Brent Johnson was elected the Greene County Assessor on November 3, 2020. (Photo: Greene County)

Readers often ask me, in my role as the Answer Man, about what’s going in here? (Kum & Go) Or there? (Dollar General)

They also often ask about the history of an old house or church.

My first step typically is to go to the Greene County Assessor’s website.

With an address, anyone can go to the website to find who owns the property or can plug in a person’s name — or the name of a limited liability company — to discover all the properties a person or company has in Greene County.

In December, I covered some of this in a column I wrote on basic ways to find public information.

But it’s the sales history — who sold it to whom and when — that requires a trip to the assessor’s office, which is in the basement of the county building at 940 N. Boonville Ave. The office has one computer terminal for public use.

$75 a year with a start-up fee of $25

Most times, I’m in no hurry, so it’s not a problem to go there. But on days when I’m drowning in deadline, I wonder how much it would cost to be a subscriber so next time I can save 35 minutes and can get my full serving of public information from the comfort of the newsroom.

Well, I finally asked.

It’s $75 a year with a one-time setup fee of $25.

Or $10 for one day or $25 for one week.

In addition, a business such as a title company can pay $250 annually for up to 10 different employee users, and $50 for each additional user.

I spoke to Brent Johnson, Greene County assessor, who also sent me an email with a comprehensive tally of what you get for your $75, as well as who subscribes and how much the office raises with subscriptions.

In total, there are 885 subscribers. But only 456 of them pay.

The other 429 are employees at government agencies such as Springfield police and fire and City Utilities. Each entity can have dozens of users counted as individual subscribers.

The online subscription revenue for the Greene County Assessor’s Office in 2022 was $29,845. The annual revenue generally covers the cost of the service.

The costs include software licensing, servers, vendors. It typically runs $26,000 to $30,000 year.

Basically, revenues cover expenses.

If you subscribe, in addition to sales information, you also have online access to things like permits, other buildings on the property, property photos, aerial photos going back to 1936 and a 360-degree aerial photo of the property.

Coming soon, Johnson tells me, are historical plat maps going back to 1875.

“You will be able to overlay current property lines over the old maps or use transparency to view current aerial photography under the old maps,” Johnson tells me.

Customers include real estate agents, appraisers, title companies

He gave this general breakdown of subscribers:

  • 145 real estate industry
  • 107 insurance
  • 73 appraisal services
  • 50 business
  • 25 financial services
  • 16 title companies
  • 8 law offices
  • 4 nonprofits

If you want to subscribe, go to the website. Click on “premium subscription” on the top of the page.

The assessor’s office does not receive funding from Greene County general revenue, Johnson says.

Instead, it receives 0.5 percent of the funds it collects from property taxes. It also is reimbursed by the state $3.30 for ever parcel of land in Greene County.

The office has 31 fulltime-employees. Property is re-assessed in January of ever odd year.

This is Pokin Around column No. 110.

Steve Pokin

Steve Pokin writes the Pokin Around and The Answer Man columns for the Springfield Daily Citizen. He also writes about criminal justice issues. He can be reached at His office line is 417-837-3661. More by Steve Pokin