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County Council, February 6

Moves ahead to recover fees on credit card payments of taxes
Final appointments to GAB and TAB
Warwick Jones

There was nothing much arising from last night’s meeting to add to that of the Finance Committee meeting on Thursday. The first reading was given to an ordinance to introduce a fee on taxes collected “through electronic media including but not limited to the acceptances of charge cards and debit cards via the internet ( collectively and along with other forms of electronic payment) “

The fee, if based on that presently being charged by the service company, will be 1.64% of the tax amount. It will be imposed on payments after May 7. However, as most payments for 2006 taxes have already been made, the new fee will raise little for the remainder of this year.

The was some discussion at the Finance Committee Meeting last week and the Council meeting last night over recovering the fee incurred on credit card payments for other services of the County – particularly relating to charges made for business licenses, by the Planning Department, DOADAS, and Parking Garages. For now, there will be no change, but the County Administrator and Treasurer have been charged to study the position and to implement fees if they deem it practical.

The charge-card fees for these other payments in calendar 2006 were not large and the recovery in future years is not likely to make much difference to County revenues. The charge card fees for parking garages in 2006 were $7,904, building licenses and user fees, $19,538 and Planning Department fees $4,579 and DOADAS, $5,716.

Staff recommended that if the credit card fee were to be recovered from parking garage customers and DAODAS operations, then it should be built into the base fee – e.g. the hourly parking rate would be set to recover costs of operating the garage including the credit card fee.

The proposed ordinance was received unanimous approval

GAB and TAB appointments
The remaining positions on the Greenbelt (GAB) and Transportation Advisory Boards (TAB) were filled last with appointments by Chairman Scott and Council member Condon. Appointments to the GAB were J Marshall Allen (Rural North) and Lenny Green. Mr. Allen served on the Board previously.

For the TAB, the appointments were George Freeman (Rural North) and Jaquetta Jones (Rural South). Both were previous board members.

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