Tax system errors persist
Tax system errors continue to persist in the county following a software update last year.
County Treasurer Patricia Berkeley said while things are not as chaotic as they were last year with the updated tax software system, “they are still very problematic and very concerning to me,” she said at an August meeting of the Charlotte County Board of Supervisors.
“I’m not happy with the situation …” said Berkeley. She said her main concern is the fact that the company is not able to fix the issues being faced in both the Treasurer’s Officer as well as the Commissioner of Revenue’s Office in a timely manner.
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.
“I do not think they have enough people in their development department to be able to fulfill what needs to be done,” said Berkeley. “We are trying to get them to confirm some dates as to when things will be fixed …”
She said presently, “we have over 60 cards that are pending to be completed.”
She said some have been on the list since last year.
Berkeley said those were items her office needed last year, and are not items that the office can continue to wait on.
She said one day the program works, however, the next day it may not.
“We are trying to figure out if they will be able to complete and see what we need to do from there. As a result of all this, things have not been accurate. Things have been all over the place.” Berkeley said she feels like the citizens as well as her office, are losing confidence.
“That’s a huge concern when you’re talking about revenue …” she said.
Berkeley said she wants the money to come into the county, but the citizens also have to have confidence in what is being done.
She said her staff is working hard to do what needs to be done professionally to better serve the citizens of Charlotte County.
“We have taken a step back …” said Berkeley. “We’re doing so much manually now …”
She said her office is also having to look over the same information multiple times.
“I just want to let you know this is an ongoing problem and I am not happy about the situation …” said Berkley.
Drakes Branch Supervisor Garland Hamlett, Jr. asked what was the county and the treasurer’s office going to do to fix the problem.
“My thought has been for months we need to go ahead and do an RFP if the Commissioner is in agreeance with me because we are joined together in the same system,” said Berkeley.
She said the problems have been going on since May 2017.
Hamlett said based on what Berkeley said, when taxes are done again there will still be errors.
“I just don’t know …” said Berkeley. “I’m hoping that we’ll be able to even bill timely in the fall …”
She said the county had been with the same company since 1994 and she was trying to give them a chance.
“I’m ready to put out an RFP to see what’s available and what the cost would be, but again that’s more money…” said Berkeley.
She said the citizens of Charlotte County are constantly paying money, “but at the same time, you need for me to be able to bill and collect the local money …”
Berkeley said when there is a system that does not help do that, it causes everyone problems down the line.
She said there are tons of other vendors available.
Taxes are typically due Dec. 5 for the first half of the fiscal year and June 5 for the remainder of the year.