BRUNSWICK –– City Council passed an emergency ordinance Monday night amends transaction fees for certain electronic payment options and reduces fees for credit card payments for those who pay their city taxes online.
Finance Director Todd Fischer presented the proposal to Council with the aim of helping residents by reducing the fees for those use the more convenient online payment options. Currently, residents are charged a $10 fee to pay their city taxes online when using a credit card.
“In order to put that in place, we will need to amend our transactional fees for credit cards and, at the same time, we were trying to find another payment option that would also be free to residents,” Fischer said.
“Nothing is free but, for our residents, one option on our proposal will be. The city would absorb the cost of that one. That would be an e-check option.”
Residents who file their city taxes online will enter their banking information and have the payment processed like a check. As a result, the payment will come right out of the designated account and no additional cost would be charged. The cost to process the transaction will be 85 cents per customer and the city said it is willing to absorb this expense for residents.
The second option will be for residents who pay with credit cards. If a credit card is used to pay taxes online, residents will pay a fee equal to 2.55 percent of their total tax obligation plus 30 cents per transaction.
In most cases, this will end up being less than the $10 fee that residents currently pay, Fischer said.
The changes will go into effect immediately with the current tax season.
According to the city’s website, any person 18 years or older who lives in Brunswick is required to file a return, regardless of income.
Also, any person who owns a business and/or rental property is required to file.