Online tax payment portal to be operational by June
By Anna Jauhola
Kittson County landowners will again be able to pay their taxes online, but likely not until June.
In May 2021, the county commissioners approved a new tax payment system from Tyler Technologies using funding from the American Rescue Plan Act. While the initial information quotes an implementation process of 12 to 18 months, it has been nearly two years. The online payment module has been offline for more than a year and finally the commission heard it should be up and running this summer.
But it comes with a higher cost to the consumer.
“The Tyler payment module doesn’t cost us anything on paper, but there’s a charge to users paying taxes online,” said Brian Buhmann, county administrator.
The previous online payment system tacked on a 1.2 percent surcharge for each transaction. The Tyler system will charge 3.5 percent of the total bill per transaction, with a minimum of $1.45, which goes directly onto a taxpayer’s credit card, and is collected by Tyler Technologies. So, if your tax bill is $500, for example, Tyler will charge you $17.50 to use the online payment portal.
From the beginning, the Tyler system was meant to be integrated rather than implementing different programs, like the previous Point and Pay system.
“What we’d have to do on the back end is try to move your tax statement from where you can view it and then upload it to a different site – Point and Pay – to where that could be paid,” Buhmann said. “For workflow, you’ve got your property tax statement here and Tyler (payment portal) would be a button just below it to pay online with that document in front of you.”
Commissioner Theresia Gillie asked whether other counties in Minnesota also have systems that incorporate a surcharge. Buhmann said yes, adding it’s a convenience fee basically.
For example, Marshall County’s convenience fee for paying property taxes online is 2.75 percent for a credit card, 1.75 percent for a debit card, 3 percent with a bank account with a minimum of $1.50. If someone paid with an e-check, it’s a flat fee of $1.95.
Polk County charges 95 cents per transaction for e-checks and 2.25 percent for debit or credit cards, with a minimum of $3.75.
Until the system is fully operational, taxpayers must still call or stop by the taxpayer services office in the courthouse. Taxpayers also always have the option of paying in person or sending a check. The first half of property taxes is due on May 15. If you have questions, the phone number is 218-843-3432.