Beginning next year, Scott County property owners will have the option of receiving their tax statement electronically.
Barb Vance, operations manager of the Scott County Treasurer's Office, said the county is among 39 Iowa counties working with The Master's Touch, a mailing services vendor, to offer the e-statements beginning in 2020.
She said the county's tax statements, mailed out last month, provided information on subscribing to the service. "You subscribe now and it will be for the next tax cycle."
According to Vance, new Iowa legislation enacted a few years ago allowed treasurer's offices to offer tax statements electronically but the group had not pursued the technology yet. When the Iowa State County Treasurers Association, which represents all 99 counties, issued a request for proposal for bids for traditional mailing services it ended up selecting The Master's Touch and its existing eNoticesOnline service.
A total of 39 county treasurers are switching to the new vendor, but others stayed with the former mail provider, selected another vendor or chose to do the service in-house.
Scott County's share of the initial set up fee was $762.98, she said, adding that costs were based on volume.
"Over the last eight years, we've sent e-mails to customers that their payment is due but it doesn't include a statement," she said, adding that consumers are growing accustomed to e-statements.
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For the county, Vance said "This will reduce the cost in the future to send out statements because we won't have the paper and postage."
The cost of an e-statement will be 13 cents per parcel vs. 35 cents per parcel for a paper statement. "It will probably take a couple of years to start seeing the benefits depending on the customer’s adoption rate."
But with 78,000 parcels across Scott County, she said "every bit helps."
In addition, the vendor will manage the subscription service — collecting email addresses and sending out the e-statements to taxpayers.
The first installment of Scott County's 2018 property taxes are due Monday, Sept. 30. Interest will be charged beginning the first business day after the due date.
Taxpayers can make payments online, by mail to Scott County Treasurer's Office, 600 W. 4th St., Davenport, 52801-1030, or drop them off at the office, located in the Scott County Administrative Center, 600 W. 4th St., or at the Scott County General Store, 902. W. Kimberly Road, Suite 6D, Davenport. Drop boxes also are located in the parking lot of the Administrative Center and at the General Store.