Online property tax glitch | Arkansas Blog

Monday, October 15, 2012

Online property tax glitch

Posted By on Mon, Oct 15, 2012 at 11:32 AM

STILL WORKING: The old-fashioned way of paying taxes -- in person.
Counties are reporting glitches in the on-line statewide system for paying property taxes by credit card, according to reports from KATV and Fox 16. As a result, Pulaski County Judge Buddy Villines has extended the deadline for online credit card payment through midnight Oct. 16. Can he override statute? I guess, since he has issued such an order, his office confirms.

Dropping payments in the mail with a postmark today remains an old-fashioned way of doing the job on time. Also paying in person with cash or check. The extended deadline applies only to credit card payments (which seems a little unfair in retrospect to others.)

The problem is in the Information Network of Arkansas, a private contractor that handles state Internet structure and bill processing. So the problem applies to those trying to use credit cards in person as well. Villines' order waives penalties and late fees for those using a credit card through tomorrow, a day late. But those paying by check or cash get no extension and, if they pay a day late, penalties will be due.

UPDATE: Radical Centrist comments that all the state web seems to be bollixed, which I suspected was a possibility.

UPDATE II: A spokesman for the governor, quoting the Department of Information Services, said the problem appears to be isolated to the computer servers that coordinate local property-tax collections for the counties. Regular state collections are unaffected, he said.

UPDATE III: Pulaski Treasurer Debra Buckner said at 3:45 p.m.:

Fault- Information Network of Arkansas. As of minutes ago they still do not know or are not saying WHY. They say they have completely re-booted.

We have pressed capacity with them annually in advance of this deadline. Were absolutely told would be no problem.
Historically unprecedented situation.

Other counties are also extending via co. court order the deadline for cc/echeck payments. I know of Miller, Faulkner, White so far.

We have suggested that INA waive their fee for these folks who have tried to no avail, but of course they said no.

We will assess the situation as it evolves.

BTW, our tax processing software, is working beautifully.

UPDATE IV: Buckner said she doesn't view the fee waiver as a waiver per se. That is, she thinks people who can't pay until tomorrow simply won't be penalized because they tried to pay on time but were unable to do so. She said multiple counties have made the same decision. The hope is that INA is at full capacity by tomorrow and payments can be processed.

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