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Hubbard County dumping new tax assessment software; will lose $200,000

Like a gambler dealt a bad poker hand, Hubbard County will leave $200,000 on the table Tuesday and walk away from its new property recording, billing and tax assessment software.

County board members will discuss suing Manatron, the Michigan-based company that promised to streamline its tax assessment records and never delivered on promises, county coordinator Jack Paul said.

The county has become increasingly frustrated with the company, which has not responded to numerous Enterprise inquiries about its program - or to county officials who paid Manatron $200,000 to get the software up and running.

Hubbard County purchased the software with a consortium of other counties through Minnesota Counties Computer Cooperative. It was supposed to have been operational in 2008. The county has hired outside experts to help get the program launched, but it has not performed to expectations, Paul said.

Commissioners say the company has never fulfilled its contractual obligations.

"It's crunch time and we've gotta get things out now that are correct so we're gonna go back to ACS," Paul said of the county's old tax software. "We've got tax statements to print and mail."

For more on the story, pick up a copy of Wednesday's Park Rapids Enterprise.