Tax website expected to speed up wait times

Published 5:46 pm Tuesday, February 14, 2017

The Decatur County Tax Office is seeing a more digital push as its new website was unveiled Tuesday.

The site,, allows residents to search and pay their property taxes online. It also provides general information on the ad valorem tax process, motor vehicle registration and a detailed FAQ.

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Tax Commissioner Mark Harrell said residents can navigate and pay their property tax records using a Google-style, user-friendly search engine.

“It’s exciting,” Harrell said.

Part of Harrell’s campaign promise was to improve the tax office’s electronic services. Now that the tax website is live, the next goal is to improve efficiency at the tax and tag offices, including wait time and line management.

Harrell plans on cross-training all employees to work both offices and help the flow when workers are taking breaks or a flood of residents appear at the same time. More available workers equal less wait time and more satisfied taxpayers, Harrell said.

“My goal was to get our customers, our citizens, to know when they come down there it’s not going to be a long process,” Harrell said. “We all have to do it every year. I wanted to get the lines to where it’s not six lines with only two people working. It’ll be some training we have to do internally, but everybody is excited about it.”

The property and tag lines will be combined in the next couple of months, Harrell said.

Eventually, Harrell would like to install a queuing service that will let residents secure a place in line at the tax and tag offices digitally. The system will display general wait times to make trips to the offices more efficient.

“You go in there and sign up, and if it’s a long line that day, you can go across the street and get a coffee,” Harrell said. “It will text you when you’re getting close.”

The new website does not provide online tag renewals, but Harrell expects the service to be active in March.

“All of these upgrades are being done to help our citizens have shorter lines and faster service,” Harrell said. “We will be doing this through savings generated due to the modernization, so we will not be increasing the budget.”