County tests online tax filing

Residents in a Washington State county 25 miles north of Seattle will try on some electronic government this fall to see if it fits.

The Snohomish County assessor's office will unveil a pilot project allowing a test group of businesses to file personal property information online. It's the county's first step in e-government, according to officials there.

According to Assessor Gail Rauch, participation in the pilot project is voluntary. It is being tested from September through November. "We're going to test the waters to see if taxpayers are willing to use it," she said. "If they don't, then it's not worth having it."

Colin Bottem, the county's director of information services, said Snohomish County would explore other e-government and e-commerce applications depending on the success of this pilot project. Other possibilities include electronic submission of court documents and tax payments through the Internet.

The county government has a Web site (www.co.snohomish.wa.us), but Bottem said it only provides information.

Snohomish County, which has a population of 580,000, is partnering with TranSenda International, a Redmond, Wash.,-based software company, for the pilot project.

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