Technological innovation is advancing in the commercial real estate (CRE) space, providing more opportunities for digitally enabled property tax management. And as real estate valuations continue to climb, so do property taxes, making the need for digitally enabled property tax management more important than ever.
A recent report from Altus, Taking Property Tax Digital, explores the current state of property tax management among CRE companies and how embracing digital solutions can enable proactive, effective management. In this post, I’d like to share my key takeaways on the importance of technology, how it can be leveraged by CRE leaders to optimize the property tax function, and where it’s headed next.
“While proactive management of taxes can add significant value to operations and investments, 75% of CRE executives describe their property tax management as reactive.” Tax as a strategic driver, Altus Group
While taxing jurisdictions may be slower to become digital-first, CRE companies are moving more quickly – and need to. Property tax management is most effective when organizations maintain a digital platform that standardizes and streamlines property tax management processes across different countries, geographic markets, and jurisdictions.
In their report, Altus identified 7 critical functions of a digitally enabled tax platform for managing property tax activities, including:
From the perspective of a tax practitioner, this list is a great start. These features enable collaboration, reduce duplication, and help organizations transition from a reactive to proactive property tax management strategy.
"Commercial real estate owners and occupants need tax information on their portfolios and the marketplace to make fast, informed decisions. Technology combined with reliable data can help provide this." Taking Property Tax Digital, Altus Group
But as property tax data becomes more important across organizations, software needs become more complex. Integrations can’t be limited to, or focused on, payments alone; systems must be integrated wholly between property tax and real estate operations, including accounting. Companies must adopt more sophisticated tools to aid in data collection, workflow management, and business analytics.
Specifically, companies need:
“52% of executives say they lack the tools to analyze property tax information.” Tax as the new strategic driver, Altus Group
Twenty years ago, we started Rethink Solutions because we saw then the importance of using technology to effectively manage property taxes. And we knew software would only become more important as property taxes increased and management became more complex.
Today, we’ve built a leading property tax software trusted by some of the world’s best-known companies. Our clients span industries such as commercial, retail, energy, oil and gas, industrial, multi-family, and mixed use. We’re developing first-in-class technology to streamline data management, capture, and workflow, appeal determination, payment automation, tax liability projections, and more. itamlink is the only software in the industry that enables end-to-end property tax management.
It’s our goal to continually develop and improve our system to make property tax management technology enabled. We aim to free up property tax teams’ time and energy from tedious or manual tasks, enabling them to identify more opportunities, contain costs, and make strategic decisions.
It’s no longer enough to manage property taxes in Excel and paper filing cabinets. To remain competitive, teams need to make the transition to cloud-based, comprehensive enterprise tools and systems. What’s more, property tax tools and systems need to be baked right into the real estate tech stack, given its importance as a significant, manageable expense. Through conversations with users, actively soliciting feedback, and monitoring technology trends and advances, we are continuing to iterate on an innovative, end-to-end system informed by property tax teams.
This post was written by Mordechai Katzman, President of Rethink Solutions. Mordechai has more than 20 years' experience advising firms on property tax management strategy, technology, and processes. He has spoken locally and internationally at events for the International Property Tax Institute (IPTI), Insititute for Professionals in Taxation (IPT), and the Council on State Taxation (COST), to name a few.
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