SANTA CLARA COUNTY, CALIF. — This week, the County of Santa Clara Department of Revenue (DOR) announced it is extending business hours to the public from 7:30 a.m. until 7:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. This is an expanded schedule beyond the previous hours of 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and comes after extensive research, a pilot program, and discussion to formulate a plan that is responsive to public needs, improves efficiency, and is positive for employees.
The availability of early morning and evening hours will improve customer service by providing a time before and after normal business hours when clients can come to discuss their accounts, ask questions, and make payments related to fines imposed by the Courts and to bills owed to County agencies such as Valley Medical Center. It is also expected that collections will improve due to an expanded time frame for making contact with the public.
“Our goal is to make it more convenient for residents to conduct business with the County,” said County of Santa Clara County Executive Jeffrey V. Smith. “This change will improve our customer service and it is one of many changes underway throughout the organization.”
The County of Santa Clara Department of Revenue provides agencies and departments within the County with professional billing and collection services. Services include the explanation of client charges, negotiation of payment arrangements, delinquent noticing, collection pursuit through client follow-up, small claims action and lawsuits, as well as accounting and distribution of revenue collected to appropriate funds and entities. Accounts may include a wide range of charges, from money owed for using the public hospital, to fines or restitution imposed by a judge, such as penalties related to traffic violations, driving under the influence, or fees from Family Court services.
Annually, approximately 113,000 people make payments through the Department of Revenue services. The office processes nearly 356,000 payments, amounting to $79M annual revenue which is collected and distributed to the appropriate agencies or departments that provide a myriad of County, city and state government services.
“Extended service hours are clearly helpful to many clients who are unable to visit or make calls during the normal 8-to-5 work day. When we extended hours on a trial basis, many clients expressed relief and appreciation for having after-hour access to services,” said Susan Ping Wong, Director of Revenue Collection for the County of Santa Clara. “This is also a definite plus for the office, because the extra hours allow our collection services staff to reach more residents by phone, after the end of the work day.”
Clients can pay by mail and in person. A drop-box for non-cash payments is located by Building 2 of the Berger Drive Government Service Center for the convenience of those making payments outside business hours. An interactive voice-response telephone system is also available to assist clients with information about the office and particular accounts 24 hours a day, 7 days a week in either English or Spanish (1-877-729-4773). Information available includes the office hours, payment options, directions to the office, mailing address and a list of holidays when the office is closed. Clients may also verify their last payment received, account balance and the amount and due date of their next payment.
County of Santa Clara
Department of Revenue
County Government Service Center
1555 Berger Drive, Building 2, San José
Monday – Friday 7:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. (last payment at 6:45 p.m.)
Media Contact: Gwendolyn Mitchell/Shirley Zackor, Office of Public Affairs(408) 299-5119; Susan Ping Wong, Director, Revenue Collection(408) 282-3152
Posted: September 10, 2012