Located on the eastern bank of the Mississippi River, Quincy is Illinois’ “Gem City.” For nearly 200 years, this remarkable community has served as a major crossroads of the midwest due to its central location along the river. While Quincy’s past is alive through its well-maintained historical districts and amenities, its future is bright. A bustling hospitality trade serves as one of the town’s main economic drivers, as Quincy is home to a delightful array of eateries, breweries, and wineries.
Recognizing its growing popularity as a must-stop spot along the mighty Mississippi, Quincy’s leaders wanted to ensure that their community continued to prosper and shine bright as the jewel of the region for years to come.
Dr. Linda Moore, Quincy’s much-beloved treasurer, wants the City to work as hard for its residents as possible, which requires a steady stream of funds to support key activities. Her goal is to achieve predictable revenue flow that is equitable for the business community, yet she knew there were significant revenue leaks particularly in the hospitality sector.
New business models had moved into the city, such as short-term vacation rentals from providers such as Airbnb, HomeAway, Vrbo, and dozens of other rental platforms. Like many municipalities, Quincy lacked a system and the time to conduct comprehensive revenue audits. Without that, they couldn’t discover how much money Quincy was losing through unpaid taxes, identify which hosts failed to remit, or even understand how many vacation rentals existed within its borders. In addition to short-term rentals, Moore needed help implementing a new food and beverage tax that required educating taxpayers as well as registering and collecting from over 380 establishments. The situation was decidedly daunting for Moore and her team.
“We knew we needed a company with experience and convenient, cost-effective solutions,” said Moore. Her team vetted an array of revenue-review providers but really wanted a true partner.
With more than 25 years of dedicated service to municipalities, Azavar brought the local-government bona fides that Quincy wanted, plus the bottom-line results its budget needed. “I knew what Azavar had done for other cities, and the company was willing to be our partner in recovering lost revenue streams and identifying new opportunities,” reflects Moore. So Azavar got to work.
The revenue-review team from Azavar helped Quincy understand where it was losing out and how to tackle slippage. In fact, within a few months, Azavar worked with Quincy to eliminate ambiguities in its short-term rental ordinance that were really adding up. In addition to the $70,000 recovered through our cable revenue review, our team recovered nearly $21,000 in missing hotel-motel and short-term rental taxes due to Quincy—a boost of 2% in hospitality tax revenues.
But more than just collecting on taxes in arrears, Moore wanted to offer Quincy businesses a more convenient, cost-effective way to remit taxes that worked for them—and the City.
Azavar’s software partner, Localgov, is a cloud-based remittance platform that helps administer taxes and fees. For businesses, Localgov is simply a secure, consumer-style filing & payment solution that allows them to manage accounts, pay via credit, debit, or ACH, and avoid waiting in line or paying late fees. For finance departments, Localgov offers almost instant access to funds, flexible data-modeling tools, and less reliance on employee time.
As a historic city, Quincy is fond of looking to its past. And with Azavar’s analytical acumen, taking a moment to examine historical trends and gaps paid off handsomely with a deep-dive revenue review. But Moore and her team also have an eye on tomorrow. Her team needed a future-looking partner with capabilities that enhance the City’s bottom line and enhance the business experience, too.
It’s this one-two punch that Azavar, combined with Localgov, offered Moore’s finance team. Together, Azavar and Localgov provided the “experience, knowledge, and commitment to service that made it possible for us to find new revenue that we could not have found on our own,” says Moore.
We thank Quincy for the opportunity.
Our team would love to talk with your municipality about how Localgov can benefit your short-term rental hosts this season—and beyond. It’s easy to get started. Schedule a personalized demo at your leisure.
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Because Localgov streamlines tax filing & payment, office staff can migrate to higher-value tasks or programs.
Full analysis of the short-term rental market, plus an automated filing & payment platform, means that hosts are remitting an additional $21K in taxes.
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