CVS Corp., a $22.2 billion drugstore chain, used to keep track of real estate taxes using Excel spreadsheets. But when an acquisition a few years ago doubled the number of its locations to about 4,000, "we had to find a faster and smarter way of doing our jobs," says Jim Snowden, a property tax manager for the company. "All of a sudden we started getting tax bills from jurisdictions CVS had never dealt with."

It's rarely a pleasant experience when the taxman cometh, but when companies have multiple locations, it can be a nightmare. More than 9,000 municipalities in the U.S. levy real estate taxes,

and they all have different rules, due dates and rates. To the rescue comes ePropertyTax Inc. of Scottsdale, Ariz., with a Web-based solution called Property Tax Office that has data on all 9,000 jurisdictions and also tracks when a company's taxes are due in all of them.

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