Stearns County received a national award for its comprehensive and unique suite of online property tax services and applications. The County Auditor-Treasurer's Office won the prestigious 2012 Digital Government Achievement Award in the Government to Citizen Category for its online property tax services.
Recognizing that citizens have busy lives, and that paying property taxes may not be everyone's favorite civic responsibility,
Stearns County makes paying taxes as easy and convenient as possible. Citizens and businesses can look up and print their property information, pay their property taxes online, and register for electronic delivery of property tax information. They can also receive payment due reminders, via e-mail or text message, prior to property tax due dates. Stearns County was the first county in Minnesota to provide electronic copies of property tax statements and notices combined with a pro-active payment due notification service. Our live chat feature allows citizens to ask questions, or chat, with staff online while they're on our website to get one-on-one assistance and information.
The County's comprehensive suite of online tax services reduces costs. Less staff time is needed compared with the manual process of mailing property tax statements, processing incoming payments, and answering questions. It also results in improved service for our residents. Citizens have busy lives and they aren't always able to work within the County's normal business hours of 8:00-4:30. Online services also reduce waste. Providing electronic tax related documents and online payment services cuts paper use and is environmentally responsible.
The Center for Digital Government recognized Stearns County's Online Property Tax Services as an example of innovative technology leadership in government and excellent citizen service.
The County's website is co.stearns.mn.us.