Property Taxes in a Pandemic: How Counties Can Collect Revenue and Keep Constituents Safe
US counties are gearing up for a property tax season unlike any other. We’ve thought a lot about making property taxes more convenient for customers even in the best of times. Here are tips to help county governments collect this important tax revenue, while continuing to keep constituent needs front of mind.
Support all payment methods: card, check, and cash
Online payment technology is a great way to collect property taxes while eliminating person-to-person contact. A solution that’s integrated to multiple agency source systems allows your customers to look up their property tax bill in a variety of ways. Secure user profile technology makes it even easier for customers to pay by echeck or credit or debit cards, by storing their preferred payment methods and setting autopayments and reminders.
But don’t forget your cash payers! CityBase payment kiosks provide a secure, self-service way for people to pay in person for things like property taxes using card, check, and cash. Millions of Americans are un- or under-banked and must pay their bills in cash. Kiosks allow for contactless cash payments, keeping your customers and staff safe. Payments post instantly, so customer records reflect a satisfied obligation immediately. Your staff can manage payments remotely using CityBase’s cloud-based reporting and analytics dashboard, where payments are reflected in real-time across payment channels and payment methods.
Read more on why in-person payments still matter during a pandemic, and take a video tour of our payment kiosk technology.
Create a central hub for all property tax services
Property services span several government agencies. Support your property owners by grouping related services in one place on your website — information like tax deadlines, functionality like viewing and paying property tax bills, and services like applying for a tax deduction or appealing an assessment.
A webpage like property.county.gov can aggregate these services and be a hub for any COVID-related information surrounding property taxes, like new contactless ways to pay, or relief programs for property owners.
CityBase client Indianapolis and Marion County has made all property services available online. This creates a convenience for their customers and for staff. By digitizing services like homestead deductions, Marion County reduced the processing time for property tax deductions from 10 business days down to 20 minutes. Read more about how Indy transformed government services to launch a digital city hall.
The City of San José created a central hub for local businesses to register with the City, apply for tax amnesty, calculate business taxes, and pay. By making it easier for businesses to request tax forgiveness and recalculate the taxes they owe, San José saw 1,500 businesses newly register with the City and pay taxes in the first few months the solution was live. Watch a client testimonial on the results of the program.