Municipal tax bills will be in the mail by the March 10 deadline after council agreed Monday night to have the billing prepared externally rather than risk waiting to see if the town’s faulty software will be ready in time.
“In the interest of being sure that we can get the tax bills out, we decided to go with another option,” Administration and Finance manager Darryl Allan said.
But some bills may have minor discrepancies because the company hired to do the billing won’t have all of the town’s tax details in its software system.
“It will be a straight tax bill and subject to those details, we’ll have a letter of explanation with the bill published as well,” said CAO Bill Naturkach.
Naturkach said only about five percent of taxpayers will face any discrepancies, adding they will be sent corrections at a later date.
After already postponing the first due date for taxes, council has been apprehensive about the ongoing software repairs as the next due date (March 30) approached.
The bills have to be mailed out by March 10 to give taxpayers enough time to make their payments.
After the company managing the town’s software went through an ownership change, the new owners—Ed Yu Associates—have been scrambling to complete the system’s “Y2K” updates.
“Quite honestly, I find them to be much more professional and a better company to deal with than [the previous company] was,” said Allan.
For now, Ed Yu Associates will still manage the town’s software in the long term.
“We still need to have that system up and working so we can do all the postings and get everything updated,” Allan remarked.
But the town is withholding its payments to the company until all of the “Y2K” updates are made and other software problems are repaired.
“I’ve been on the phone daily and over the weekend working with them. They have made some progress with it,” Allan said.
“They’ve got more than six programmers working on it, and they did a conversion with our tax stuff and found all kinds of additional bugs in it that they weren’t expecting,” he added.