The President of the Iowa County Treasurers Association says the number of people who paid their property taxes on-line went up in September. Poweshiek County Treasurer Lana Taylor says an increased awareness is probably part of the reason for the increase. The Association also gave away a $500 prize to one taxpayer randomly chosen from those who paid on-line.She says they’ll do that again in March when payments are due again, using a donation from Bank of America. Taylor says many taxpayers say they just like being able to pay on-line without waiting in line at the courthouse. She says if you access www.iowatreasurers.org, you can find out how much you owe, pay and also get several documents you might need. Taylor says they offer three ways to pay: an electronic check, automatic deduction from your bank account, or credit card. She says it amazes her the number of people who use credit cards to pay. She says governments cannot eat the fees charged by credit card companies and have to pass them along to taxpayers. Taylor says she encourages people to save money and use the electronic check or automatic withdrawal – which has a set two-dollar fee. She cites the example of paying a one-thousand dollar tax bill. She says it’s two dollars for the transaction, but if you pay by credit card, you have to pay a two-percent fee and it costs you one-thousand and twenty dollars. Taylor says some people may use the plastic to take advantage of all the bonus offers the credit card companies offer. She says if there’s a five percent payback on your card, you may go on-line and pay the two-percent fee and come out ahead. The Iowa Department of Revenue touts the work hours saved when people file their income taxes on-line. Taylor can’t say how much time treasurers are saving. She says they haven’t been on-line long enough to know how much time they’re saving. She says they have found that they get fewer phone calls from mortgage and insurance companies who can get their information on-line — which saves treasurers time on the phone. Property tax payments are due twice a year, in September and March.
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