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Post Falls plans credit card use fee

| December 8, 2010 9:37 AM

By Brian Walker

POST FALLS — Post Falls plans to charge a fee to those who use credit

cards to pay for city services to cover the cost of doing business.

The City Council on Tuesday night sided with staff’s recommendation to

charge a fee of 3.95 percent on credit card transactions online and in

person.

A public hearing on the proposal is expected to be held on Jan. 4.

“These fees will not provide the city with extra money,”  said Eric

Keck, city administrator. “We are merely trying to capture the cost of

doing business by credit card. All taxpayers should not have to

subsidize those that utilize the convenience of credit cards. Not

everyone else who pays in cash or by check wants to foot the bill for

someone using a credit card or getting reward or miles points.

We are charged fees by the credit card companies as well as the

provider of the electronic banking gateway for persons utilizing a

credit or rewards card. These fees are becoming quite steep and we can

no longer cover these costs.”

Credit card charges for parks and recreation programs have totaled

$4,700 so far in 2010 and for utilities $20,200.

Only the Utilities Division accepts online credit card payments, but

the Parks and Recreation and Police departments are about to do the

same.

The city anticipates that, as it brings parks and recreation and

police payment services online, that there will be a large increase in

credit card usage. Such was the case in 2007 when the city brought

utility payments online.

The city started accepting credit cards for parks and recreation and

utilities in 2006. The council passed $1 convenience fee at that time

to help offset the costs of accepting the cards, but due to issues of

collecting the dollar and the small amount of cards being used at that

time, the fee wasn't implemented.

City officials say credit card usage for city services is on the rise

due to convenience and rewards offered by card companies for usage.

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