Government

More News | | | Editor

North Augusta to impose fee for paying by credit card

  • Follow Government

NORTH AUGUSTA -- North Augusta City Council gave first reading Monday to its 2011 proposed general fund budget of $27.4 million, $1.4 million higher than the budget for 2010.

Though residents will not see an increase in rates, the city plans to begin charging residents $3 per credit transaction when paying their bills by credit card so that costs to the city can be offset.

Officials say it cost the city about $58,000 in credit fees from about 14,000 people paying online.

They hope to recover about $42,000 by charging customers the transaction fee.

The second reading of the budget will be held at 7 p.m. Nov. 1 in the municipal building on Georgia Avenue.

Comments (21) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
RAWR
0
Points
RAWR 10/19/10 - 02:14 am
0
0
So people have to pay extra

So people have to pay extra for causing city workers less work? Why not collect from the deadbeats not paying their bills? I bet they cost the city more than people who pay their bills via the internet.

fftaz71
108
Points
fftaz71 10/19/10 - 06:31 am
0
0
They have to cover the fees

They have to cover the fees they pay to the credit card companies when you use your credit card...it costs businesses money for people to be able to pay by credit. They couldve just snuck in some 3.00 line item into the budget and recovered that money without ever saying so....

Suzy Q
1
Points
Suzy Q 10/19/10 - 08:19 am
0
0
I didn't think you could

I didn't think you could actually call it that and still have a merchant account with the CC companies. Doesn't it have to be stated as giving a cash discount for those not paying by CC?

The CC companies used to frown on anyone appearing to penalize those using their cards.

Chillen
17
Points
Chillen 10/19/10 - 08:31 am
0
0
We already pay extra in

We already pay extra in Columbia County for using a credit card so this is no surprise. It definitely costs merchants extra when a person uses a credit card so the cost should be passed on. $3 seems low to me.

For example, a $300 bill paid by credit card would run the merchant anywhere from $5 to $12 to process depending on their processing % rate and don't even get me started on the ridiculous highway robbery American Express rates. There are also monthly fees just to have the merchant account.

Taking credit cards is very expensive. 70% of my business is wire transfers and checks but my credit card processing bills still run me on average about $500 per month. And I've got a super great rate because we don't ever have charge disputes.

TeamLoser
1
Points
TeamLoser 10/19/10 - 08:33 am
0
0
I think most government

I think most government agencies that take CC do this already. I suppose the CC companies give them a pass that they wouldn't give to most other businesses.

I remember dealing with government accounts that were past due, they all seem to have the policy where they don't pay late fees.

airbud7
1
Points
airbud7 10/19/10 - 08:58 am
0
0
A Fee here, A Fee There, But

A Fee here, A Fee There, But Hey! We Didn't Raise Taxes.

proud2bamerican
441
Points
proud2bamerican 10/19/10 - 09:03 am
0
0
Most of you have it right -

Most of you have it right - it is "the cost of doing business". If a business offers you the option of paying with a credit card, the business must pay the credit card company for that service. It is not that the business is trying to "make money", they are offering the 'customer' an option/additional service for which they have to pay, and ultimately that is the customers choice - to pay w/a credit card or not. It should never be the responsibility of the business to pay for the customer's choice - especially in regard to utility bills!

Newsreader
11
Points
Newsreader 10/19/10 - 09:29 am
0
0
Chillen, how much does it

Chillen, how much does it cost you to accept a check? Or cash? In order to deposit the money into your account, you reconcile the receipts with the actual asset on hand. Then you must create a deposit for the proper account, listing the assets you intend to deposit. You must then transport the asset to the bank and place into their hands, accept the receipt from the bank, and finally reconcile the deposit against the monthly statement to determine that the actual amount of deposited assets are consistant with your records. You must maintain the security of the asset until it is receipted by the bank, and using an employee is dangerous and requires labor cost. Using an armored car service is expensive. Also some banks now charge a fee per check that is deposited. When all of these cost are considered, and the fact that a credit card reconcilliation is electronic and takes much less time, there is no transfer of physical assets, and credit into deposit account is generally within less than 12 hours, how can you justify charging a credit card user, but not a check or cash user?

