Town Board approves credit card payments
VALATIE–The Town of Kinderhook board has approved allowing the tax collector to accept credit cards for tax payments from residents. Town Supervisor Pat Grattan said at the board’s regular meeting Monday evening that the service “helps the county get their tax money.”
The motion the board approved at the September 9 meeting includes the requirement that all fees for using the credit cards will be billed to the resident and that finding a company to process the credit card transactions would have to follow Town Board procurement policies. That requires obtaining at least three bids from venders before deciding on a company to use. Many firms offer credit card processing services.
Currently the town does not accept credit card payments for anything else, but the Town Court does take payment by credit card for tickets.
Board member Pasty Leader said that in her experience in private business the fees for using credit cards were all different for different cards and all fees have risen drastically over the years. She was concerned that the board might not know what to bill residents who want to use their cards. “The hidden fees come out to a lot more,” Ms. Leader said.
Town attorney Andrew Howard said the town would only accept Master Card and Visa. Mr. Grattan said 20 residents had asked about paying their taxes this way.
The motion passed unanimously.
At Monday’s meeting the board also heard from Tom Pinto of the state Department of Taxation and Finance about the STAR registration program. Residents receiving STAR tax exemption must register for the program by calling the office or going online to the program’s website by December 31.
Senior citizens receiving the Enhanced STAR exemption do not have to register.
Mr. Pinto said a letter would be going out to residents reminding them to register. He stationed himself outside the meeting with a computer after speaking to the board, saying that he would help register residents that night.
He also reminded people that this in only for taxpayers who have the STAR exemption already. To register for the exemptions, a homeowner has to contact the assessor.
He said the new registration was to help “eliminate duplication or fraudulent exemptions.”
The number to call to register is 518 457-2036. The online address is www.tax.ny.gov. “It literally takes two or three minutes,” Mr. Pinto said.
The town is looking for a new member of the Zoning Board of Appeals. Anyone interested in the post should send a resume and letter of interest to the town clerk.
The meeting began with a public hearing on the changes to the town’s comprehensive plan. Members of the committee that made the changes to the plan said there were very few changes or recommendation, though they did change the mission statement.
Mr. Grattan said that following the advice of counsel the board was postponing a vote on the changes until next month’s meeting to give residents more time to comment. The new plan is on the town’s website at www.kinderhook-ny.gov.
Mr. Grattan closed the meeting in honor of former board member Andrew Kennedy, who died over the summer.
“He was a good neighbor, good man,” said Ms. Leader.
The next regular board meeting will be to Monday, October 21 at 7 p.m. at the Martin H. Glynn Municipal Center.
To contact reporter Emilia Teasdale email .