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Localgov Client Spotlight

The City of Sesser, Illinois: Insights & Analytics

Jason Ashmore
Mayor of the City of Sesser, Illinois

Jason Ashmore is living proof that Localgov Insights and Analytics is a game changer for local governments and their businesses.

When he was sworn in as mayor of the city of Sesser in southern Illinois about five years ago, he had big plans to turn the city's fortunes around. But first, he needed to get his arms around how local businesses were doing.

When the state provided him with local sales tax data on a CD, it was too hard for Ashmore to sit down and crunch the numbers. The large printouts and binders of information went untouched—not because Ashmore didn't want or need the information to help his community grow, but because he couldn't get his arms around it.

Enter Localgov and Azavar Government Solutions, the online game changer for local governments to track tax receipts and trends.

For the past six months, Ashmore has been able to access all of the information about his local businesses' sales tax performance with just a few mouse clicks. The Localgov team has provided excellent customer service—going through the program over the phone and email, and helping Ashmore create detailed ways to track how local businesses are performing. “They were more than happy to help me,” Ashmore says. “Everything’s right at your fingertips. Anytime you need something, they’re right here for you.”

They were more than happy to help me. Everything’s right at your fingertips. Anytime you need something, they’re right here for you."

Jason Ashmore
Mayor of the City of Sesser, Illinois

And it's literally paying off for Sesser. When one local restaurant that had been in business about a year showed a decline in local sales tax receipts, Ashmore spotted the trend through Localgov and immediately reached out. "Is there something we can do to help you advertise or promote your business?" They put a plan together—taking out local ads, placing newsletter items, doing some advertising and notices at the nearby Rend Lake resort. Sure enough, the extra effort worked and the restaurant's business is back on track.

Ashmore says Localgov is working as advertised. "So far it's doing everything we need it to," Ashmore said. His only recommendation? To expand it to cover other forms of local government tax revenue, such as fuel tax.

Asked if he would recommend Localgov to other communities in Illinois, Ashmore answers emphatically, "110 percent. I'd recommend them.

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Some of the other software vendors said they could produce reports or provide certain features, but when it came down to seeing their demos, they weren't true to their word. When we looked at the Localgov features and reporting, and got to communicate with their staff, that really made the difference because they were willing to work with us. It was great. It really streamlined everything and we were able to get rid of our manual system."

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Benefits for Erie County:

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  • Streamlined process and replaced manual system
  • More jurisdictions want to join the program
  • Taxpayers are happy with Localgov's user-friendly features

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