Monday, March 7, 2016

Tax Collector and Treasury Department Merge

The City of Holyoke’s Tax Collector’s Office has officially moved and physically merged with the Treasury Department as of Monday, February 29th. This move will produce a better work flow between the two offices, allow for cross-training employees of the two departments, and provide better constituent services. The new technology being introduced to the department will cut costs due to the reduction of staff.

Acting Tax Collector Katherine Jackowski has instituted new initiatives to save money and improve accessibility for citizens to supplement this merge. One of these new initiatives is the implementation of Lockbox. This program, offered by Peoples Bank, will allow taxpayers to mail their payments to an address outside of the city where they are processed more efficiently and deposited immediately. This is similar to programs already in place at other city departments and will not impact people who pay on-line or at City Hall. By implementing this public-private partnership, the City will save approximately $30,000 as a result of the reduction in staff with a possible total savings of up to $75,000 in next fiscal year’s budget. Another program being put into effect is the Automated Parking Ticket System, which will also create efficiencies and cut costs.

Mayor Alex Morse believes this move will provide opportunity for the City to save money while at the same time giving constituents improved customer service. In response to these changes, Mayor Morse stated, “I commend Ms. Jackowski’s willingness to take initiative in making sure the citizens of our city have an efficient local government that is always looking to make these processes easier for everyone. With these changes, we hope to build on former tax collector David Guzman’s efforts to modernize the office and focus on constituent services.”

Acting Tax Collector Katherine Jackowski is excited to be a part of this transformation within City Hall as well. “This is such a great opportunity for the City, and I’m so happy Mayor Morse has encouraged this incorporation of the two departments. We have such a hardworking team working here, and I think this will lead to positive changes that will benefit the entire city.”, Jackowski said.

City Treasurer Sandra Smith welcomes the Acting Collector and her staff with open arms. “There is a natural connection between the duties of Treasurer and Tax Collector, so to have them in the same space make sense. Before we would have to send people to two offices, on different floors, to get the required sign-offs for licenses and business permits. This move will go along way to making City Hall more business friendly.”, Smith said.

Mayor Morse thanks city staff for their help during this time of transition. “I’d like to thank both Treasurer Smith and Collector Jackowski, along with their staff, for such a smooth transition. I’d also like to thank the Department of Public Works, the Treasury Department, and the Personnel Department with helping to facilitate this move.”

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