omnomnom
3964
Points
omnomnom 10/19/10 - 09:32 am
0
0
does aiken county not have

does aiken county not have the option for a direct debit from people's checking accounts? i dont understand why anyone but the unemployed would put a UTILITY bill on their credit card.

pommom38
1496
Points
pommom38 10/19/10 - 09:45 am
0
0
It's not just about the

It's not just about the credit cards Omnon. I pay all my bills via debit card, (coming directly from an account) and this fee will be charged to me as well. We pay a fee for using online services already for paying vehicle tax, etc. Why shouldn't they also charge for water being paid? More money for the county.
And I would most certainly hope no rate increase, helloooo N. Aug, you JUST raised our rates 2 months ago!!

Little Lamb
47222
Points
Little Lamb 10/19/10 - 10:08 am
0
0
You made some good points,

You made some good points, Newsreader. You concluded with a question:

How can you justify charging a credit card user, but not a check or cash user?

I guess they justify it because they can see it. The credit card companies charge the city a fee, so the city is justified in passing the fee along. I do not know how the credit card fee is tabulated, but I always assumed that it was a percentage of the amount charged. I guess that the city thought passing on the actual percentage would be too complicated for the city or too confusing for the customer, so they came up with the arbitrary $3.00 per credit card transaction.

I'm surprised more businesses don't do this. Not charging credit card customers more just makes the cash customer absorb some of the cost of the credit card companies' fees.

gaspringwater
3
Points
gaspringwater 10/19/10 - 10:11 am
0
0
Sellers pay an interchange

Sellers pay an interchange fee for credit card transactions. Interchange fees are typically 2-3% of the transaction value. Merchants pay the fee and pass the cost to the buying pubic. The average American household paid more than $280 in hidden interchange fees in 2005. The American buying public paid $36.3 billion dollars for interchange fees in 2006. The buying public also pays the cost for credit card fraud.

http://www.fmi.org/media/bg/interchange_fee_backgrounder.pdf

ALL credit card cost should be charged to users but the credit card companies have great lobbying money to buy politicians and exploit the larger buying public.

Little Lamb
47222
Points
Little Lamb 10/19/10 - 10:12 am
0
0
Omnomnom gives us the best

Omnomnom gives us the best solution for both city and customer: just sign up for automatic drafting from your checking account. No credit cards are involved, and the banks don't charge for it, yet.

Little Lamb
47222
Points
Little Lamb 10/19/10 - 10:17 am
0
0
To Pommom: If you believe

To Pommom: If you believe Clark Howard, it is a bad idea to use bank debit cards. There are all sorts of downsides and no upsides. If you like having the money drawn directly out of your checking account, just sign up for automatic drafting (power companies, gas companies, water/sewer utilities, telephone companies (including cell) all allow direct drafting with no fees).

pommom38
1496
Points
pommom38 10/19/10 - 10:43 am
0
0
LL, Id love to do that and

LL, Id love to do that and not deal with the paying bills, but sadly we're like tons of households here, our pay periods never coincide with the right bills, so I have to leave it as is. And i've called the companies asking for due date changes, N Aug lights/water, etc.. are not cooperative.
Even comcast now charges you a fee if you pay by phone, (if you must talk with a CSR) so no one should be surprised that this fee exists now.
What they don't realize I think, is that their revenue from this new *fee* if passed, is that they still may not recoup the loss. Many will just buy a money order and drop it in the box. Much cheaper.

