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Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Fee discussion leads to fight

Update: Turns out Hamilton County already levies a convenience fee for credit card property tax payments. Check it out here.

If you get a traffic ticket in Hamilton County, it might soon cost you a little more to pay it--at least if you're planning to do it with a credit card.

County Commissioners voted 2-1 Wednesday voted to explore charging "convenience" fees for credit card transactions. The county is spending more than $700,000 a year to absorb the transaction fees, which are levied by credit card companies. Commissioner Pat DeWine dissented.

Comissioner Todd Portune initially suggested charging the fees for check transactions as well, which elicited a mini-showdown between him and DeWine, who opposes the transaction fees.

DeWine: "So the only way someone could avoid paying this is by sending cash in an envelope?"

Portune: "In parking tickets they could avoid it by not getting a citation in the first place."

DeWine: "What about property taxes? Should they not buy a property in the fist place?"

Portune:"It's about being equitable across the board. This doesn’t put it in place, it just goes forward to see what the most equitable way is to do this."

DeWine: The whole thing borders on absurd. If the idea is to compensate the county for what it is statutarily required to do, it borders on outrageous. If you want ot raise fees, raise fee. Don’t say you’re going to just charge $2 for a credit card or check. At a time when we’re trying to be more customer friendly and keep people in Hamilton County it seems we’re going in the wrong direction."

Portune, who seemed somewhat frutrated at this point, said it would be up to department heads to decide how to handle the fees, but finally agreed to remove the language relating to checks. "I didn’t realize I was going to create World War Three by suggesting we look at checks," he said. "The request came from an elected official who is doing exactly what we are asking department to look at. Lets not create a federal case here where none exists."

All the surrounding Ohio counties charge convenience fees to recoup their costs for some types of transactions like utility bills or property taxes. None of them charge fees for traffic tickets.


at 2:58 PM, May 07, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

The county is giving away $700,000 per year (and rising) paying banks for the "convenience fees" of people using credit cards for traffic tickets, and other things.

Why should the general taxpayer foot the bill for other citizens' credit card fees? Why would DeWine ever oppose such a thing?


at 3:13 PM, May 07, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks Pepper and Portune - Now when I pay my property taxes I'll have to add on an additional $70 to the already high rates. Thanks for the "convenience".

at 4:09 PM, May 07, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

There's a reason every surrounding county does this. Taxpayers should not have to pay other people's bills. Why would DeWine want to subsidize credit card fees with taxpayer money?

at 4:24 PM, May 07, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon #2: if you have used a credit card to pay property taxes, you already paid the fee. The Republican Treasurer has passed that convenience fee along for year to those who benefit from it. Otherwise, again, it would cost the county millions for the convenience of some.

DeWine is just trying to make noise on the way out, and doesn't even know the issue.

at 4:54 PM, May 07, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can't wait for mediawhore Puh-Puh-Pat Dewhiner to finally leave public office.

He's been an absolute embarrassment at every level of government.


at 5:05 PM, May 07, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon 4:24 is exactly right. I would have paid my R.E. taxes by credit card for many years if they had not tacked on a "convenience fee". For a county commissioner to be completely ignorant of this fact is just stupid. For there to be an actual debate between commissioners that completely ignores this fact is mind-boggling. These commissioners live in the county, right? Do they not see their own R.E. tax bills? Do they also not see the payment options section that very clearly explains these fees to pay by credit card? Unbelievable...

at 5:44 PM, May 07, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

What Portune is proposing is a fee for check transactions. In other words, the only way to avoid the new fee when paying your property taxes is to drive all the way downtown and walk into the Treasurer's office with a giant wad of cash. How's that for "convenience"?

at 5:47 PM, May 07, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow - Pepper's office is really burning up the blog tonight. I'm sure non of the anonymous hate-DeWine posts are from Jen Winkelman.
This is just another cash-grab by Portune and Pepper to subsidize their out of control spending.

at 7:34 PM, May 07, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

I get Jen Winkelman and Scott Gehring confused on this blog...maybe those two are posting comments at the same time!

Sockpuppets unite!

at 8:32 PM, May 07, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

Portune: "In parking tickets they could avoid it by not getting a citation in the first place."

DeWine: "What about property taxes? Should they not buy a property in the fist place?"

No, we just avoid the check fee for property taxes by NOT VOTING FOR MORE PROPERTY TAXES! That or pay property taxes at the treasurer's in person with cash - preferably in nickels!

at 9:52 PM, May 07, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

DeWine gets it. We're tired of paying more and more for a government that gives us less and less. Every time I turn my head the other two on the commission are trying to take more from my wallet.

at 10:58 PM, May 07, 2008 Anonymous CincyCapell said...

Well, P-P-P-P-Pattycakes threw himself a little hissyfit today!! I guess that he is feeling a little testy at being forced out of County government.

Good riddance to P-P-P-attycakes and all of his dispicable COAST scumbag ilk.

Coast is Toast Baby!!!!

at 2:20 AM, May 08, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

"DeWine: "What about property taxes? Should they not buy a property in the fist place?"

We wonder why Pa pa pa Pat wants to talk about property tax ?

Ya think he may know something ?

Ya think he really, really, wants to be a judge ?

Ya think there are red-light cameras in the county offices ?

