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New Year Tax Administration Steps for Kentucky

STEP ONE: Back Up Your Data
Always back-up your data before proceeding. For instructions on how to perform a back-up of your Pontem software visit the Pontem Online Training and Support Center (www.pontem.com/support) and consult the document entitled: ‘Pontem Backup and Restore Procedures.’


STEP TWO: Check for Updates
Be sure you are running the latest version of your Pontem software before starting a new tax year. For instructions on how to Check for Updates visit the Pontem Online Training and Support Center (www.pontem.com/support) and consult the document entitled ‘Check for Updates Guide.’


STEP THREE: Add the Exemption Allowance for the New Year
Add your allowances via: Edit | Adjust System Preferences | System Config | Value Exemptions.

 

STEP FOUR: Import Values
When you receive certified values from your county, import them into your Pontem software via: File | Import | Load Parcel Values. Import values for Real Property first, followed by Tangible Property values as they use different ‘Import Types’ and procedures.

1. At the following set-up screen, select the ‘Import Type’, the ‘Taxing Unit’ and the file path to import the file. Click the ‘Next’ button to continue through the import steps.

2. Fill in the screen as seen below to define the data to import for the year entered in the field labeled ‘Tax Year’ . Re sure to select (Re) Initialize Assessment Roll for the first import. Click on ‘Files’ to continue.

 3. The display on the screen below shows which files/s will be used to pull the names, legal descriptions, and values for the new assessment year. Click ‘Validate.’

Next, you will see the following progress window which indicates the data is being parsed and validated:

4. The following window will now display ‘Warnings, Critical Warnings, or Errors’ found during this validation process. Some errors require correction within the files being imported. Once any errors have been corrected, re-import the data.

If there are no errors preventing continuation of the import procedure, click on ‘Process’ to continue.

5. In the screen labeled ‘Import Values’ click on the blue toggle bar at the resulting list of parcel records. Doing so will take you to a detail record for the first parcel in the imported data which is different from the data already existing in your Pontem Tax Administration database.

This detail view is referred to as the ‘Side by Side’. See the sample side-by-side view below where the ‘Names’ button indicates there is a difference between the imported data and data that is already in your database.

NOTE: When a PVA delivers an import file which has missing real parcels, meaning there are parcel records in the database but they do not exist in the import file, you will see a list of the missing parcel records in the side-by-side under with the status of ‘Errors’. This is referred to as ‘retired by omission’.

You will be able to view each record in comparison with the list of deletions from the PVA. The parcel information on the right will have question marks in the field labeled ‘Property Class’.

When this occurs, we suggest you create a new property class for retired real property and apply it to these records.

Saving the record will create a value record for these parcels for the current year using the retired class and no value data.

6. Once records with errors have been processed, change the ‘Status’ to ‘Pending Review’ and continue with the import property value process as you normally do.

Selecting ‘Apply All in List’ at this point is the usual next step.

Many of our Kentucky clients select ‘Apply All In List’ button without reviewing the data in the Side-by-Side. Before taking this step click the ‘Reports’ button to review totals reports for the import data.

Once you click ‘Apply All In List’ the following window will appear confirming this action. Click ‘Continue’.

 The following progress window will indicate the data is being imported:

Next, click ‘OK’.

At following dialog window, click OK to close the import program:

 

Tangible Property Import
NOTE: Tangible parcels from the previous year are not included in the current or “new year’s” im-port file. Therefore, tangibles imported in the previous year are “retired by omission.”

The existing tangible parcel records in your database will receive a value record for the current year with no value totals, and a property class of “ZT” (‘Retired Tangible’) is assigned.

1. At the set-up screen below select the appropriate ‘Import Type’, the ‘Taxing Unit’, and the file path to the file to import. Click ‘Next’ to continue.

2. When importing the Tangibles do not select(Re)Initialize Assessment Roll’ – select ‘Update Certified Values’. Failure to select ‘Update Certified Values’ will cause the removal of current year values already imported for the real property. Tangibles are added as new parcel records each year, select to import ‘New Parcels‘ only.

