Stephens County, located among the Blue Ridge Mountains in Georgia, is known for its friendly people, progressive government, quality schools, ruggedness and scenic beauty. Within the county, nearly 25,500 people live in approximately 10,000 households across an area close to 200 square miles.
County Tax Commissioner, Dene Hicks, manages the billing, collection and accounting system that oversees the property taxes on 17,000 parcels in the county. In 2009, she began to consider replacing the existing property tax management solution, which the county had deployed more than 20 years ago on an AS 400 mainframe.
“We wanted to migrate to a Windows-based, point-and-click solution that would allow us to do more work in less time by making it easier for the staff to process tax payments and run reports,” Hicks said. “Report generation was so cumbersome that we often had to spend hours compiling reports, or else we had to call the system vendor for help, which would often require an additional service charge.”
Hicks was also dissatisfied with the level of customer service the previous system vendor provided. “In most cases, we were put into a queue and had to wait for a return call that might take one or two days,” Hicks said. “In many cases, we would have to pay more for the additional services we were asking for. This made it difficult to project costs over the course of the year when it came time to establish our operating budget.”