Hey dusty, Wal-mart Watch~ing ?

at 9:52 AM, May 08, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

You know you're on the right side of an issue when CincyCapell comes out against you. Keep up the good work Pat.

at 10:52 AM, May 08, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon 9:52 - the reason you're paying more for less is because practices like this one (the County was using $700,000 of your and other people's tax dollars to pay for the credit card fees of individual citizens paying for their parking tickets, etc.). By changing that practice, the commissioners just eliminated $700K in taxpayer cost.

This is why the Republican Treasurer has done this for years, as have all surrounding counties. And it's why the Clerk of Courts, (who will replace DeWine), has pushed for this for some time. There is bipartisan agreement that this just makes sense.

DeWine just reaffirmed the good judgment of the GOP in pushing him out of office.

at 11:37 AM, May 08, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...


This is the most ridiculous proposal we have seen in decades !

The money grabbing commissioners are setting the stage for private industry to assess a transaction fee !

This is as bad as the pay day lenders !

Unions were stable until the government stepped in and busted them (Reagan and air traffic controllers) !

So, Todd and David the cost of doing business is credit card fees !

If the fees are to costly to government think about what they are to the consumer !

Lobby your crony legislatures to drop the hammer on the industry, PERIOD !

Don't put sand in the Vaseline !

at 1:03 PM, May 08, 2008 Blogger Courtney said...

It might be a good idea for the County Commissioners to review their Merchant Agreement with their credit card processor. It is a violation of most credit card processor's agreements for a "merchant" to offer a discount/incentive for paying with cash - essentially what the county is offering.

at 4:43 PM, May 08, 2008 Anonymous Kent Evans said...

As an appologist for Portune, DeWine has him on this one. Just raise the rates as he says. It's inconvenient enough to feed parking meters, why then add when a fine gets applied. It isn't like the card holder (payer) gets anything out of it.

at 10:09 PM, May 08, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon 10:52 - Will you walk downtown with $2000 in cash when it's time to pay your property taxes? If Portune gets his way it'll cost you extra to pay by check. How convenient.

at 2:30 PM, May 09, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's always highly suspicious when some pathetic individual like cincycappell [AKA cheviot sports idiot] becomes obsessed with someone else's life. Cincycappell ought to switch his online name to Mark David Chapman or John Hinckley Jr.

It sounds like cincycapell is hiding in the same closet as Tom Cruise and John Travolta. Use your real name if you're going to attack someone else by his real name. Otherwise, you're just another gutless liberal coward hiding behind a computer monitor.

at 7:03 PM, May 09, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did anyone think that maybe Todd Portune was asking for his people to look into electronic checks, which would be cheaper and more efficient for people not to have to drive downtown and park there car in order to possibly get another ticket. I certainly don't want my tax dollars going to fees being paid with a credit cards or an electronic check, that is a convenience, therefore requires a fee charged by the financial institute.

at 8:43 AM, May 10, 2008 Anonymous EWT said...

The all taxpayers of Hamilton County should not have to pay for everyone else's convenience on using credit cards to pay their debt.He should be responsible for his own.

If I choose to go to an ATM and retrieve money from a bank that is not mine,I can choose whether I'm willing to pay the $2.00 additional fee to get my money then and there or I have the choice of waiting until the next day and going in person to my bank and save the $2.00.

When I want to see a concert,I can log onto Ticket Master and get my tickets right then and there,pay the upcharge or go to the ticket window the next day with no upcharge.It is up to me if I am willing to pay the upcharge for the convenience or earn the extra frequent flyer miles I'll recieve by doing so but I in no way shape or form expect the entire audience to pay more for their ticket because I decide I want to order tickets to Maroon 5,at 11:00pm,on a Thursday night,from the comfort of my home,in my P.J.s. Just like I do not expect the citizens of Hamilton County to pick up the tab if I want to pay my property taxes,parking ticket or whatever from the comfort of my home. I can easily mail something in as I have done in the past.

Banks charge fees. Credit card companies charge fees which is why many stores will not take Amex because the FEES are higher than for M/C or Visa.

So if you want the conveience of charging something,it is offered but you are going to need to pay for it.Credit cards are a convenience and a privledge not a right.

I believe that in Hamilton County,we are smart and can recognize that we appreciate being given choices.Right now we are all tightening our belts with economy so mailing in our bills with a 42 cents might just be the way to go at this point. -EWT

at 6:18 PM, May 11, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

ETM - Going to a concert is a voluntary choice that you make. Paying property taxes, however, is mandated by the government if you own real estate. You're comapring apples to oranges. There's nothing convenient about adding additional fees on to mandatory payments. This is nothing but a cash grab.

at 3:55 PM, May 14, 2008 Anonymous Hamilton County Republican said...

Pat Dewine is a scumbag of a human being. So glad he was told by the party bosses to leave the commissioner's office.

Greg Hartmann will be a 1000% improvement over Dewine.

at 1:34 PM, May 30, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

Some of you get it. HC has been paying $700k for some years now. Who do you think pays that? You and I do. So this is a conveinence to the customers not mandatory. Therefore if you dont want to use a credit card then don't. Send a check. Why would a commissioner want to continue for HC to pay 700k per year for other people getting parking tickets and other things. The bottom line is that someone has to pay for this so why not charge the people who are creating the offenses. DUH

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