POSTED: Wednesday, February 3, 2010 - 6:15pm
UPDATED: Thursday, April 8, 2010 - 3:18am
SMITH COUNTY-Smith County property taxes were due on February 1st and we've heard from some of our viewers that they ended paying more than what was necessary.
Shopping or banking, now-a-days if you use a credit card or electronic check you'll pay a convenience fee.
If you paid your taxes the same way, the same result. Only this time is wasn't just a few more bucks.
Folks down at the Smith County tax office told us some paid $1,100 worth of convenience fees on top of the thousands due in taxes just for charging it.
Some say that's not right, but county officials say it's out of their hands.
Smith County Tax Assessor Gary Barber told us that if you pay electronically, they're required by law to charge a fee.
Some of our viewers say this is gauging, but Mr. Barber said no.
"I have to provide the service," Mr. Barber said. "if you owe $100 in taxes, you have to pay $100 in taxes and if there's a fee it an addition."
And whether you pay online or in person, Mr. Barber said either way all citizens are warned of these fees.
"On the statements we sent out it has on there that there's a convenience fee," he said. "If you pay online, it has the conveniences on the screen and when you get ready to pay it tells us you're going to be charged a certain amount and you have to agree to pay that before its processed."
If you pay by credit card its 2.5 percent of the sale. If you pay by electronic check its $2.00 per account.
So where does that money go?
"None of that money goes to the county," Mr. Barber said. "That is strictly the fee that the company who processes our charges charge us."
Mr. Barber said next time you go and pay your property taxes, the only way to make sure you don't pay a convenience fee, either write a check or use just plain cash.