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Spring Hill residents who pay their monthly utility bills or other City financial transactions using a credit or debit card will be asked to pay a small fee to cover the cost of that convenience starting Nov. 1, 2017.
The City of Spring Hill has always absorbed the costs of convenience fees charged to the City by credit card companies for the processing of each transaction, a subsidy that costs taxpayers at least $125,000 a year in the City budget. Requiring the public to begin paying these transaction fees allows the City to cover its costs of doing business, which allows the previously subsidized $125,000 to go toward other needed projects.
The fee will be charged on credit/debit payments for utility bills, permits, business licenses, property taxes, and any other transactions using a credit or debit card. This includes paying with a card online, in person, or by phone.
The Spring Hill Board of Mayor and Aldermen (BOMA) voted at its budget meeting on Tuesday, June 13, 2017, to begin charging the fee during the 2017-18 fiscal year, which began July 1, 2017. The full board took its final vote June 30 on the 2017-18 Budget, which included the proposed fee.
“Shifting this fee from the expense side of the budget to the revenue side will effectively create a wash in the budget,” said Finance Director Jim Smith. “The intent of this action is to cover the costs of these transactions, which is the industry standard among most governments or businesses that process credit card payments.”
A $1.50 flat-rate convenience fee will be charged for online transactions, and a 2 percent surcharge will be added to credit/debit card transactions made by phone or in person.
Residents have multiple options to avoid paying these fees, including:
- Signing up for auto-draft to allow utility billing payments to be automatically drafted from your checking account
- Mailing in a check to the City of Spring Hill, P.O. Box 789, Spring Hill, TN 37174
- Dropping off a payment at the convenient drop box in front of City Hall
- Paying in person with cash or check at City Hall, 199 Town Center Parkway.