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2 min read

$45K in additional local revenue after a compliance audit

By Azavar Local Revenue Team on Jun 15, 2021 11:52:22 AM

Learn how we're bringing revenue home to Chino Hills, California

Southern California’s Chino Hills community is tucked at the base of the San Gabriel Mountains. This area has experienced explosive population growth over the past 20 years and now boasts a population of nearly 84,000. Local leaders need more funds to keep up with expansion.

Topics: utility tax revenue review compliance audit California audit results
2 min read

Azavar reviews tax compliance for Chesterfield, Missouri

By Azavar Sales Team on May 25, 2021 11:50:33 AM

New customer announcement

Chesterfield, Missouri is a peaceful and picturesque community tucked south of the Missouri River and to the west of St. Louis. With a stable population of nearly 50,000, Chesterfield is looking to maintain a steady budget while consistently improving quality of services for its residents.

Topics: revenue review client news Illinois Missouri local revenue compliance audit
2 min read

Federal Aid & Local Government in 2021

By Shylo Bisnett on Apr 20, 2021 10:03:31 AM

A wrap-up of recent posts on this critical issue

At Azavar, we’ve been a partner to local governments for 25 years, helping grow incremental revenue, stabilize revenue, and stay on top of changing market conditions, from short-term rentals to cable cord-cutting. But the pandemic has sharpened our focus to helping connect municipalities with the funding it needs for the most critical services.

Topics: local government covid-19 federal government disaster relief funds FEMA
2 min read

Helping Morgan City, Louisiana Ensure Tax Compliance

By Ted Kamel on Apr 19, 2021 11:15:25 AM

We are excited to announce our newest customer, Morgan City, Louisiana. This community is proud of its location “right in the middle of everywhere”—almost equidistant between New Orleans, Lafayette, and Baton Rouge—and we are proud to help Morgan City take control of its finances through a series of comprehensive compliance audits. 

Topics: revenue review client news Louisiana tax compliance local revenue
1 min read

Celebrate Blue & Green Day

By Shylo Bisnett on Apr 16, 2021 12:07:38 PM

Learn more and get involved

Today is Blue & Green Day, a part of California’s Donate Life Month. This celebration recognizes the vital role of organ, eye, and tissue donors.

Topics: public service announcement
1 min read

Texas cities take control of local revenue

By Shylo Bisnett on Apr 8, 2021 8:19:15 AM

All across the Lone Star State, we are proud to help more and more municipalities review revenue, ensure tax compliance, and stabilize their long-term revenue picture.

Topics: Texas revenue review client news hotel-motel tax short-term rental local revenue
2 min read

New Customer: Issaquah, Washington

By Tom Fagan on Apr 8, 2021 6:14:53 AM

Welcome to the Azavar Family

For local governments, it’s always been important to have a consistent flow of revenue to ensure stable finances. But with so much economic uncertainty, all communities should take a second look at revenue.

Topics: revenue review client news Washington local revenue
4 min read

Local Economic Recovery Spurred by Sales-Tax Revenue

By Shylo Bisnett on Apr 5, 2021 1:44:23 PM

During the past year, many of our customers have seen revenue from sales taxes, food-and-beverage taxes, hotel-motel taxes, and other fees slow to a trickle.

But soon, Americans are going to be vaxxing and relaxing—and spending, too.

Topics: covid-19 localgov economy revenue review local revenue
1 min read

New Customer: Chandler, Texas

By Ted Kamel on Apr 2, 2021 10:51:40 AM

Congratulations on taking control of your local-revenue picture

Local governments must consistently demonstrate that they are being prudent with revenue. That’s why it’s so important to make sure that every penny is is actually coming in to community coffers, funding critical needs as well as amenities. 

Topics: Texas revenue review client news local revenue
3 min read

Can vaccine tourism boost local revenue?

By Shylo Bisnett on Apr 1, 2021 10:45:32 AM

Exurban, rural communities say yes

Many local governments across the country have experienced devastating losses due to COVID-fueled lockdowns. Vaccination rates are growing rapidly, but in urban centers it can still be a Sisyphean effort to get jabbed. 

Topics: local government covid-19 client news Illinois New York local revenue tourism
2 min read

Cord-cutting leads to falling cable taxes, states to take action

By Shylo Bisnett on Mar 31, 2021 9:53:10 AM

In just 2020 alone, more than six million Americans nixed cable service in favor of getting content from a streaming platform. Some of the reasons include a desire to save on the cost of a costly cable package, lack of interest in much of what cable offers, and increased content quality from competitors.

