The Itat Quarterly
Fiscal Year 2023 - Q1 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.
A fiscal year-end is often a busy time for county treasurers. The annual tax sale has just been concluded, and an increased number of tax sale redemptions are flooding the office. You are completing many year-end processes in anticipation of those pesky auditors to show up at your door; and of course, tax certification is on the horizon. With all that is going on, it is important to take a moment and reflect on a job well done.
Looking back over the past 12-months, the ITAT Development Team has had a very successful and productive year, releasing a record number of high priority enhancements throughout FY2022. A few of our accomplishments include:
- Online Tax Sale Registration
- Online Advanced Payments
- Online Subsequent Tax Payments
- Basic User Account Management
- Unredeemed Tax Sale Display
- Security Enhancements
- Reduced Fees to Customers
FY2022 also saw ITAT have a booth at the ISCTA Annual Conference at Honey Creek Resort. The conference was a great event and allowed us a chance to meet with many treasurers from across the state. We had a great time networking and can't wait for the next treasurer event.
Cheers to a great FY2023!
Thanks for taking the time to read this edition of The ITAT Quarterly!
Don Lewis, CPA, ITAT Project Manager
Mary L. Wells, Polk County
Online Tax Sale Registration
This year Polk County tried something new. We implemented an online registration process through IAtaxsale.com, and it was a resounding success!
We immediately saw the positive impact that shifting to an online registration had on our office and this year's tax sale. While in the past it would typically take our staff about an hour to register an investor, it took only fifteen minutes per registration this year. The automated process was great, and working with the Iowa Tax Sale staff was awesome -- we were able to receive reports, regular status updates, and customize the build out of our site. The system was much improved over previous years, and feedback from tax sale buyers/investors was extremely positive.
Overall, launching an online registration system resulted in many benefits for the County and tax sale buyers. Some highlights include:
Next year, I’m looking forward to weighing our options for an online vs in-person tax sale. We’re currently working with IATaxSale.com to determine the feasibility of converting to an online only tax sale. I have also met with other Treasurers regarding feedback with their experience in converting to an online platform. For the most part, feedback has been favorable, and we're excited to explore the possibilities!
While we recognize some challenges that may come with the change to an online only tax sale, the positives shine brightly. An online tax sale would allow us to adjust the number of allowable buyers per the County's needs, reduce the time and cost required to conduct the tax sale, and reduce the amount of staff labor involved in putting on the tax sale.
We haven't yet made a decision, but look forward to working with the specialists at Iowa Tax Sale to determine whether this path is the right fit for Polk County!
Mary L. Wells
The ITAT Development Team is continuously making improvements to make Iowa Tax And Tags the best payment site possible. Some of the higher profile enhancements that the team is working on include:
- Merchant Services Contract – ITAT has signed a 5-year contract extension with FIS-WorldPay to provide merchant services. The contract includes reduced fees to both customers and the ITAT Enterprise fund, with expected savings of $850,000.
- Online Tax Sale Registration - ITAT rolled out a new online tax sale registration website for the June 2022 annual tax sale. The new application will streamline the registration process, saving counties and tax sale investors time and money.
- Qualtrics Integrations (final review) - ITAT is integrating Qualtrics reporting to the ITAT website in order to get better user feedback. User feedback will then be used when planning future improvements to the website.
- Redesign of IowaTaxAndTags.org (planning) - ITAT is planning a major redesign of the current public citizen site, as well as Portfolio, Batch, Fleet Renewal, and the Administrative sites.
Adam Draayer, ITAT Product Owner
Qualtrics Integration with Iowa Tax And Tags
The Iowa Tax and Tags development team is excited to integrate Qualtrics reporting with ITAT!
Users will be prompted to provide feedback in 1 of 2 scenarios. In the first scenario, the user has completed their checkout process and paid for their renewal or property taxes. Once complete, a pop up will let them know we’d like their feedback. This feedback centers around the ease of use and their satisfaction with the service. The second scenario is when a user attempts to leave the website without completing a transaction. This survey prompt will ask them why they are leaving before completing checkout. We’re hopeful this will help us find ways to drive down the ‘abandonment rate’ of open carts.
|Gas & Electric Utility Reports sent by the State||August 15, 2022 (approximate)|
|ISAC Annual Conference||August 24-26, 2022|
|Certify Property Taxes||by August 31, 2022|
|File Homestead & Military Credits with the State||by August 31, 2022|
|Labor Day - Office Closed||September 5, 2022|
|Batch Company - September Tax Due Date (ITAT Counties)||September 20, 2022|
|Property Taxes Due (September Installment)||September 30, 2022|
|Military Credit from State||September 30, 2022 (approximate)|
|Columbus Day||October 10, 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