3. As this is the second time you are importing data for the new year you will see the following warning window. Click ‘Yes’ to continue.

4. The display on the next screen shows which file/s will be used to pull the names, legal descriptions, and values for the new assessment year. Click ‘Validate’.

The following progress window will indicate the data is being imported:

5. The next window shown below displays the list of tangible parcels found in the import file. Click ‘Process’ to continue.

6. At the results screen shown below, click ‘Apply All in List‘as these records are all new to the database so there is no need to review them. The ‘Reports’ button provides totals reports on the import data which can be reviewed prior to using ‘Apply All in List’.

7. Click on the Continue button to import the Tangible parcels.

8. When the import has finished you will see the following warning dialog. Click ‘OK’.

9. The ‘Information’ dialog indicates the import process is complete and official:

10. Next, verify your totals by going to Reports | Parcel | Parcel Values | Parcel Values Summary Report and compare it to the report you received from the county. Review the column labeled ‘Taxable $’ for exemption totals.

11. In the Reports| Parcel Reports menu, you will find ‘Parcel Exemption by Class’ and ‘Parcel Exemption by PIDN’. These two items will aid you in tracking down information about the records which cause you concern. Make sure you compare the parcel count for each exemption to the county report as well.

12. If you discover a problem when you compared the two reports, we can work with you to determine what course of action should be taken. Call or email the Pontem Help Desk at 888.237.8531 or support@pontem.com.

 

STEP FIVE: Prepare the Tax Roll
In order to prepare your tax roll you must update several values, first:

Update Discounts for New Year
Discounts’ are found in Edit| Adjust System Preferences| System Config. If nothing has changed from the existing settings, skip this step.

Update Values
Edit the parcel value from MPR | Values Page | Edit Value to apply changes received from the county. If a parcel from last year was not included in the import file from the county there will be no values for the current year. This parcel has been “retired” in your database; no tax bill will be created for the current year, though it is still possible to print delinquent bills for retired parcels.

You may know the parcel is still active and know it should have value against it. If so, edit the parcel value record to add values for the new year if appropriate. Tangibles are a prime example of this scenario.

Update Parcel District Codes
Once you approve the imported values you will want to perform any maintenance on your parcel records which will affect the calculation of tax bills, such as adding or removing district codes to the parcel record for such items as “Waste,” etc.

Often clients tell us they are instructed to correct an exemption made by their county. These corrections should be completed before calculating the tax bills. Parcel District Codes are added/removed from the parcel record in Manage Property Records | Values| Edit Values.

Validate District Totals
Run the ‘Parcel Districts Report’ to make sure you have the proper number of parcels identified with district codes.

Clone Tax Period
Using this feature saves you from rebuilding the tax table and tax control data you entered last year. Click on Tax Roll Setup | Tools Tab | Create/Clone Tax Period. Once you have cloned, edit the ‘Tax Unit Control’ (TUC) and ‘Tax Levy (Rate) Definitions’ (TLD) to update them for the current year.

  • Tax Unit General Info (TUC – Tax Unit Control): Data from here is printed on tax bills. You may need to update this field here such as adding new messages or updating the existing information.
  • Tax Levy (Rate) Definitions (TLD): These define the calculation equations. Each levy\rate or special assessment is set up to instruct the system how to calculate the tax item and identify which parcels will be included or excluded in the calculation process.

 

STEP SIX: Calculate the Tax Roll
1. Select Prepare Tax Bills |Tools Tab | Create\Update Tax Bills.

2. The following window will now appear. If the ‘Tax Period’ field is filled in with the correct tax period, and the field labeled ‘Taxing Unit or Village’ has the correct city listed, click ‘Next.’

3. On the next screen, select the ’Roll Type’ of ‘AD Valorum’. Select ‘Current \Final Value for Tax Year’ Click ‘Finish’.

Next, you will see the following window which will inform you of the progress while tax bills are updated:

 4. Once your tax bills have been updated a summary of the tax bill totals is displayed. Print this Summary by clicking the ‘Print’ button. Then click ‘Commit Changes’ to complete the calculation process.

