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Manatron brings Washington state first to Snohomish County: Portage-based Manatron Inc., developer of property tax and records management software for state and local governments, announced that Snohomish County, Wash. is the first county in the state to offer electronic real estate excise tax processing. The county recently implemented Manatron’s eREET software system across its assessor, treasurer, and auditor-recorder offices. In Washington, before a property is bought or sold, excise tax must be collected. Although this “excise tax” is unique to Washington, most states require a similar “transfer tax.” Washington’s three largest counties — King, Snohomish and Pierce — already process about 20 percent of their non-excise recording documents electronically. However, the electronic processing of other conveyance documents, such as deeds and titles, wasn’t possible until now because the counties didn’t have the “cross-department” systems in place to accept the excise documents electronically. Snohomish County’s auditor, assessor and rreasurer, who all use Manatron software, asked the company to develop a new software application — essentially a “bridge” between the three county offices — to electronically process conveyance documents such as deeds, and in turn, the appropriate excise tax. Development took nearly a year, but Snohomish County now has the ability to electronically accept documents that contain excise tax, transmit and process the ‘package’ in the appropriate treasurer and assessor areas, and route it electronically to the auditor-recorder to complete the transaction. County officials expect the total number of electronic processing will increase from 20 percent to 50 percent during the next few years. The benefits of electronic processing are numerous, for both the county and the customer. When the county is able to process more documentation electronically, it saves a significant amount of money on postage, paper, printing and handling, while reducing its environmental footprint. Reduced county budgets allow fewer staff to complete daily tasks in a more efficient and timely manner. For title companies, electronic processing allows them to save on document couriers in addition to paper handling. Moreover, for the homebuyer waiting for his or her keys, electronic processing is a more efficient means for processing paperwork, resulting in a faster turnaround for a complete sale and move-in date. With Snohomish County’s system in place, Manatron is working with many of its other Washington county customers to implement similar eREET processing systems. Manatron, a privately held company and an investment of private equity firm Thoma Bravo, LLC, provides software and services for state and local governments to completely, fairly and efficiently assess real and personal property, and to bill and collect the related property taxes in their jurisdictions. Manatron serves more than 1,500 customers and manages approximately 40 million parcels, and over the past 40 years has helped government jurisdictions collect over one trillion dollars in revenue. More at www.manatron.com.