Tax bills due date extended

Published 11:31 am Wednesday, November 15, 2017

The Charlotte County Board of Supervisors approved to extend the due date for real estate and personal property taxes in Charlotte County to Jan. 5.

In light of this, local towns in the county could see a delay in tax bills, due to a delay in real estate and personal property tax bills from the county.

The delay stems from glitches in an upgraded system to streamline revenue management in the county.

Town of Phenix clerk Barbara Copal said by resolution, the Town of Phenix has extended their tax bills due date to Feb. 15, due to not receiving information from the county.

Before localities can prepare their tax bills, the information has to come from the county.

Originally, Copal said tax bills in Phenix had a due date of Dec. 5.

“It does affect us,” said Keysville Town Mayor Audrey Payne. She said the town cannot send out their tax bills until totals have been received from the county.

After receiving information from the county, Payne said it would take about two weeks to get the town taxes together.

While Phenix and Keysville will face delays, the Towns of Drakes Branch and Charlotte Court House are not expected to see any issues.

When asked if the county tax bill delays would affect the Town of Drakes Branch, Mayor Denise Pridgen said, “I don’t think so. Our taxes are not due until Feb. 15.”

She said while the town had not discussed any delays as of now, it may be a possibility if the systems are not fixed.

Information from the Town of Charlotte Court House said taxes are not due until March 5 and they did not expect any delays.

The tax bills in the town are not sent out until the end of January.

County Treasurer Patricia Berkeley said RDA systems is the same company the county has worked with previously since 1994 under the old system. “We can’t go back to what we were using,” she said.

She said the new generation of Software is the company’s newest product.

RDA systems President and CEO Dave Davis said at an October meeting of the Charlotte County Board of Supervisors there is a need to bring new technology to the market as it becomes available and the company is partnering with Charlotte County to bring out a new generation of software called Breeze.

According to RDA’s website, “Breeze offers a brand-new state of the art system to simplify and streamline Revenue Management.” The new product was released in 2016.

Davis said the company started the project off in May rolling out the new software in the county.

However, at that time, he said challenges had risen that may cause a delay in real estate and personal property tax bills.

According to County Administrator R.B. Clark, the software was provided free since Charlotte County is a beta site.

“That’s just the nature of when you change over,” Berkeley said.

She said if the county decided not to stay with the current generation of software, the whole procurement process would have to be done again.

She said in the process of switching over programs, they have to be careful and go over the information thoroughly, including looking at addresses and every little piece of the new system to ensure accuracy.

According to the county’s website, county taxes are billed twice each fiscal year. Taxes are typically due Dec. 5 for the first half of the fiscal year and June 5 for the remainder of the year.

“It’s my understanding by law, you need to give the constituents 14 days from receipt of the bill to reach the due date,” said Davis.

County Administrator R.B. Clark previously said the treasurer and commissioner have said the bills would not go out if they weren’t right.

Chairman and County Seat Supervisor Gary Walker previously said the Commissioner and the Treasurer have been diligently working on the issue for a long time. “It’s not by any lack of effort on their part,” he said. “The software glitch has got things held up. As soon as the software glitch is fixed, the bills will go out and we’ll adjust dates, times and penalties if necessary.”

Clark said once the system is perfected it would be a lot better and a lot faster.

However, Berkeley said that residents would be not charged a penalty.

According to their website, “since 1980, RDA Systems, Inc., a Georgia-based S-Corporation, has been serving small to medium size local governments and K12 school districts. RDA provides powerful ERP fund accounting software and services across the U.S.”