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Credit, debit cards may soon be used to pay tax bills in Nashua

By KIMBERLY HOUGHTON
Union Leader Correspondent

August 11. 2017 12:33AM
The Nashua City Hall Plaza. (Kimberly Houghton/File)

NASHUA — City homeowners may soon be able to pay their property taxes using credit and debit cards.

While most city departments have been accepting plastic since 2009, tax bills have traditionally required cash, check or electronic check.

Nashua was one of the first communities in the state to begin accepting online payments for motor vehicles, and now about half of New Hampshire communities do the same, said City Treasurer David Fredette.

“Since then the program has grown considerably. Over the last year we collected about $5.5 million through the credit/debit program in the city,” Fredette told an aldermanic panel this week, adding most of those payments are for parking tickets, wastewater bills and vehicle registrations.

Nashua is the only community utilizing the credit/debit program that does not allow for property tax payments, Fredette said, and taxpayers have been asking for the service.

The aldermanic Personnel and Administrative Affairs Committee has endorsed a proposal before the Board of Aldermen to allow it. “I think people should be given the opportunity to pay their bills however they want to pay them,” said Alderman David Deane.

Alderman June Caron echoed that sentiment. Credit cards are the norm, she said, adding if people are requesting credit card payments and other communities are already doing it, Nashua should offer the same flexibility.

The average residential tax bill is about $5,500, according to Fredette, who said the number of people who will charge their property taxes will be low.

“I have a problem with credit cards being used for property taxes,” said Alderman Don LeBrun, who voted against the proposal. He said residents charging their property taxes will then most likely have to pay interest on that bill, which could become a financial burden.

Fredette said that most people using credit or debit cards to pay their property taxes already have established credit, and said most are using their cards to earn rewards points.

Still, LeBrun said, property taxes were exempt from the credit/debt program when it was originally implemented within city departments, adding that was probably a wise decision.

The full Board of Aldermen must still vote on the proposed ordinance, which will include a service charge for credit card transactions.

khoughton@newstote.com


Local and County Government Nashua


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