Windsor property tax bills still haven’t been mailed
Published 6:28 pm Friday, January 24, 2020
The Town of Windsor is approaching the 90-day mark past the early November date personal property tax bills were supposed to be mailed to residents.
The problem is the same one Town Treasurer Christy Jernigan reported to the Town Council at its November meeting, and again in December – this being an issue with the town’s new financial software program, Munis. Specifically, the program has been unable to import the personal property valuation assessment from the Isle of Wight County Commissioner of the Revenue’s Office.
According to Mayor Glyn Willis, the town and Isle of Wight County are both still waiting for a solution from Tyler Technologies, the company that developed the Munis software package.
“Unfortunately, I’m at the mercy of other people doing their job,” Jernigan said.
As previously reported, the town has been in the process of converting to Munis since 2015, which Town Manager Michael Stallings has said was done to make the town more compatible with the county, since Isle of Wight also uses Munis. The town of Smithfield has also begun converting its financial system to Munis, but so far, only Windsor has encountered this particular issue.
At Windsor’s December Town Council meeting, Stallings had pointed out 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, he said, pull their assessment data from a single shared database.
Stallings doesn’t anticipate the town will experience any cash flow issues from the lack of revenue that has resulted from the delayed bills.
Desiree P. Urquhart, a resident of the Windsor Manor Park mobile home community, however, said she didn’t do any Christmas shopping in December 2019, and instead saved her money “kind of because of this late bill.”
“They [the town] said we should have them [the bills] in January, but January is half over, and I’m a little concerned,” Urquhart said. “Also, residents probably are setting aside funds in their budgets right now to be ready to pay tax preparers and/or amounts due to the IRS (Internal Revenue Service) if they owe.”
“Do I have a personal problem paying the tax, no I don’t; I can write a check very quickly, but there are those who aren’t able to,” said Carl J. “Jim” Laule Jr. of Wythe Drive, when asked if he had experienced any difficulty budgeting his expenses as a result of the delay. “We need to be able to function better as a municipality.”
“The Munis system needs to go away if it’s not going to function as intended,” Laule added. “There have been nothing but failures and problems from the outset. Do I think this is an unnecessary burden upon residents, yes I do.”
“We are scheduling a conference call with our [Munis] project manager for sometime next week,” Stallings said.
As for the budgeting issue, Willis said, “Nothing’s been decided at this point,” when asked if any plans were in the works to offer an extension to residents whenever the bills are finally mailed. But if such hardships are brought to the attention of the Town Council, there would be a discussion on the matter, he added.
“The town recognizes the situation,” Willis said.