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In future, Liverpool village taxpayers could pay via credit card

— The village of Liverpool may soon allow its taxpayers to pay via credit card.

“We’ve had many requests from residents who’d like to use credit cards to pay their tax bills,” Mayor Gary White said at the Aug. 15 meeting of the village board of trustees. “It’s a way for them to manage their personal cash-flow problems.”

So village government is considering implementing a credit-card payment system through MuniciPAY, described as a “custom payment solution catered toward the use of over-the-counter convenience fee payments.”

According to its website, “MuniciPAY is a no-cost solution that allows municipalities to benefit from credit card acceptance.” It charges no fees for software installation or upgrades, and “automatically calculates the convenience fee amount, captures the total amount due in one card swipe and then aggregates the municipality funds and the convenience fee for authorization and settlement. The municipality is completely insulated from convenience fee collection.”

A Government Accountability Office report to Congress in May 2008 indicated that municipalities which accept credit cards benefit from increased cash flow, improved operational efficiency and a reduction in delinquent payments.

“It’ll allow our taxpayers to spread their tax payments over the course of the year, quarterly for instance, rather than paying one lump sum,” White said.

The villages of Albion, Red Creek and Massapequa are among many municipalities already using the MuniciPAY National Payment Solutions system coast to coast.

Village Attorney John Langey is presently researching the MuniciPAY proposal which will likely come before the trustees later this year.

To support its $2,223,428 budget for 2011-12, the village raised property taxes for the first time in 14 years, an increase resulting from Onondaga County’s decision to rescind an annual sales tax revenue-sharing payment to the village.

Last year, when the village property tax rate was $9.76 per $1,000 of assessed value, a home assessed at $100,000 received a tax bill for $976. In 2011, that same property owner is paying $1,191 – an increase of $235. All properties in the village must also pay a $150-per unit sewer rent charge.

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