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County taxes may be paid by credit card

July 12, 2007|By JOSHUA BOWMAN

HAGERSTOWN

Washington County taxpayers can pay their property taxes by credit card this year, but they will be charged a fee to do so.

A "convenience fee" of 2.5 percent will be added to bills paid by credit card, County Treasurer Todd Hershey said.

The fee is imposed by the county's credit card processing service, Govolution, and does not go to the county, Hershey said.

"The county makes no additional money when people pay their property taxes by credit card," Hershey said.

A processing service is necessary for the county to accept credit cards, said Darryl Brown, accounting supervisor for the county's budget and finance office.

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"You have to have an agent for the money to flow through," Brown said.

When the county takes a credit card payment, Govolution determines whether the card has enough credit to pay the bill and if the card has been reported stolen, Brown said.

Govolution processes the payment, then pays the county the amount of the bill while keeping the fee.

The county has accepted Discover Card payments for years, and this year signed a contract with Govolution that will allow it to accept Visa and Mastercard as well, Brown said.

Residents may pay their bills by cash, check, money order or through their mortgage company to avoid the fee.

Annual property tax payments or the first installment of semi-annual payments must be received by the county by Sept. 30. The second semi-annual payment must be made by Dec. 31.

Check or money order payments may be mailed to the Washington County Treasurer's Office at 35 W. Washington St., Suite 102, Hagerstown, MD 21740. Residents also may pay by cash, check, money order or credit card in person at that address.

Residents may pay by credit card over the telephone by calling 240-313-2110 or online at www.washco-md.net.

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