The Itat Quarterly
Fiscal Year 2022 - Q3 Edition
Welcome to The ITAT Quarterly!
The ITAT Quarterly newsletter is brought to you by the County Treasurers of IowaTaxAndTags.org. It is designed to increase communications and provide treasurers with information on hot-topic issues that concern Iowa County Treasurers.
Happy New Year!
2022 is here, and with that, comes New Year’s resolutions. For me, resolutions often revolve around weight loss goals, working out more frequently, and of course, eating fewer cookies. Resolutions always focus on the physical and not so much the mental aspects of life. With the cold winter weather and the ever increasing COVID fatigue, I encourage everyone to make one additional resolution to be more aware and take care of your mental health.
Speaking of resolutions, the Iowa legislature is back in session, and ITAT is monitoring for any new legislation that may affect online collections of property tax and vehicle renewals. ITAT is aware of Iowa Senate Bill 2001, which would require proof of financial liability coverage when registering a motor vehicle. ITAT worked with the Iowa DOT to include comments in the legislative fiscal notes to show the negative fiscal impact this piece of legislation would have, which was a significant reason it did not pass out of subcommittee. YAY!
Looking ahead to the rest of the quarter, ITAT is excited to announce a plan to create an online registration process for in-person tax sales. The goal of the enhancement is to provide an efficient way for counties to register tax sale buyers, while still maintaining control of the number of tax sale participants, as well as the number of bidders each participant can hold. We will have more details on this enhancement in April.
Thanks for taking the time to read this edition of The ITAT Quarterly!
Don Lewis, CPA, ITAT Project Manager
Frank H. Rottinghaus, Floyd County
A Fond Farewell
My first memory of the process of creating ITAT was being able to speak at a Treasurer’s meeting in support of creating a second payment site that would be a better fit for the long term goals of the county. Floyd County is not one of Iowa’s most populous counties but we partnered with other counties, some of them the largest in the state, to bring the convenience and efficiency of ITAT to our office and constituents. Amazingly ITAT just keeps getting better by adding more functionality with additional features coming in the near future.Not too long ago, I realized that our supply of business cards were running low and it was time to re-order. As I was preparing to place the order, it occurred to me that I would no longer be in office when the new order would be exhausted. Being the frugal treasurer that some people say I am, I decided to take my name off the card and just leave the office name. This way, my successor could choose to use the remaining cards. As I proofed the card, I noted that it had a large vacant area where my name had been which made the card unattractive. I surprised myself by almost immediately deciding it would be wise to place the phrase ‘Serving Citizens Respectfully’ in the vacant area. Now, I’m realizing that that has been my primary goal when interacting with the public. I’m Okay with that.
The ITAT Programmers have continued working towards their goal to release an unprecedented number of enhancements this fiscal year. Some of the higher profile enhancements include:
- Advance Payments (Released – January 2022) - Allows citizens to make an advance payment on unbilled taxes. The ability to make advanced payments is only available when all current and delinquent taxes have been paid in full. This is an optional feature for ITAT Counties.
- Online Subsequent Payments - (Released – November 2021) - Tax Sale Certificate holders now have the ability to pay subsequent tax payment online.
- Public Citizen User Accounts - (In Process) - Customers will be able to create an account within ITAT. The account will allow users to save properties and vehicles to their account as well as to setup custom notifications.
- Merchant Services RFP - (Contract Negotiation Phase) - ITAT has selected FIS-WorldPay as the winner of the merchant services RFP. FIS-WorldPay will provide lower fees to customers as well as provide the ability to add scheduled and recurring payments while limiting the PCI-DSS burden on the participating counties.
- Online Tax Sale Registration (Planning Phase) – This enhancement will give counties that hold an in-person tax sale the opportunity to automate the registration portion of the tax sale.
Dan Radkay, ITAT Senior Applications Developer
User Accounts - Delivering Exponential Convenience
We’ve been developing the next generation of Iowa Tax and Tags (ITAT) for our users, and a major pillar of that development has been User Accounts. By all measures the premise of developing a user account sounds simple enough: the ability for a user to store their information for current or future use, in order to reduce time and deliver convenience. However, we wanted to take it a step further and develop a product that delivers the best user experience in the State of Iowa.
Phase one of the user account process was rolled out in November 2021, with the successful implementation of our subsequent tax sale payment process. This process allows a user to register a new account, enter the Tax Identification Numbers (TIN) that are tied to their purchased tax sales, and instantly see not only their tax sales across the portfolio of ITAT counties, but also see which tax bills can or cannot be paid. The user account system as a whole will adopt the same methodologies for taxes and tags going forward. This translates to a user having one login for all ITAT services offered to our partnered counties.
As we continue development, we have the opportunity to rethink how the payment process, property and vehicle list storage, and the notification process functions in order to deliver the quality, scalability, and convenience users have come to expect from ITAT. Throughout this process, one thing that remains consistent is our steadfast commitment to security. We’re currently working to employ a tokenized wallet process, allowing users to schedule future payments without ITAT storing the payment method information.
We’ll continue to provide updates of our progress and look forward to delivering the very best of what Iowa Tax and Tags has to offer.
|1099 Tax Forms Mailed||January 31, 2022|
|Presidents Day - Office Closed||February 21, 2022|
|ITAT Property Tax Reminder Emails Sent||March 1, 2022|
|ISAC Spring Conference||March 9-11, 2022|
|Daylight Savings Time Begins||March 13, 2022|
|Business Property Tax Credit (BPTC) from State||March 15, 2022 (approximate)|
|Homestead/DAV Credit from State||March 15, 2022 (approximate)|
|Commercial Rollback Monies from State||March 15, 2022 (approximate)|
|Batch Company – March Taxes Due (ITAT Counties)||March 18, 2022|
|Property Taxes Due (March Installment)||March 31, 2022|
Transitioning to the IowaTaxAndTags.org website is easier than you may think. Contact ITAT today to discuss the benefits of joining the IowaTaxAndTags.org website.
Phone: (515) 323-5278
Dan Radkay, Sr Applications Developer
Sarika Mandumula, Sr Applications Developer
Aaron Nord, Applications Developer
Zach Peterson, Applications Developer
Adam Draayer, ITAT Product Owner
Don Lewis, ITAT Project Manager