Brian Seals is the Taxpayer Services Supervisor for the City of Lakewood in Colorado. He has been employed by Lakewood since 2008 and has held various positions within the Revenue Division before being promoted to supervisor in 2015.
Brian earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Speech Communication in 2005 from Berea College in Berea, Kentucky. Upon graduation, he worked in the banking industry as a front line employee and provided loan services. In 2006, he moved to Hawaii where he was employed as an administrator who coordinated special events and fundraisers for a non-profit organization.
The City of Lakewood began restructuring their tax collection process in 2010. At this time, Lakewood employees were responsible for opening all mail, separating returns and payments, batching payments, performing return data entry, and finally scanning all return items. The City of Lakewood partnered with UMB bank to process returns and payments while providing scanned images for data entry use.
In 2013, the City of Lakewood moved from a 1980’s based DOS system to a new cloud based software provider and expanded the partnership with UMB. Brian was a project manager working directly with the bank and system software developers on the implementation to create a working relationship that streamlined the ability for Lakewood to process their tax returns. Today, Lakewood receives electronic files that automatically upload to their system and are only reviewed by employees if a filing error exists. Additionally, due to online filing, Lakewood no longer provides paper return forms. In 2016, nearly 80% of all returns were filed online.
Despite the success of the new return processing procedure, Brian and the City of Lakewood are pursuing additional areas of improvement. Many annual filers are resistant to online filing and are hesitant to embrace new technologies. How do we influence these resistant filers? Online filing has reduced the amount of filing errors and shifted the workflow from data entry to account analysis. How do we more efficiently review and collect on delinquent accounts?