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Carrollton City Council opted to spend less and get less when city clerk Becky Pyles made a proposal to invest in a new computer software program that would put the city’s tax bills on the city’s computers.
In a written proposal to council, Pyles explained that the property valuation office notified her they would no longer be printing the city’s tax bills.
Pyles presented two options to council Monday, June 22: Spend almost $12,000 and have the tax bills originate from the city office or hire another company to do the same thing the PVA office has been doing for $690 per year.
One quote presented by Pyles from KVS Information System was for a one-time outlay of $11,630 to purchase software that would interface with programs the city already uses and an additional $2,404 annual renewal fee after the initial purchase.
The KVS proposal would allow the city access to tax bills, allow printing of second, third and final notices, the ability to file liens on delinquent property and print out a recap of tax receipts for daily balancing purposes.
Assistant city clerk Susie McGee told the council that it would also allow for storage of tax records that the city does not currently have.
The less expensive option by Government Utilities Technology Service, also known as GUTS, is for laser printing of tax bills only and does not include folding or inserting in envelopes or shipping costs.
Mayor Dwight Louden said he likes the idea of having a more sophisticated and integrated system but believed the cost of the KVS system and the fact that this came to the city after the budget had been prepared for the coming year was reason enough to try the GUTS system for at least a year.
“We did get a rather short notice from the PVA about this,” Louden told the council.
“We owe it to ourselves to purchase this,” council member Nancy Jo Grobmyer told the council. “They can do so much more with this system.”
Grobmyer moved to purchase the KVS system with council member Adam Raker seconding the motion.
“There are quite a few advantages to have that done in house,” Raker said citing the city employees would have tax records at their fingertips at all times, a feature they do not have now.
Unconvinced council member Kevin Craig asked “is there any advantage to having this software?”
“This is the only software that integrates with our system,” McGee explained. “If you needed tax records from six years ago because you were being audited, you’re up a creek,” McGee added because the city has no records back that far.
Grobmyer and Raker voted in favor of the more expensive option and Craig and Mike Gordon voted nay. With Dean Miller Jr. and Tammy McBurney absent, Louden was forced to cast the deciding vote. Louden voted against the measure also saying he was not ready to give up the idea of the new software.
When we get done we may end up paying more for the program in a year or so, Gordon added.