How NC Counties Are Increasing Revenue Without Raising Taxes

increase revenue

Many county officials are pushing to update their property tax systems in an effort to improve their revenue and make their counties more efficient.

Not only do new property tax systems save government employees time and help garner more revenue, they also improve citizen relationships with local governments.

Find out how simply updating your property tax system can help make your county a shining example for others to follow:

1. Eliminate Wasted Time, Effort, & Resources

If your county is using an outdated property tax system, or worse – still relying on paper – seemingly simple tasks can take 2-3 people several hours or even days to complete. Thanks to the automation that most modern property tax systems offer, those same tasks can now be completed in a fraction of the time. Tax office staff is then freed up to focus more on the revenue generating activities that can often be overlooked.

2. Increase Tax Collections

Discovering unlisted and therefore untaxed property is a crucial activity in your local tax department.  Unfortunately, many tax offices get bogged down with other necessary, but less revenue-producing tasks. That’s why many counties turn to a new property tax system to automate the time-consuming tasks that hold their staff back from this critical revenue-generating activity. The end result is often a more complete picture of your property tax opportunities, and more revenue. Some counties report as much as a 2% increase in revenue after modernizing their property tax system.

3. Improve Citizen Satisfaction

All too often, inadequate software makes it impossible for your local tax department to resolve taxpayers’ issues quickly and citizens end up waiting days or weeks for answers to simple questions. Counties who switch to an integrated property tax system are finding that their citizens are better served and more confident in their county administration. Features like a self-service website portal allow taxpayers to get quick answers to their questions. Plus, easy to navigate screens and interdepartmental integrations allow tax office staff to quickly and easily access the necessary information should a taxpayer call or stop by the tax office with a question.

4. New Systems Often Pay For Themselves

Investing in an updated property tax system in this economy is actually a wise investment for county leaders. Counties not only save time and money through automation, they also see their property tax base and property tax collection rate increase thanks to better reporting features and simpler mechanisms that ensure that every tax bill gets paid. Due to the amount of revenue collected and time saved, new systems actually end up paying for themselves, and then some.

County officials are learning that by simply updating their property tax system, their jurisdictions can increase revenue, better allocate their staff’s time, and improve citizen satisfaction.

Ready to explore the opportunities a new property tax system could offer your county? Learn more about the North Carolina Property Tax System.

How One County’s Move Towards Transparency Paid Off

transparencyAccording to the National Survey of County Elected Officials (2012), 51% feel pressure from their constituents for greater transparency in conducting county business.

The National Association of Counties (NACo) recently published an article on how Hill County, Texas, stepped up to comply with the Texas Transparency Project to provide even more online services and expand government transparency across their state.

The Texas Transparency Project “requires government agencies to track state spending so constituents see how funds are dispersed” (NACo).

How to Easily Extend Transparency

Hill County’s solution to providing local government transparency, while satisfying the needs of those in their jurisdiction, was to create an enterprise content management system (ECM) that could be used to streamline processes across departments, leverage existing investments, and offer fast and easy access to information.

According to the article Hill County was previously using a disparate government software system, and dealing with a shrinking budget, which was leaving county officials struggling to even maintain regular services.

“Prior to ECM, document retrieval for some records could take hours, explained Sharon Camarillo, IT director for Hill County. Staff typed the same information into different systems and copied paper files multiple times so each department could find information. This tied up staff with duplicative efforts and expensive paper costs” (NACo).

With their new enterprise software system, the county’s documents are all stored in a central location with instant access to information no matter the department or location.

Now that data is easier to locate and manage, Hill County’s hope is that constituents will soon also have easy access to all public records, relieving that constant pressure to provide more transparency in local government. “We’ll generate revenue while providing transparency,” shared Camarillo as she discussed their plans to charge for other online services they will now be able to provide with their updated system.

“In the future, the county plans to use its ECM system to create an entirely paperless government with additional Web and mobile applications, providing anytime, anywhere access for all staff and the constituents they serve”(NACo).

NC counties have experienced similar results with the North Carolina Property Tax System (NCPTS). NCPTS is also an enterprise software system which automates manual tasks, integrates departments, and eliminates paper usage.

In Guilford County alone, NCPTS allows their staff to quickly and easily make corrections to assessments, taking their processing time down from six weeks to under ten minutes, saving them time and money.

If your county is one that is also strained to provide more transparency or more services, an updated software system may be just what you need!

The Value and Security in Using Cloud Technology

cloud

Cloud technology is the next step in the evolution of the internet. Therefore, understanding how you can utilize cloud features to get the business applications you need, more quickly and at a more affordable price will greatly benefit you and your county.

First, let’s break down what the word cloud actually means in the tech world. Think of “the cloud” as a synonym for “the internet.” IT professionals have now figured out a way to use the internet (or the cloud) as a space for storing vital information and delivering software and infrastructure to your business.

Traditional enterprise software solutions are very complicated and expensive. They required a data center, office space, power, cooling, networks, bandwidth, storage, and a team of experts to install, configure and run them.

With cloud computing, much of the complexity and expense of enterprise software can be eliminated. You no longer have to implement and maintain the applications yourself. Instead, your software applications run on a shared system, like plugging into a utility outlet. Think of it as Gmail compared to Microsoft Exchange. For Gmail you don’t need servers and storage or a technical team to run it.

Cloud-based software can also be more reliable, more scalable, and more secure than the majority of applications out there. Think of it as sharing an office space. Everyone shares in the costs of the building as a whole, but your individual security remains intact and separate for each office.

You can trust that your data is secure by choosing a reputable software provider for your cloud- based software that monitors and creates a secure server, making your business a priority. Traditional computing hosts offer nightly backups for data, but with cloud computing your data is backed up after each transaction, instantly.

What This Means for You as a Consumer

  • Lower Costs: Cloud technology pools resources and delivers higher efficiency through shared infrastructure, no longer requiring an expensive, upfront investment. Instead, with less hardware involved, and a shared IT staff, users can rent application software and database services as needed at a budget-friendly price.
  • Faster Implementation: With cloud-based software, the time it takes to deploy new applications drops dramatically because no physical installation is required, all you need is an internet connection.
  • Simpler Maintenance: Another advantage of cloud-based software is the reduced need for ongoing maintenance and updates. Cloud-based software providers handle all of the maintenance and updates behind the scenes without interrupting your business processes.
  • Mobilization:The services you need are now available to you from anywhere. As long as you have an internet connection, you have all of your data at your fingertips. You can access it from home, work, or on the go through your smart phone or tablet.

Cloud technology is changing the way that you do business and companies like Google and Amazon are already using cloud services to manage their massive networks.

The enterprise software solutions you need are now more convenient and affordable thanks to cloud technology. Companies that previously did not have the budget to purchase robust business applications are now able to get the latest software solutions in a way that was never before thought possible.