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MAYORWatch: Why Do We Pay Service Fees When Making County Payments Online?

Mayor Michael Victorino answers weekly questions submitted to his office staff.

Question: I have a question regarding the “Service Fees” associated with online payments of County Taxes/Services. When paying County bills online, there is a service fee charged if either an e-check or credit card is used. The credit card fee I can understand, as there is a payment to the credit card company incurred. The e-checks, however, have no cost to the County. That is a service provided by banks at no charge to users. In fact, e-checks would seem to be the simplest, easiest form of payment for the County. So why any fee for using an e-check online? This seems unfair to our residents and just another way to nickel and dime us come bill payment time, rather than passing on the savings the County is realizing back to the residents. Instead, how about a small credit for using an e-check? Thank you for your consideration on this matter.

Answer: Mahalo for your time and question. Service fees are one of those regular annoyances we encounter every day, but in this case we unfortunately have to pay for the convenience of using the online service.

Our Department of Finance reported to my office that the online payment system for Real Property Tax is currently provided by the County’s vendor, Point and Pay. This vendor provides a payment gateway service that allows for the acceptance and processing of a variety of electronic payments from various processing points (i.e. internet, over-the-counter and pay-by-phone).

If you are paying your real property taxes online via e-check, a $1.25 convenience fee is passed onto the taxpayers for providing a convenient payment alternative channel. To avoid this convenience fee, taxpayers can pay by check, in-person or when mailing their check. Another option is to sign-up for free with the automatic payment program.

For more information, please visit the County’s Real Property Tax website.

Want to Ask the Mayor? Submit your Maui County related questions to Mayor Michael Victorino by email at [email protected], by phone at 270-7855 or by mail at 200 S. High St., ninth floor, Wailuku 96793. Questions submitted will be considered for inclusion in the “Ask theMayor” column; to request a personal response to a concern, email [email protected]

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