and Road on the West”.
In 1963 the first actual Property Maps for Bradley County were introduced showing the approximate boundaries and size and shape of the tracts based on deed information with field notes from interviews with property owners throughout the county. This also gave rise the first alpha-numeric Tax Identification numbering system for use in helping maintain the records of ownerships and taxation.
This also led to the first documented inventory of all properties and what was on them with drawings and listings of all the actual buildings to be valued.
In the Early 1990’s the office began transitioning to a Geographic Information System (GIS) in which this data which had been maintained manually was converted to electronic version and is currently maintained in electronic form. Today this GIS Parcel Layer is maintained the Assessor's staff on a county wide platform maintained by the Bradley County GIS Department.
Appraisal standards have changed greatly over the years. While the cost, market and income approaches are all still basically the same, the way the data is gathered and applied has changed greatly. In the early years there was little documentation, and the valuation was more subjective. As the years have passed documentation of the data and statistically objective measures have taken hold to increase accuracy, and equalization.
By the late 1960’s Computer Assisted Mass Appraisal Systems were beginning to be developed, to assist assessors in maintaining records and being able conduct appraisals in a more consistent and timely fashion. Bradley County was selected as a pilot county for the Computer Assisted Appraisal System (CAAS) being implemented by the State of Tennessee. This system was implemented in 1973 and used until it was revised and updated in 1986. In 2002 the latest version of this system, CAAS IV was implemented in Bradley County, and was used through the 2012 Tax Year.
For 2013 Bradley County converted to the Patriot Properties Assess Pro for our CAMA needs. This system will allow for more flexibility and connectivity to GIS and other systems as they become available.
Assessors of Bradley County have been:
John D. Bowman
C.D. "Doug” Elrod
Stanley M. Thompson