RECOMMENDATION 7. The National Land Parcel Coordinator should embrace the Fifty States Initiative and require that every state formally establish a state parcel coordinator. State coordinators should develop a parcel data business plan and manage the relationships among all levels of government involved in parcel production. The plan and program should achieve comprehensive border-to-border parcel coverage for all public and privately owned property within the state. The state parcel coordinator should either work with the state office responsible for the Census Bureau’s Boundary and Annexation program or with local government offices if a statewide program does not exist.

There are many different sources of funding that could be used to complete the development of digital parcel data nationwide, including intergovernmental cooperation, shared funding, and various incentives. The federal government can play a major role in orchestrating a better use of these funds. Therefore, a major responsibility of the national land parcel coordinator is to develop a “top-down” funding model to support a “bottom-up” production process. The coordinator will also need to obtain funding for integrating the data and developing the system to make them available.

RECOMMENDATION 8. The National Land Parcel Coordinator should develop a plan for a sustainable and equitable intergovernmental funding program for the development and maintenance of parcel data. The plan must provide financial incentives to local governments that will produce and maintain the majority of the parcel data. Many of the funds for this program should come from existing federal programs that require parcel data; however, new funding will be required to establish an initial baseline, integrate the data, and make them available through a web interface.

Many of the property fraud cases associated with the hurricanes of 2005 are the direct result of poor or nonexistent parcel data. The federal government, in concert with local and state agencies, should aggressively correct this information void. The committee believes that a series of incentives and requirements could jump-start this program. Tying grant eligibility for federal funds related to property or participation in federal data sharing programs to the existence of digital parcel data would help promote parcel data development. Since many local governments have already developed digital land parcel data for their own internal purposes, this should not be an excessive burden for them. For others that do not yet have digital land parcel data, incentives and support will be needed to promote their development.

RECOMMENDATION 9. To participate in federal geospatial programs such as federal collection and dissemination of orthoimagery, a local or state government should be required to make the parcel geometry and limited set of attributes needed for the national land parcel data system available in the public domain. Further, in order to be eligible to receive federal funds that are directly associated with property, such as disaster relief or community development assistance, digital land parcel data necessary to effectively administer the program should be made available by local and state governments.

This study argues that nationally integrated land parcel data are necessary, timely, technically feasible, and affordable. The 1980 NRC study of land parcels was visionary when it laid out a multilevel intergovernmental partnership that would provide parcel data across the country. At the

The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement