New software will give more options to taxpayers in Milton

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Published July 10, 2023 at 11:56 am

The Town of Milton will spend about $1.5 million to update its property tax software to make it more user friendly.

According to a staff report that will be presented at next week’s Town council meeting, replacement of the property tax system has been a priority for several years.

In addition to strengthening of the Town’s billing and collection processes, the new software will allow for the introduction of a self-service portal for property owners to more actively manage their accounts.

The market for the product is limited, so the contract is being awarded on a single source basis to to CentralSquare.

That company already handles the property tax software for Oakville, Burlington and Halton Hills.

Milton currently has more than 45,000 property tax accounts which represents more than $240M in revenue for the Town, Region and school boards.

“With property taxes accounting for the largest revenue source for the Town, a secure, modernized and evolving property tax billing software solution is essential in safeguarding these revenues,” said the report.

The current property tax software has been in used since 1998. Despite periodic updates, a number of features required to support a modern and growing municipality remain outstanding:

Automation to upload ownership and mailing address changes, auto-pay plan or ebilling enrollment does not exist, therefore all are completed via manual entry

Distribution of non-residential education tax dollars, resulting from assessment adjustments are not automated, requiring manual journal calculation and allocation by finance staff

Mortgage company additions, deletions, edits are entered manually without autoupload capability

System cannot assign due date(s) or notify ratepayer of status for land apportionments, post-roll advisory notices and Assessment Review Board increases resulting in manual tracking, penalty and fee reversals

Inability to extract table data or create custom reports, forms and analytics

“It is estimated that from just these few system limitations alone, tax staff devote over 1,500 hours annually on manual processes.”

If the recommendations are approved the project is expected to launch in late 2024 with a go-live date as early as late 2025.

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