New Castle News

February 27, 2013

Using your credit card for county charges? You’re gonna pay more

Debbie Wachter
New Castle News

NEW CASTLE — Property owners who pay their Lawrence County taxes by credit card will be charged a 2.45 percent convenience fee this year.

The commissioners Tuesday adopted a resolution authorizing Evaluator Services and Technology of Greensburg and TransFirst Holdings of Broomfield, Colo., to provide the administration, collection and distribution of the fees.

Tim Barr of Evaluator Services and Technology explained that anyone who uses a credit card to pay county taxes will receive a statement from the credit card billing company showing two charges. One will be from Lawrence County for the amount of the taxes paid, and the other will be the 2.45 percent convenience fee from courthouseonline.com, he explained.

The ability to process the convenience fee is being integrated into the county’s software so it is separated from the amount of the tax, Barr said.

Through the process, the county will receive its tax money and the convenience fees will go to the credit card companies.

Barr said he looked around to find the lowest convenience fee available, and learned 3 percent is the typical fee. However, he said he found one company that charges 2.45 percent and described it as the best rate available in the state.

His firm is not taking any percentage of the fee, he said. Rather, it is getting paid through its software service agreement.

In the past, the county absorbed the credit card fees, commissioner chairman Dan Vogler explained. “We weren’t able to have it added to the credit card statement itself.”

Last year, the 3 percent fee totaled about $60,000, which the county paid.

Lawrence County Treasurer Richard L. Rapone said the 2013 tax bills are being processed and will be mailed this week.

The discount period begins Friday and ends May 3. Taxpayers will pay face value from May 4 through July 5.

Those who pay July 6 through Dec. 31 must pay the penalty amount listed on their tax statements.

(Email: dwachter@ncnewsonline.com)