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Town OKs Debit Cards to Pay Taxes

Westport's taxpayers will have a new payment option when the bills go out: debit cards. Controller Kenneth Alexander convinced the Board of Selectmen to make the change.

“It just offers our community some alternatives in terms of methods of payment,” said Alexander after the board approved the agreement unanimously last night. First Data of Middletown will now process the online tax payments in conjunction with Webster Bank.

Using a debit card will carry a $1.50 fee, compared to a 3 percent surcharge for paying with a credit card. Electronic transfers and checks are still valid payment options, as well as cash for those coming into the office. