By Staff Reports
(Victor Valley) – On March 22, the Board of Supervisors presented Oscar Valdez, Auditor-Controller/Treasurer/Tax Collector, with his department’s first ever NACo Award in recognition of its Online Banking Tax Payment Project. The implementation of this project resulted in increased efficiency in processing payments remitted through a taxpayer’s online banking system.
“Implementation of this program has allowed the County to receive and process most payments within 48 hours, significantly reducing the amount of staff time necessary to research and manually process these types of payments, providing a better overall experience for taxpayers,” stated Valdez. Since implementation of the Online Tax Payment Project, the Tax Collector has received approximately 18,000 tax payments totaling $21.8 million as of December 2015. These transactions are now processed daily, resulting in immediate availability of funding to the Treasury Pool and daily posting to taxpayer accounts.
Online bill pay through a taxpayer’s home banking institution has been steadily gaining popularity. When taxpayers initially began utilizing this payment method, payments were processed through their bank’s payment concentrator service, resulting in dozens of mailed paper checks sent in one envelope with no specific taxpayer information identified. These checks would take anywhere from 5 to 7 business days to generate; and oftentimes, the payments were received after delinquency dates, causing taxpayers to incur penalties or interest.
The Online Banking Tax Payment Project was a collaborative effort between the Tax Collector and the County’s bank to streamline payment processing for this method of payment. After working with the bank’s payment concentrator service to develop business requirements and complete this project, most home banking payments initiated to the Tax Collector’s Office are now received via ACH transaction rather than a mailed paper check.