Verifying Nicor account information


Ensuring that a community is receiving the correct amount of tax
revenue from its residents and businesses is one of the primary
functions of a local government Finance Department. For the City of Des
Plaines, Illinois, as with other communities, this tax revenue includes
that received from a small service tax on gas service accounts setup
with NiCOR. In an effort to make sure the city is receiving all
possible tax money, and that NiCOR is receiving all possible account
income, NiCOR has started a quarterly account address verification
process that requires the city to review all account information to
determine if they are within the city limits. To assist with this
review, the Finance Department has requested that the Geographic
Information Systems (GIS) department map out the provided information
for verification and note any inconsistencies could be sent back to
NiCOR for review and correction.

The first step in this verification process was to geocode the list
of account addresses provided by NiCOR, a process that involves
assigning an address to a known location on a map, to get a preliminary
list of what accounts matched valid city address and which did not. The
unmatched addresses were then reviewed to determine why they were not
matching, which ranged from misspellings to non-existent addresses. A
single list was created from this process and sent back to NiCOR, with
the valid addresses noted as being valid and the unmatched addresses
flagged to be considered for review.

With these corrections noted, the city may now be able to expect
increased tax revenue for accounts that were previously not included in
the NiCOR billing process. By using GIS, the city was able to easily
identify possible missing revenue sources that would have, in the past,
required a significant amount of man hours to complete.