Windsor property tax bills still delayed

Published 7:20 pm Friday, December 13, 2019

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Windsor’s personal property tax bills, which were supposed to be mailed to town residents about 45 days ago, still haven’t gone out yet.

According to Town Treasurer Christy Jernigan, the problem is the same one she reported to Windsor’s Town Council in November — this being an issue with the town’s new financial software program, Munis. Specifically, the program is experiencing difficulty with importing personal property valuation assessments from the Isle of Wight County Commissioner of Revenue’s Office.

The town now anticipates that the bills won’t be mailed until after the holiday season, but Jernigan isn’t anticipating any cash flow problems from the delay.

We’re good,” she said. “It’s OK if it [the tax revenue] doesn’t come in until January or February.”

The town has been in the process of converting to Munis since 2015, which Town Manager Michael Stallings had previously told Windsor Weekly was to make the town more compatible with Isle of Wight County, since Isle of Wight also uses Munis. The town of Smithfield had also begun converting its financial system to Munis in 2015, but according to Stallings, only Windsor has experienced this particular issue to-date.

At the Town Council’s December meeting, Stallings added that Windsor and Smithfield are unique in their need to import assessment data from a separate county database. Most if not all other Munis users pull their assessment data from a single, shared database, he said.

The day before the December Council meeting, Mayor Glyn Willis, Stallings, Jernigan and Cindy Cyndi Wellman, a systems analyst with Isle of Wight County’s Information Technology department all participated in a conference call with Tyler Technologies — the company that developed the Munis software package — to obtain an updated estimate for how long it would take the company to resolve the issue. Isle of Wight is now providing IT support services to both towns per intergovernmental agreements adopted earlier this year. Willis told his fellow Council members that he had taken the opportunity during the conference call to request that the company’s new estimate be for a permanent solution, rather than a temporary workaround such as manually entering everyone’s assessment information for the current fiscal year.

Manually entering is kicking the can down the road,” Willis said.

Stallings confirmed that Tyler Technologies is continuing to provide technical support for the problem at no additional cost to the town. The town does, however, still owe roughly $17,000 on its original contract with the company.

That amount has not been billed yet as the work has not been done,” Stallings said.

The Council had been scheduled to vote at its December meeting on a resolution to re-appropriate $27,979 in unspent funds that had been budgeted for the Munis project in fiscal year 2018-2019, which would have covered the pending bill, but chose to table the matter until January, citing its dissatisfaction with the lack of a solution for the import issue.