The annual value to mail pre-payment notices is roughly $11,900, whereas the web financial savings on discontinuing the mailing can be $9,000 to $10,000 since there can be some prices to promote and promote the tax low cost interval, a council report stated.
Metropolis corridor plans to discontinue the printing and mailing of property tax pre-payment notices to avoid wasting roughly $10,000 on administrative prices and cut back the quantity of paper used for billing.
Throughout its Nov. 14 common assembly, council unanimously agreed to discontinue the printing and mailing of property tax pre-payment notices beginning this December and substitute the notices with a “robust communications program.”
The annual value to mail pre-payment notices is roughly $11,900, whereas the web financial savings on discontinuing the mailing can be $9,000 to $10,000 since there can be some prices to promote and promote the low cost interval, a council report stated.
As a part of the annual property tax cycle, metropolis administration produces and mails a pre-payment discover in December to remind property homeowners concerning the low cost interval and the standing of their property tax accounts, the report defined.
Property homeowners obtain a one-per-cent low cost in the event that they make a fee between Jan. 1 and March 31 of every yr; that low cost will proceed.
Finance director Brian Acker informed council that about 20 per cent of property homeowners make the most of the early low cost by taking part within the month-to-month Tax Installment Cost Plan Service (TIPPS) program.
Nonetheless, with 80 per cent of individuals not taking part in TIPPS, he thought it was pointless to proceed sending bodily notices; it was additionally a waste to spend $12,000 on printing, mailing and labour.
As a substitute of mailing out notices, metropolis corridor plans to conduct a communications marketing campaign on social media, on town’s web site, by way of its customer support employees and thru different media to remind property homeowners that the low cost interval remains to be in impact through the annual three-month interval, the report stated.
The doc famous that the set up of the brand new property tax module with the brand new Enterprise Useful resource Program (ERP) system prompted metropolis corridor to assessment lots of the processes with the annual property tax cycle.
Metropolis corridor may quickly ship out pre-payment tax notices to residents by e-mail, whereas its new Digital Metropolis Corridor program is nearly prepared to offer info to taxpayers, stated Acker. Nonetheless, due to the migration to the brand new system, that program is barely delayed as metropolis corridor works out some bugs.
Metropolis administration surveyed 13 Saskatchewan municipalities and realized solely three cities — in addition to Moose Jaw — provide early fee reductions on municipal tax funds, the report stated.
“Cities that supply reductions now not ship out notices however are utilizing social media to advertise the low cost intervals of their metropolis or are together with info on the annual property tax discover,” said the report.
“Most of the cities within the province … now not provide pre-payment reductions and haven’t for a number of years.”
Metropolis corridor believes selling the low cost interval may work simply in addition to mailing the pre-payment discover, the doc added. Moreover, property tax info is out there on town’s web site, so individuals who pay property taxes can discover that info there utilizing their handle.
Mayor Clive Tolley stated a number of individuals have contacted him and requested why they’ve obtained two tax notices. Nonetheless, based mostly on metropolis administration’s rationalization of the scenario, he stated he can now inform individuals there’s a distinction between the pre-payment discover and the precise assessments.
“That’s a confusion we’ve (additionally) observed in finance. Folks get the pre-payment discover and suppose it’s the precise tax discover for the yr,” stated Acker. “The precise discover is greater due to the mill charge. We normally have to elucidate that to individuals.”
Coun. Heather Eby thought eliminating the paper notices was acceptable however hoped the communications plan was strong and front-desk employees have been well-versed within the adjustments, so residents weren’t too confused with the adjustments.
The subsequent common council assembly is Monday, Nov. 27.