Q - I finished our tax code setup for the state of Arizona. But I am having an issue with a few cities that have a city level sales tax that are not listed as Arizona cities in Elliott. I just synced my city list this week. The cities that have a city level sales tax that aren't listed as cities in Elliott are:
- Oro Valley
- South Tucson
- Star Valley
What am I missing?
A - Here are the specifics for these five cities in Arizona:
- Guadalupe - Population: 5,523 Zip Code: 85283 Primary City of Zip Code: Tempe
- Oro Valley - Population: 41,011 Zip Codes: 85704, 85737, 85742, 85755 Primary City of Zip Codes: Tucson
- South Tucson - Population: 5,490 Zip Codes: 85713 Primary City of Zip Code: Tucson
- Star Valley - Population: 2,310 Zip Code: 85541 Primary City of Zip Code: Payson
- Tusayan - Population: 558 Zip Code: 86023 Primary City of Zip Code: Grand Canyon
So here is what happens. With the exception of Oro Valley, these five cities are relatively small. As a result, these particular cities are not the primary representative city of their zip code area.
We developed the automatic tax code assign logic based on a zip code database, which can be purchased. This zip code database indicates a primary city of the particular zip code. It is quite possible that a zip code may cover multiple cities. In that case, this database simply shows the “primary” city based on the Census Bureau’s data. For example, the city of Guadalupe’s zip code is 85283. If you go to Elliott Main Menu -> Util-Setup -> Zip Code File, and bring up zip code 85283, it will show the zip is actually “Tempe,” not “Guadalupe.”
We generate our city database based on this zip code database. Because “Guadalupe” does not have a zip code representation in this database due to the fact that their city is so small, the city “Guadalupe” does not exist in our database.
When we auto assign tax codes based on a customer’s address, we look at the zip code to search for the city. Then, from the zip code’s primary city, we look up the city’s tax code, if any. We don’t really use the name of the city that a user might enter in the customer file to match up the city table. This is because of our concerns regarding user data entry consistency in spelling and sometimes abbreviations.
When we originally implemented the auto tax code assign solution, we knew it wouldn't be 100%. Now you can see why we don’t really have a good way to automatically assign these five cities' tax codes . On the other hand, our system does not prevent you from manually entering the city level sales tax code as you add a customer record. At this moment, that should be your solution when adding customers in these five cities. This may not be an issue if you never sell to these particular cities.
As a side note with regard to “Oro Valley,” even though the population is significant, it is spread out amongst four different zip codes. For each of the four zip codes, if you look them up in the Elliott zip code database, they all show their primary city as “Tucson.”