LysanderSpooner
0
Points
LysanderSpooner 10/19/10 - 11:34 am
0
0
Lets call this what it is...
Unpublished

Lets call this what it is... like the lottery, another tax specifically targeting the POOR in disguise. For the most part, its the poor that pay by credit card, because they don't have the money to pay the taxes to keep their land and house being stolen from them by the state. Those of some means with money pay by checks, those without have to borrow and pay by credit card. I know, I've been poor, far beyond every definition of poor, and lived off of credit cards for 20 years.

The big question here is... $27 million... per year, every year, and in a Depression even... what the hell are they blowing all that money on and where can the ordinary citizen get their crooked cut?

LysanderSpooner
0
Points
LysanderSpooner 10/19/10 - 11:39 am
0
0
I mean seriously, if North
Unpublished

I mean seriously, if North Augusta is raking in $27,000,000+ every year, year after year, what do they need an extra $3 from me from on top of what they are already demanding at gun point.

I tell you what, next year, how about I get the $27,000,000, and then I whine that North Augusta owes me yet another $3 on top of the $1000+ I demand from them under threat of imprisonment... or seizure of their property.

Property taxes don't even make legal sense. How can you tax someone on something they OWN. I mean, think about it, does it make sense that the government charge you $1.30 every year, year after year, on the tennis shoes you own? Or $4.10 every year, for the clothes you wear. Land or house or a car, its no different, its still an object. Its obscene and extortion.

ruudvonbaron
0
Points
ruudvonbaron 10/19/10 - 12:21 pm
0
0
omnomnom Tuesday, Oct. 19

omnomnom Tuesday, Oct. 19 9:32 AM i dont understand why anyone but the unemployed would put a UTILITY bill on their credit card.
---------------------------
I pay all of my bills/expenses (that don't impose extra fees for using a credit card) with my credit cards and pay my credit card bills in full every month. First of all it is like getting a 20-30 day interest free loan and secondly one of my cards provides enough in rewards for me to receive $50-100 in gift cards every year and the other provides enough for $50-$100 in comps on my yearly trip to Las Vegas.

omnomnom
3964
Points
omnomnom 10/19/10 - 12:36 pm
0
0
ruud, you've got your ducks

ruud, you've got your ducks in a row then. most Americans carry a balance on their credit cards. relying on them for something that should be budgeted for is not a good idea. most people my age and younger use credit cards as a catch all for all expenses and hope at the end of the day what they bring in is more than they spend. However, times are tough, and while I can't begrudge you the benefits you get for paying with a credit card, i don't think its unfair for the government to charge card payers more, as it is an expense for them. Otherwise its just a (little but adds up quickly) [everyone stand up now] FORM OF TAXPAYER SUBSIDY AND WEALTH REDISTRIBUTION

omnomnom
3964
Points
omnomnom 10/19/10 - 12:39 pm
0
0
i think ALL local businesses

i think ALL local businesses should give cash payers a discount. 2-3% would be lurvly. keeps more money in the local economy and out of the ponzi high finance casino playland

mable8
2
Points
mable8 10/19/10 - 04:12 pm
0
0
Some agencies do charge for

Some agencies do charge for online payments and in some instances, it is the same as the credit card charge. Other companies will charge an exhorbitant fee for online, credit card, or wire payments (I know of one who charges $12 for either one; pay by check and no extra fees). At any rate, many government agents have followed the practice of private companies in charging additional fees for credit card payments.

boilers
0
Points
boilers 10/19/10 - 05:15 pm
0
0
Why can't they stop sending

Why can't they stop sending me a bill in the mail each month? SCEG lets me pay via credit card if I don't get a bill in the mail. Why can't North Augusta do the same? People that want to pay by cash or check can receive their bill in the mail, while mine can be emailed and I pay via credit card online. Simple and everyone wins b/c fees would be similar.

bettyboop
7
Points
bettyboop 10/20/10 - 12:42 am
0
0
LOL...North Augusta is a

LOL...North Augusta is a small town....I pay my water bill at the drive through window on my way to the park...I pay my ele. bill at their drive through on my way to the grocery store.....it ain't all that hard.

Back to Top

Search Augusta jobs