What is the Vermont Property Information Exchange (VTPIE)?
The Integrated Property Tax Management System (IPTMS) name is being retired. After months of input from towns and staff, we have updated the name to Vermont Property Information Exchange (VTPIE).
Towns will still host their own Computer Assisted Mass Appraisal System (CAMA), as well as any billing/collections software they choose to use. VTPIE will be the sole place for the exchange of information between Property Valuation and Review (PVR) and the towns for collecting the grand list and all other functions related to the education property tax system and the equalization study. It will also replace the internal PVR databases and file exchange processes.
How will the new VTPIE contract affect the State’s contract with NEMRC?
The Department of Taxes sends this communication to clarify the Department’s role in payments you may make to New England Municipal Resource Center (NEMRC). We have received questions from municipal officials about invoices and bills received from NEMRC that are often called “annual support agreements,” “software support agreements,” or “annual support contract”.
NEMRC has a contract with the State of Vermont to provide certain services; specifically the Listing Program, which provides Grand List and Tax Administration processing. The current contract also allows towns to directly contract with NEMRC for the Computer Assisted Mass Appraisal (CAMA) system, as towns can use whatever CAMA system works best for their municipality.
However, NEMRC may not invoice towns for work performed by NEMRC for the State. The work you may be billed for should be work you requested, and no payment is required to take advantage of any service provided by NEMRC to fulfill its contract with the State. You may still utilize these services whether or not you pay support agreement payments to NEMRC for other services.
Fees you pay to NEMRC should only be for services you have purchased from NEMRC, such as support services, appraisal services, and other modules beyond the Grand List.
As you know, we are in the process of rolling out our new Vermont Property Information Exchange (VTPIE) system, which will replace the existing Grand List Software and file exchange processes currently in place to facilitate the administration of the statewide education property tax system. The state has contracted directly with Axiomatic LLC to host this system, at no cost to towns. The state will cease contracting with NEMRC for any state-hosted services as of July 2023. Once fully deployed, the new VTPIE solution will be the sole system used by municipalities for their Grand List operations.
Municipalities continue to be responsible for hosting their local CAMA program. To facilitate ease of use between the two systems, we are working directly with CAMA vendors to agree on technical requirements they must meet to successfully serve a Vermont municipality in this data exchange.
Do I have to find a new system to replace NEMRC's other modules?
No, the new statewide Grand List system does NOT impact the other services that the current vendor, NEMRC, provides. NEMRC offers a variety of services to towns which will continue uninterrupted. The new Grand List system will interact with existing systems, such as whatever towns use for tax billing, accounting, and computer assisted mass appraisal.
NEMRC will continue to host and support their suite of programs. Towns currently contract directly with NEMRC for those and many other municipal services, and this contract does nothing to negate or change those contracts. The state’s Grand List software will be configured to transmit tax rate and exemption and Current Use data, for example, to each town’s billing, collection and administration modules.
Towns need Help Desk Support and Training. How will that change?
The Division of Property Valuation and Review (PVR) will continue to support towns through our Help Desk and District Advisor model. A key component of the contract with the Axiomatic is significant training and expanded help desk hours. In addition, Axiomatic will be required to hold multiple in-person and ongoing training opportunities.
What about our CAMA (Computer Assisted Mass Appraisal) program?
Towns may continue to use the CAMA vendor of their choice. Every CAMA vendor doing business in Vermont will have the technical specifications needed to integrate with the new Property Tax Management System.
What will this cost the towns?
Towns will not be charged to use the State's Grand List software. Training and IT support are covered under the state contract. Towns will no longer be billed for trainings related to the system, and help desk and phone support will be available to towns free of charge.
When can towns expect to get a demonstration of the new system?
PVR will continue to will host multiple demonstrations, and will provide the ability to participate virtually, or to access a recorded version at any time.
Are towns required to use the new system?
Yes, all towns will need to use this state-provided software to communicate with the Department of Taxes for the purpose of maintaining the statewide education grand list and administering the statewide education property tax system. A requirement of this software will be to interface with the various appraisal and accounting software systems that town use and pay for directly. Towns will be provided with the software and training to carry out this work at no charge. Once fully deployed, the new VTPIE solution will be the sole system used by municipalities for their Grand List operations.
What if towns use other vendors for Tax Administration and other non-property municipal software?
PVR and Axiomatic continue to collaborate with vendors of municipal service software to provide as automated, efficient, and easy-to-use exchange of data as possible.
What is the new system called?
Axiomatic's software program is called PropTax. PVR is going to work with towns to come up with the Vermont version of the system. Got an idea? Let us know.
How much will this cost the state?
The total cost of the five-year project contract is $2.26 million. This software is part of the Department of Taxes budget and will not be charged to towns. According to the Independent Review conducted by the State's Agency of Digital Services, this contract actually provides long term annual savings compared to the existing structure, with significantly increased functionality.
Why did you select this vendor?
The final selection is a result of a rigorous evaluation process. Throughout this project the department solicited involvement and input from local officials. An independent review of the system also anticipates increased accuracy, improved customer service, greater system reliability, data security and privacy.
Who is Axiomatic?
Axiomatic LLC is a national company based in New Hampshire, with strong client bases in the region. They have a wide range of customers in all levels of government, corporate and non-profits. They were founded in 2014 as a wholly owned New Hampshire Limited Liability Company (LLC) specifically to serve the software and consulting needs of property tax oversight agencies. Axiomatic’s principals hold memberships in numerous professional organizations, including the International Association of Assessing Officers, the Federation of Tax Administrators, and the Urban and Regional Information Systems Association. Axiomatic is committed to building the state property tax community nationwide to promote best practices and facilitate communication among industry professionals.
Learn more about Axiomatic LLC.
How can towns participate in developing the new program?
A Municipal Review Committee (MRC) has been assembled from volunteer municipalities to help advise and guide the development of the system solution from the perspective of the towns. There is a range of town sizes, CAMA systems, and other attributes that will ensure representation of various issues. The MRC will be early adopters, as well as an early warning system for problems or complications that will need town input to resolve. The MRC members will also serve as resources for other town and regional officials in helping to communicate progress and solicit feedback as the development and testing proceeds.
PVR and Axiomatic will continue to participate in presentations, discussions, feedback sessions and ongoing discussions with towns throughout the process of adopting a new system. Town voices are key to the success of this project. Please share your thoughts with us.