MANATEE -- The Manatee County tax collector said Wednesday his office will be among the first in the state to offer customers a way to view information on their smartphones with a new app.
"In Florida, I don't think there's anybody else" doing it, said Tax Collector Ken Burton Jr., who presciently snapped up the website moniker taxcollector.com in 1994.
"Our user-friendly application is an extension of some of our most popular features on our website," he said.
The application pulls from existing information, such as frequently asked questions, customer information, wait times and contacts, he said.
The mobile application offers direct links to an online payment system for those who would like to pay via their mobile device.
Information available via the app includes media releases, lobby wait times, links to online payments, maps and locations for all offices and the ability to contact the office from a one-touch call button.
"We're down in the trenches with the public every day," said Burton. "We have quite a few people that frequent our office, and this is just another way of communicating with them to help them get it right the first time by having information right there on their phones.
"We look at our statistics on visitors, and are seeing a growing number of mobile users visiting our website," he said.
The Manatee Tax Col
lector's mobile application is available for the iOS and Android devices.
Burton said his next high-tech venture will be a complete revamp of the office website during the next couple of years.
Brian Prete, president of Empire Computer Services, a Bradenton sales, repair and service company, said: "Personally, my property taxes are paid through my mortgage company, and outside of getting a driver's license, I don't think I have too much to do with them."
However, Prete said he discovered a tax collector's office about 500 feet from his house of which he was completely unaware.
"So I think location awareness would be pretty cool," Prete said.
Sara Kennedy, Herald reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7031. Follow her on Twitter @sarawrites.