Online Tax Payments a Success for Custer County

Client: Custer County, Nebraska

The Challenge

All citizens are responsible for paying taxes on their real estate property and personal property on a yearly basis. This often requires County Treasurers to deal with delayed payments, paper checks that have a risk of bouncing, or things simply getting lost in the mail. In the event payments aren’t received in a timely manner, the County Treasurer must spend valuable time tracking down payments, employing county attorneys to assist in the collection, or even foreclosing on property, all of which adds additional costs for the county.

The easier it is for citizens to make these payments to the county, the more quickly and efficiently the county can recognize the money which has a direct impact on the security and growth of the county. In this day and age, accommodating online payments of taxes is not only greatly appreciated by the general public, but very nearly an expectation because of the ease and convenience it affords them.

Sheri Bryant, the Custer County Treasurer, experienced many of these difficulties and was looking for a better way to increase payments and simplicity for her county’s constituents. The Custer County Assessor had been working with gWorks and enjoying the benefits of an Assessor WebGIS Tab and Bryant was looking for a way to streamline things for the Treasurer’s Office and better serve the citizens of Custer County.

“The Custer County Treasurer’s Office began a conversation in the Spring of 2016 about switching our online site to gWorks due to some issues with data conversion and general use by the public through our prior program. Our Assessor’s Office was currently using gWorks and was happy. An added incentive was the ability for our office to accept online tax payments. This was becoming an increasing request by our constituents and it was the perfect time to include this service.” – Sheri Bryant, Custer County Treasurer

The gWorks Solution

gWorks’ Treasurer Tab on our County WebGIS Solution is packed full of features that benefit County Treasurers as well as residents interested in viewing or paying taxes online. The Treasurer Tab allows anyone to search for a parcel, quickly see whether taxes are due for that property, and pay those taxes directly online. The Tab also lets taxpayers calculate interest for future and delinquent payments, pay full or half year taxes, and view a full property report showing five year tax history and tax levy breakdown.

Based specifically on a request from Custer County and to add even more convenience for taxpayers, gWorks added online payments Personal Property Taxes to our Treasurer WebGIS in 2017. Now in addition to being able to view and pay Property Taxes through the Treasurer Tab, residents can also search for, view, and pay taxes on Personal Property as well. The search results will display whether Personal Property Taxes and/or Real Estate Taxes are due on any property in a county. Personal Property Taxes show up in a separate section and display the Statement ID, Year, and Total Balance due.

Residents can submit payment directly through the website by selecting that property from the search results and using the “Make a Payment” button. gWorks and the County partner with Nebraska Interactive for the actual payment processing.

“My overall experience of changing to gWorks… Easy, professional, incredible! From the minute we received the first visit through the actual going live day with the programmers, it was exciting! It assures me that the product is really good when everyone you deal with is knowledgeable and enthusiastic. They believe in their products and company and it shows!” – Sheri Bryant, Custer County Treasurer.

The Benefit

In the first week of January alone, Custer County had over $17,000 in taxes paid online. The very second day the site was up, Bryant notes she had taxes paid on a property that had been delinquent for three years, which saved the county the effort and cost of foreclosing the property. Her fees for dropped and returned checks dropped significantly, and those savings have filtered down to the Attorney’s office and the courts. On top of that, her collection rate is doing nothing but going up.

“I really can’t explain how thrilling it is to receive the email each morning and see what has been submitted for payment. Our biggest satisfaction comes from our constituents being able to use the service. Today, I had my first repeat customer pay real estate taxes online and that tells me she was happy with her experience.” – Sheri Bryant, Custer County Treasurer

With both Real Estate and Personal Property Taxes available, the Treasurer Tab offers a full suite of functionality to county residents who wish to view and pay their taxes from the comfort of their own home. This is a great benefit to residents as well as county staff. gWorks’ County WebGIS is a platform available for all County Departments; each Departmental Tabs has specific features that benefit that Department as well as the general public. For more information, contact info@gworks.com or call us at 402-436-2150.

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