TABC Announces New Technology

TABC issued the following press release on December 18, 2008.

The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC) has implemented new technology at the Texas-Mexico bridges, allowing print-on-demand tax stamps for the importation of alcoholic beverages and cigarettes.

The computerized system consists of a hand-held touch screen computer along with a mobile printer. Just a few months ago, agency personnel were carrying around 11 different types of tax stamps (one for each size and type of product) and affixing them manually to containers of alcohol and cigarettes. At the end of each shift, taxpayer compliance officers reconciled the reduced number of stamps with the increase in cash, and reported the number of importations and confiscations by hand. Now employees digitally upload real-time reports to the agency computer network. End-of-shift cash reconciliation is done more accurately in a third of the time, freeing up employees to spend more of their shift collecting taxes.

The modernized system generates automated reports that weren’t possible in the past. In the agency’s Austin Headquarters, managers can use data to identify peak importation times and predict appropriate staffing patterns for individual bridges, at specific times of the day, days of the week, and weeks of the year.

More efficient assignment of employees and automated stamping ultimately translate into shorter wait-times for customers crossing the border from Mexico.

TABC implemented a pilot project in November 2007 using the computers to print tax stamps for alcoholic beverages at the Brownsville bridges.
During the fall of 2008, the new system was implemented at all major border crossings along the Rio Grande River, including the international bridges in El Paso, Presidio, Del Rio, Eagle Pass, Laredo, Roma, Rio Grande City, Progreso, Hidalgo, Los Indios, Pharr, and Brownsville.

With the cooperation of the Texas Comptroller’s Office, TABC was able to begin printing cigarette tax stamps on demand on December 1, 2008.

“Using this state-of-the-art technology is an important step in managing our resources efficiently and establishing a technological foundation on which we can build,” said TABC Assistant Administrator Sherry Cook.

Contact: Santos Saldana at 512-206-3351

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