We partnered to design and test if new property tax notices could improve payments.
The Maxwell X Lab recently partnered with the City of Syracuse to test whether courtesy notices for overdue property tax bills would impact payments. The notices simplified typical communication: the letters made salient payment options, future penalties and interest, and how the payments are used. One-third of the notices also included a personalized handwritten note on the outside of the envelope. Property owners who received the courtesy notice + envelope for late taxes (2017-18) were 11 percent more likely to pay and paid 11 percent more of their bill, on average . In dollar terms, the notice + envelope paid on average $82 (50%) more than the control ($164). Between both trials, the courtesy notices brought in at least an additional $1.47 million to the City.