5. If you have special assessments you can use the Prepare Tax Bills | Tools | Add/Edit Special Levies (tool) to apply these levies to the appropriate tax bill/s. Using this tool you can enter the dollar amount which is due for the levy if the levy type you selected was added with the calculation method of S—Special Assessment. This can be done prior to calculating your bills.

6. Special assessment levies must be defined in Tax Roll Setup | Tax Levy Definitions. They are included in the Authority group as ‘SPECIAL’.

 

STEP SEVEN: Printing
Before printing your bills, verify your tax bill totals have calculated as expected by printing an ‘Original Tax Roll Balancing’ and ‘Tax Bill Statistics Report’.

To do so, click on Tax Rolls and Bills | Original Tax Roll Balancing Report on the ‘Reports’ menu. Make sure the ‘Tax Period’ field is set to the current tax period and click the ‘OK ‘button at the bottom of the screen.

To run a 'Tax Bill Statistics Report' go to Tax Rolls and Bills | Tax Bill Statistics Report on the 'Reports' menu. Make sure the ‘Tax Period’ field is set to the current tax period and click ‘OK’ at the bottom of the screen.

Print a Test Batch
Once you've verified your totals, print a few test bills to check alignment, addresses, messages, levy descriptions, etc. for any items that may not print correctly. If you use a barcode reader, scan the barcode to make sure it reads correctly.

To print tax bills select Reports | Tax Rolls and Bills | Tax Bills and Notices | Current Tax Bill Original/Reprint (or if using a custom tax bill select your tax bill definition from Reports | Custom | Tax Rolls and Bills | Tax Bills and Notices).

To print selected bills, (e.g., just a few to check alignment), fill out the appropriate filters and click the OK button. Once you’re satisfied with the results, proceed with printing all bills. To print all bills, just click the OK button on the Report Filter screen.

Sending Bills to a Third-Party Print Service
If your jurisdiction uses a third-party service to print, fold, and/or mail your tax bills, select Reports | Tax Rolls and Bills | Tax Bills and Notices | Tax Bill Export File – Print Service. This will create a comma separated value (CSV) file that can be sent to your printing/mailing service.

Another option for sending an electronic file to a print service is to print the tax bills using your unit’s custom tax bill, and at the print preview save the tax bills in a .pdf (Portable Document For-mat) file using the ‘Print to File’ option.

To print selected bills, (e.g., just a few to check alignment), fill out the appropriate filters and click the ‘OK’ button. Once you’re satisfied with the results, proceed with printing all bills. To print all bills, just click the ‘OK’ button on the ‘Report Filter’ screen.


Sending Bills to a Third-Party Print Service
If your jurisdiction uses a third-party service to print, fold, and/or mail your tax bills, select Reports | Tax Rolls and Bills | Tax Bills and Notices | Tax Bill Export File – Print Service. This will create a comma separated value (CSV) file that can be sent to your printing/mailing service.

Another option for sending an electronic file to a print service is to print the tax bills using your unit’s custom tax bill, and at the print preview save the tax bills in a .pdf (Portable Document For-mat) file using the ‘Print to File’ option.


STEP EIGHT: Freeze for Collections
The final step is performed by selecting the ‘Primary Task’ labeled ‘Tax Roll Setup’. Edit ‘Tax Unit General Info’ to add the ‘Tax Roll Date’ which should be the date you begin to accept tax
payments.

These settings indicate to the system the tax roll is in no longer in pre-levy mode; all edits to tax bills and all payments will now be tracked with receipts.

This will also ‘allow you to see your new tax bills in ‘Tax Bills and Collections’. Until the ‘Tax Roll Date’ is filled in, you will only be able to see the new bills in ‘Prepare Tax Bills’.


STEP NINE: Updating Your Pontem Online Property Tax Search
If you subscribe to Pontem's Online Property Tax Search, your online information also needs to be updated with your newest tax bill information.

Please call Pontem Technical Support so that your database can be uploaded to the web servers.

 

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