Pulaski County is preparing to make a major investment in its tax software. Last week, the county council and commissioners agreed to let various county offices switch to Low software system for settlements and tax collection.
Auditor Laura Wheeler explained that the county’s been using Thomson Reuters’ Manatron ProVal software for several years, but the company isn’t providing them with the service they need. “We are currently paying $47,500 for our annual maintenance fee to this company that will not give us support when they’re asked and said anything about training,” Wheeler said. “Shianne [Wagner] is my new deeds transfer clerk, and when we ask for it, they’ll say that we could spend another $1,200 and get our training. So it’s just been a battle for two years.” As a result, Wheeler her office has struggled to get the fall settlement out on time.
She said that Low, on the other hand, would be willing to work with the county, and added that other counties that currently use the system are very happy with it. “What’s taking me two weeks to finalize our settlement, these counties have said they’ve done it in two days, and a couple of them, it’s just in a half a day,” Wheeler said. “And what a blessing to me to be relieved of that much time, so that I can get so many other things done.”
The challenge with Low is the cost. The county will have to pay $233,000 for purchase and setup, plus an annual maintenance fee of $48,000. Wheeler said the $233,000 portion can be broken down into $50,000 installments, and the first payment wouldn’t be due until next year. That gives county officials time to work the funding into the 2020 budget.
Council President Jay Sullivan suggested that county officials could look into potential grant opportunities to help with the cost.