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New system for cities, counties to access financial information

By submitted, 07/14/20 9:47 AM

LITTLE ROCK – Cities and counties who obtain monetary distributions from the Treasurer of State’s office will now enjoy a more streamlined, efficient and cost-saving platform on which to access information about those distributions.

“In keeping with my tradition of innovation in the Treasurer’s office, I had my team develop a new software system that notifies cities and counties of the amount of their monthly fiscal distributions in a secure and timely way,” Treasurer Dennis Milligan said. “Now, officials don’t have to wait to get that information in the mail; it’s instantly right at their fingertips.”

The Treasury’s Local Government Services division is responsible for distributing County and Municipal Aid funds (commonly known as turnback funds) to the state’s 75 counties, as well as City and County Sales and Use Taxes to the state’s 501 incorporated cities.

In the past, the Treasury would mail out letters to the cities and counties, notifying them of how much money they would be receiving in County and Municipal Aid funds or City and County Sales and Use Taxes. The postage fee for mailing distributions previously cost the Treasury around $22,000 per year. The new electronic system was developed by the Treasury internally at no additional cost to taxpayers.

“Having an updated online portal from which officials can obtain real-time information will not only cut back on postage but allows city and county officials access to a more efficient system,” Milligan said.

While all distribution information is uploaded to the Treasury’s main website, www.artreasury.gov, cities and counties will be able to gather more detailed and private information on their specific funds using the new portal system.

To use it, county treasurers and city officials register on the Treasury’s secure portal. They are then sent an email notifying them each time a distribution is being made to their municipality.

The Treasury sends out an average of $1.5 billion annually in distributions to cities and counties, which rely on the funds for a variety of improvement projects or tax designations determined by voters.