Topics: local government utility tax local budgets cable tax
2 min read

Keep Tabs On the Short-Term Rental Market

By Shylo Bisnett on Mar 23, 2021 10:59:30 AM

The short-term rental market is always changing, but it's hard to stay up to date

One of our staffers was scrolling through Instagram the other day and was struck by the sheer number of ads for travel. Almost every ad was for some kind of bed-and-breakfast, outdoor adventure experience, glampground, big-name short-term rental service, etc.

Topics: local government short-term rental tax compliance
2 min read

The ARP Offers Critical Local Government Funding

By Shylo Bisnett on Mar 15, 2021 12:22:56 PM

Throughout our history as a company, we know how dependent state and local governments are for revenue through various sources, from sales tax to hospitality tax, and beyond.

Topics: covid-19 cares act federal government local budgets American Rescue Plan
2 min read

Small Businesses & COVID Aid

By Shylo Bisnett on Feb 23, 2021 10:10:02 AM

Changes in assistance programs start February 24

Starting this Wednesday, the Biden Administration is limiting applications for the Paycheck Protection Program exclusively to businesses with fewer than 20 employees. This small-business-only period will last for 14 days  and allow lenders to focus on the needs of these businesses, which comprise 98% of small businesses.

Topics: local government covid-19 small business PPP
2 min read

New Customer! Bedford, Texas

By Ted Kamel on Feb 23, 2021 8:00:00 AM

We're excited to get started with our latest new customer

We’re excited to offer that keen insight and real dollars to our new customer, Bedford, Texas, through a series of in-depth revenue reviews and short-term rental administration.

Topics: local government Texas revenue review client news
1 min read

Black History Spotlight: Lelia Foley-Davis

By Shylo Bisnett on Feb 19, 2021 10:02:13 AM

During this Black History Month, we are taking time to honor the contributions of Black civic leaders. These spectacular public servants have shaped the American experience in remarkable ways and sharing their stories is important to us at Azavar.

2 min read

FEMA Update: Feeding Your Community

By Shylo Bisnett on Feb 18, 2021 10:06:27 AM

Increased FEMA reimbursements are a lifeline for local restaurants and hungry residents

During natural disasters, World Central Kitchens, led by chef/humanitarian José Andrés, partners with local restaurants in impacted areas to create fresh meals for hungry folks. For more than a decade, WCK has shown up offering meals to National Guard members during the Inauguration, the bombing in Beirut, and Texas during Hurricane Laura. And that's just in the past year.

Topics: covid-19 disaster relief funds FEMA
2 min read

New Customer Alert: Calumet Park, Illinois

By Tom Fagan on Feb 18, 2021 9:47:27 AM

We’re excited to help

At Azavar, we always encourage communities to take a keen eye to its revenue receipts. Whether you’re talking about hotel-motel or sales taxes, franchise or short-term rental fees, it’s important to do stay on top of what’s coming into your community coffers. But it’s so hard for finance teams to find the time and resources to conduct in-depth revenue reviews.

That’s why we’re excited to partner with Calumet Park, Illinois to review this city’s hotel-motel taxes. 

Topics: local government revenue review client news Illinois
2 min read

Black History Spotlight: Harold Washington

By Shylo Bisnett on Feb 11, 2021 12:46:15 PM

During this Black History Month, we are taking time to honor the contributions of Black civic leaders. These spectacular public servants have shaped the American experience in remarkable ways and sharing their stories is important to us at Azavar.

Chicago's First Black Mayor
Harold Washington
(1922-1987)

Harold Washington was Chicago’s 51st mayor, but in 1983, became its first Black mayor. 

Topics: local leadership Illinois Black History Month
1 min read

Black History Spotlight: Pierre Caliste Landry

By Shylo Bisnett on Feb 5, 2021 6:55:24 AM

During this Black History Month, we are taking time to honor the contributions of Black civic leaders. These spectacular public servants have shaped the American experience in remarkable ways and sharing their stories is important to us at Azavar.

Topics: local leadership Louisiana Black History Month
1 min read

National Chocolate Cake Day

By Shylo Bisnett on Jan 27, 2021 2:07:36 PM

January 27 is National Chocolate Cake Day!

Pretty much everyone loves chocolate cake, right? Sinking your teeth into a decadent slice of moist cake slathered in the frosting of your choice … it really doesn’t get much better than that.

Treat yourself to a slice (or two) of chocolate cake from your favorite local bakery today. It’s a great moment of self care, and helps support small businesses. And we all know that Main Street businesses can use every penny right now.

Topics: utility tax revenue review
1 min read

New Azavar Customer: Palmview, Texas

By Ted Kamel on Jan 26, 2021 9:07:30 AM

Welcome to the Azavar Family

More than ever, local governments need to make sure they’re getting what their due via existing taxes and fees. Azavar is excited to help Palmview with a thorough examination of its franchise fees and sales-tax receipts. Because when city finances are strong, cities are strong.

