Feud Over Online Tax Payments Going Back to the Table - The Missourian: County

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Feud Over Online Tax Payments Going Back to the Table

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Posted: Saturday, March 2, 2013 5:32 pm | Updated: 1:38 pm, Mon Mar 4, 2013.

A company at the center of a dispute between two elected officials will meet with county commissioners Tuesday.

The company, Federal Payments, will meet with county officials about what it can offer in terms of online payment of property taxes.

Last week, county officials met with another vendor, EZ Pay, that also is a source of contention between Presiding County Commissioner John Griesheimer and county Collector of Revenue Linda Emmons.

Emmons and Griesheimer have been at odds for months over which company would be the best one to use for online property tax payments.

However, both officials agree that allowing residents the option to pay their property taxes online is needed to bring the county into the 21st century and create more convenience.

Tensions between Emmons and Griesheimer over the issue came to light late last year when Emmons said Griesheimer refused to sign an agreement that would allow Federal Payments to do business with the county.

But Griesheimer has said the agreement that Emmons wanted him to sign had nothing to do with bringing online property tax payments to the county.

Emmons said she favors using Federal Payments over EZ Pay because of costs and programming issues.

She said she worries that EZ Pay may not have the programming in place to handle tax payments through her office. This could create problems for her department, she said.

But an EZ Pay official has said that it would not be difficult for his company to offer the service to Emmons’ office.

Federal Payments has already done online tax payment services for more than 20 collectors, and therefore already has the programming in place, Emmons said.

Also, Emmons said she thinks Federal Payments could offer the service for less cost to the taxpayers.

She said Federal Payments would only charge a 2.5 percent transaction fee, and she worries that it could be 4 percent with EZ Pay.

EZ Pay representative Steve Carrier has said that 4 percent would be the maximum transaction fee from his company. He said that it could possibly be less, but he wouldn’t know for sure without doing more research.

In addition, Carrier said EZ Pay also would charge a separate convenience fee of about $3.

Federal Payments would not have this convenience charge, Emmons has said.

The commissioners will meet with Federal Payments Tuesday at 2 p.m. in training room 207 of the county government center in Union

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