Transparency in Hidalgo County
The Hidalgo County Tax Assessor-Collector's office has brought transparency to its revenue collections by publishing detailed property tax records on the county Web site. By taking full advantage of the robust features of its property tax software, the office found it could publish data not generally available in appraisal district records at no additional cost.
Most appraisal districts post the names and addresses of property owners, properties' legal descriptions, their assessed and taxable value and applicable exemptions. The Hidalgo County Tax Assessor-Collector's office also publishes the payment status of property tax accounts. For each property, the county record lists the annual tax levy as well as the amount of tax remaining unpaid for the current and prior years.
County Tax Assessor Collector Armando Barrera Jr. is pleased with the success of this venture. “It allows taxpayers, financial institutions and title companies to know an account's status immediately and in real time.” Account status is updated at the moment that payments are posted.
Posting taxpayer payment status information online improves customer service by making the information available to taxpayers instantly, 24 hours a day. It also reduces the need for telephone inquiries, which saves the county staffing costs and prevents caller frustration due to time spent waiting on hold.