Topics: Sales Tax Texas franchise fee revenue review client news
2 min read

Another Great New Customer: Lafayette Consolidated Government

By Ted Kamel on Jan 18, 2021 8:24:14 AM

Lafayette Consolidated Government

We are incredibly excited to welcome the Lafayette Consolidated Government to the Azavar family of customer. This entity oversees administration of Lafayette Parish, the City of Lafayette, and select other areas through an intergovernmental agreement.

Topics: franchise fee client news Louisiana
1 min read

True Transparency for College Place, Washington

By Shylo Bisnett on Jan 14, 2021 1:30:10 PM

We’re helping College Place, Washington make sure they’re on track

Our clients always want to make sure they have a handle on what’s going on with their receivables. But rarely do municipalities have the time or resources in house to do the kind of frequent, comprehensive revenue reviews to really make sure. That’s what was going on with College Place, Washington.

Download the full case study today and share with your team.

Topics: Sales Tax revenue review Washington
1 min read

New Customer Announcement: Mount Pocono, Pennsylvania

By Tom Fagan on Jan 13, 2021 9:20:46 AM

Mount Pocono, Pennsylvania

We are excited to welcome this community to our roster of customers. Tucked in the northeast corner of Pennsylvania, Mount Pocono is part of the Poconos Mountains region known around the world for scenery, recreation, and restoration.

Topics: franchise fee revenue review client news Pennsylvania
2 min read

Save On Municipal Utility Costs

By Shylo Bisnett on Jan 10, 2021 1:00:00 PM

Editor's Note, March 2021: We ran this piece a few months ago and we're hearing from many local leaders who are taking action based on these recommendations. Have you examined your utility payables yet? Our team of experts can help.

It’s time to scrutinize everything—receivables and payables

Many consumers have grown accustomed to frequently searching for better deals on utilities, from cable to electric to phone. But how often do municipalities do the same? However, local governments can experience significant savings from switching.

“Often, local leaders just don’t know how much they stand to save,” says Mordecai Benson, Azavar analyst. “But the results can be significant.”

Here are just a few of the ways Azavar has helped local governments reclaim real dollars on behalf of their residents:

Topics: Texas utility costs local budgets Illinois payables
6 min read

Local Leaders: Resolutions for a New Year

By Shylo Bisnett on Dec 22, 2020 8:21:31 AM

Onward, 2021. Let’s look at some predictions and plans for what’s next.

To say that 2020 was an annus horribilis (that’s “horrible year” in Latin) is just a vast understatement. But we’re looking ahead to 2021 to be a wonderful year of recovery and rebuilding, powered by access to an affordable vaccine, unprecedented creativity, and the resilience of humanity.

Topics: local leadership covid-19 digitization open data cloud computing revenue review
1 min read

Welcome, Texarkana, Texas!

By Ted Kamel on Dec 21, 2020 10:29:48 AM

Securing and stabilizing revenue

We’re excited to announce that we’ve partnered with Texarkana, Texas on a whole host of revenue reviews.

Topics: Sales Tax revenue review client news hotel-motel tax short-term rental
1 min read

Hello, Mammoth, Arizona!

By Tom Fagan on Dec 21, 2020 10:22:19 AM

Welcome to the Azavar family

We’re excited to work with Mammoth, Arizona’s financial team to make sure this community is getting all the funds it deserves. Our team is eager to analyze Mammoth's franchise-fee remittances, hotel-motel taxes, and more.

Topics: franchise fee revenue review client news hotel-motel tax
1 min read

Recovered: $1 Million in Cable Franchise Fees

By Shylo Bisnett on Dec 14, 2020 7:00:00 AM

Learn how we helped Springfield, Illinois find these funds

Local governments have always had to track down every possible penny. And nowadays? It’s absolutely critical.

Azavar’s team of local government revenue experts partnered with Springfield, Illinois on a comprehensive review and discovered nearly $1 million in uncollected cable franchise fees. That’s not pocket change! Learn all about it here.

Impressed? Set up a time to speak with our team about how we can partner with your municipality. We’ll take a look at your books and get to work for you—with no upfront costs.

Topics: utility tax case study franchise fee revenue review
1 min read

Happy National Lager Day

By Shylo Bisnett on Dec 10, 2020 7:00:00 AM

Enjoy responsibly—by reviewing your food & beverage tax revenues

The hospitality sector’s really taken it in the teeth this year, thanks to COVID. But December 10 is National Lager Day! Pick up some of this classic German beer style at your favorite bar or brewery near you.

Topics: food & beverage tax
1 min read

Welcome, Kingsville, Texas

By Ted Kamel on Dec 9, 2020 11:35:43 AM

We are very excited to welcome this southeast Texas community to our Azavar roster.

