Thursday, June 9, 2011

Beware the Borough Tax Collector with NO Technology knowledge

After living in a small town in Pennsylvania for the past four years, I've come to the conclusion that everyone, of tax paying age, should research their local township, borough or municipality thoroughly before becoming a resident. It seems in today's rural setting, technology is a learn by doing and take no advice from the experts approach. Take for example the little town I live in, we will call it Town A. New tax collector is elected and decided rightfully so, to "automate" the local taxes. Afterall, the town has had the same nice, little lady collecting taxes for decades, oh and she knew everyone, handling everything by paper and relationship. Enter Tax Collector DUH with his brilliant IT decision. But of course Tax Collector DUH knows nothing about Technology and seeks no Professional guidance...he simply "gets a system" as if he was buying a box of cereal. Puts it in, let's the 3rd Party Database company populate the Database from some archived version of county records more than three years old and TaDa the makings of a royal mess.

Now he has "written" over all the new address information for all the current residents, with data that is more than three years old, not to mention the addresses may not even or have ever belonged to the off go the annual tax bills to places never imagined.....Ah but here is where it gets good....Now we must revalidate addresses but we can't reconcile them with the "current" sewer payment's another mailing and oh we forgot one teensy weensy little amount called the per capita tax and now that has to go out as a second billing. So in the end it cost the taxpayers alot! These taxpayers, who now "didn't receive" their bills and can only pay on time or late losing discounts or having added charges, and it means there are three sets of transactions to go to everyone at three times the cost and handling as the old model of hand processing, and of course the ongoing process to try to Catch Up which is put once again on the residents! So when you decide to move to Rural America be careful of the person who needs no experience or knowledge to be in one of the most "powerful" financial positions of your life....THE TAX COLLECTOR! Even a farmer is smart enough to run business in one mode or the other but do it right wherever you go with your systems. Moral of the story ......Government Leaders....hire professionals to help your inexperienced municipal'll save money in the long run and your town, borough or municipality will run better for it.