Raising Revenue in a ‘No New Taxes’ World

The Role of the Tax Collector

By Joseph W. Lazzaro

Most agree consolidated earned income tax collection has been a resounding success in Pennsylvania. Municipalities now secure more money than under the old disjointed system of four years ago.

Pennsylvania’s Act 32 introduced uniformity, advanced the technology and set best practice standards for local tax collection. Municipal tax administrators must finally meet expectations to collect and disburse taxes with speed and accountability. The new rules resulted in reliable revenue streams for local governments.

Even so, many communities still face enormous pressure to fund growing demands for services. Residents want their public officials to provide them with a higher quality of living—and elected officials try to find a way to pay for it without raising taxes.

A top tax collector is indispensable to meeting these demands.

Keystone Collections Group brings nearly three decades of experience and innovation to the hundreds of municipalities and schools it serves under Act 32. Keystone’s technologies meet both the demands of the law and the expectations of the communities for higher revenue, faster disbursement and transparent accounting.

Initial transition to Keystone’s protocols results in a significant bump in revenues. Keystone keeps the money flowing at high levels by continually upgrading its customized data-management systems to maximize collections.

Keystone’s technology does more than collect current income taxes. It enforces withholding compliance on businesses and audits individual taxpayers. This results in huge delinquent recoveries for cities, townships, boroughs and schools. Whether those missing dollars were intended to be used to fund pension plans, improve education, or pay for police cars and fire trucks, the recovered taxes are being returned to the coffers of the communities where they belong.

As a collector for major metropolitan areas, mid-sized communities and rural locations, Keystone recognizes the common challenges municipal officials face, as well as the varying issues unique to each.

Along with technological innovations, Keystone provides highly trained professionals who bring the proper skills and talents for collecting, recovering, and distributing tax revenues with ever-increasing efficiency (low cost). The human element is the true key to Keystone’s success.

Keystone trains its team of taxpayer services agents to work with taxpayers in a firm yet fair manner so they can pay the taxes they owe. Likewise, Keystone’s business compliance team consistently identifies non-compliant employers and contacts them directly to recover back taxes and make sure they are withholding correctly so the revenue stream keeps flowing.

Keystone offers online filing and payment options for both individuals and businesses. The web-based systems are easy, fast and secure.

With online convenience, Keystone is the go-to leader for earned income, local service, real estate, per capita, business privilege and utility taxes.

Only Keystone has a legal team dedicated to recovering delinquent taxes in all of these arenas.

To use this expertise productively, Keystone is committed to IT, attracting and building a diverse team of technology experts to develop system applications that not only collect taxes better, but also make payment easy and reporting clear—all for the benefit of the municipal manager.

Keystone is your partner for meeting the needs of local government: Higher revenues at lower cost.

Joseph W. Lazzaro is Vice President and General Counsel of Keystone Collections Group. He is also President of the Westmoreland County Bar Association.