Faulkner County residents can now pay their delinquent property taxes online and immediately renew their car tags – all without stepping foot in a state revenue office, potentially saving hours of time.
That’s possible thanks to several technology upgrades Faulkner County Collector Sherry Koonce has implemented to deliver more conveniences to taxpayers.
“We are thrilled to provide this new time-saving service to our residents,” Koonce said. “So many people have expressed frustration with having to go to the DMV or wait a day to renew their car tags after paying their property taxes. We are proud to cut through that red tape and make life easier for folks in Faulkner County.”
Arkansas has a complex set of intertwined property tax and vehicle registration requirements with deadlines that differ for each resident.
Faulkner County residents must assess their personal property between Jan. 1 and May 31 each year, pay property taxes between March 1 and Oct. 15, and renew their vehicle registration before it expires.
If a customer misses the deadline and goes delinquent, the state puts a “block” on their vehicle registration renewal until they’ve paid their tax bill. Until now, that “block” could only be released by an in-person visit to a revenue office with proof of property tax payment, or by waiting until the day after paying property taxes online when two disparate technology systems at the county and state synchronize their records.
To streamline that process and eliminate the wait for renewing vehicle registrations, Koonce partnered with Apprentice Information Systems and the Information Network of Arkansas to integrate the county’s tax management software in real time with its online property tax payment system, which is also connected to the state’s online vehicle tag renewal system.
Koonce also upgraded the credit card devices in her office to EMV chip readers to provide a higher level of security and touchless payments for residents.
These digital innovations are the most recent additions to a list of conveniences Koonce has delivered to Faulkner County residents including online electronic check payments, tax deadline text message reminders and several improvements to the online property tax payment site ar.gov/faulknertax.
Later this year, Koonce will offer Apple Pay and Google Pay as additional payment options.
“We want to meet customers where they are and make paying property taxes an enjoyable experience,” Koonce said. “We’ve made it possible for taxpayers to make payments in the way that’s easiest for them to avoid becoming delinquent or letting their car tags expire.”
Koonce reminds Faulkner County taxpayers to pay their property tax bill by Oct. 15 to avoid late penalties. Taxes can be paid online with an electronic check, credit or debit card at ar.gov/faulknertax; by visiting the tax collector’s office in-person at 806 Faulkner Street and paying with a card, check or cash; or by mailing a check to the address listed on their property tax statement.
Since she was elected Faulkner County Tax Collector in 2016, Koonce has securely processed nearly 64,000 property tax payments online worth $19 million in tax dollars for the county. Those online payments have saved residents more than 48,000 hours of time not spent driving or standing in a government office.
Process automation through digital payments has increased the efficiency of the Faulkner County Tax Collector’s office as well, as staff handles significantly less cash and paper when more residents pay their taxes online.