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Tax bill address issues pose concerns

Roughly 1,500 residents may not have received county tax bills for the June billing cycle in light of a system address update error with the statement file.

Charlotte County Treasurer Patricia Berkeley said the June tax bills may have been delivered to the wrong address for updates taking place between the current and last billing cycle.

“We sent out the files, mailed the bills, we did a lot of testing on the items that were removed (and) items that were added to make sure everything was flowing good … come to find out, they (RDA Systems) did not update a single address change that we did from the last billing in December until this billing,” said Berkeley.

According to Berkeley, their system at the Treasurer’s office contains the correct updated addresses, however, RDA systems did all other changes when creating the statement file besides address updates.

The company, RDA Systems, updated the existing software to a program called Breeze, in which Charlotte County served as the beta test site for an updated version of the software.

Previously, the due date for real estate and personal property taxes in the county were extended because of problems with the software system.

“Some people may get another bill because it may have been forwarded and got to them, but I felt like by law we are supposed to mail them to the correct address,” Berkeley said.

She said she is currently in the process of trying to get another file out.

“This was a system error,” Berkeley said.

She said RDA systems is set to have a meeting soon which will involve looking at the address process in the system.

“There are a lot of things that need to be done,” said Berkeley. “We can see the address in the system, it is right to what we were looking at. We did what we were supposed to, it’s just that particular file all going to the printers, they didn’t think they needed to update addresses between billings … ”

In addition, she said last week over a period of several days, her office could not close out the cash drawers because the reports were incorrect.

“It’s been a year,” said Berkeley. “This is a high concern of mine.”

However, she said in general most of the records are accurate. “I don’t want to cause alarm to people,” said Berkeley.

She said it was a constant battle trying to get ahead. “While some things are moving better, we take a step back.”

She said it was a constant matter that needed to be more consistent.

“The mailing was a big issue for me … ,” said Berkeley. “We’ve had a lot of computer issues since we converted to an updated system with the company we’ve been using since 1994, I believe it was,” Berkeley said previously in March.

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.

Currently, Charlotte County is the only locality using the updated system.