Azavar’s team of local-government analysts and experts will work with Kingsville’s finance team on a review of the city’s franchise fees and sales tax. Together, we’ll identify revenue Kingsville can use to support its growing community. 

Topics: Sales Tax Texas franchise fee revenue review client news
2 min read

Spotlight On: Tom Fagan

By Shylo Bisnett on Dec 6, 2020 9:30:00 AM

Senior Analyst and Sales Manager at Azavar

It’s been five years since Tom Fagan joined the Azavar team. And with more than 200 signed municipal partnerships under his belt, he consistently inspires all of us to do more, try harder, and sing louder.

From quite an early age, Tom performed professionally on stage and screen. He’s full of anecdotes from his life treading the boards, and brings that same polish to his work today. In his twenties, Tom made the transition from the actor’s life into hospitality management, then billings/contract management.
Topics: azavar employee spotlight
1 min read

City Hall: A Must-See Documentary

By Shylo Bisnett on Nov 6, 2020 6:20:49 AM

Critics are raving about a new film that explores local government in positive and surprising ways


As a friend to state and local governments, Azavar is always happy to see media portray civic employees as brave, committed, and creative leaders. (Parks & Recreation is one of our favorite shows, of course.)

1 min read

Get that Flu Shot ASAP

By Shylo Bisnett on Nov 4, 2020 6:44:11 AM

A Nudge from Your Favorite Government Technology Provider

It’s flu-shot season! You’ve been reminded, hounded, harped at by partners, friends, doctors, and leaders to get your flu shot this season. But we’re going to do it, too. Get your flu shot already!

Topics: health
2 min read

Supporting the Arts as an Economic Force

By Shylo Bisnett on Oct 14, 2020 3:52:59 PM

How local performing-arts organizations can get economic relief during the pandemic.

Our team of experts at Azavar works closely with a range of municipalities to secure all possible disaster-response funding available, including during the pandemic. We understand that when communities have more funds, that results in direct relief for real people—their jobs, their businesses, their lives.

Topics: disaster relief funds
5 min read

Common Sense Solutions for Revenue, Technology, and Funding During COVID-19

By Scott Shamberg on Oct 12, 2020 2:40:44 PM

May 2021 Note: Since writing this post originally in Oct. 2021, local governments have received aid from the federal government through the American Rescue Plan. We've catalogued all our posts about relief for municipalities, and continue to help customers to secure and manage recovery grants. Let's talk about how our revenue discovery system can help your municipality make long-term investments that benefit your taxpayers.

Topics: covid-19 revenue digitization
5 min read

The Crisis of Uncertainty - How Local Governments Can Survive Our New Normal

By Jason Perry on Oct 7, 2020 5:06:50 PM

Note: April 2021 We first published this piece during the first wave of the pandemic, before any news of a vaccine or substantial federal aid. During this time, Azavar's founder, Jason Perry, remained hopeful that local governments would weather this economic and social storm.

Through programs such as the American Rescue Plan, local governments are receiving support that can turn into short-term stability and long-term strategic investments. Uncertainty is still present, but local governments are more in control of revenue than just a few months ago. However, this piece still has valuable lessons and predictions from a long-time partner to local governments. 

We are all trying to make sense of the current moment, personally, socially, and economically. While we are still at the beginning of what the events of 2020 will mean for society at large, we are starting to discern what the core challenges are—even if we don’t quite see a way to navigate them yet.

As the head of a professional-services firm focused on the needs of local governments, I’m challenged to see this time through the eyes of civic leaders. People like my father, who was a city manager in Illinois, as well as our hundreds of clients. This time presents unique opportunities for local governments and I’ve arrived at a three-prong approach as to how these leaders can take on these issues.

Topics: covid-19 digitization
3 min read

[Checklist] Are You Getting Short-Changed?

By Shylo Bisnett on Oct 5, 2020 6:43:24 PM

Review these tell-tale signs that your municipality is missing out on critical tax revenues—and learn how to fix it fast.

Sometimes, it’s easy to identify a revenue leak. There’s a steady, annoying drip-drip-drip of funds draining away your budget’s potential. But at other times, leaks aren’t quite so obvious. Revenue leaders might suspect there’s a problem but lack the time or resources to do the research needed to identify the source.

Topics: revenue
1 min read

Hello, College Place, Washington

By Shylo Bisnett on Dec 1, 2018 1:26:00 PM

Welcome to the Azavar Family

We are very excited to count this bustling city among our newest clients. Our team of seasoned revenue-review professionals is excited to get to work on behalf of College Place, specifically looking at short-term rental and utility taxes. We can’t wait to bring home the bacon for this town of nearly 9,000.

Topics: Sales Tax revenue review client news short-term rental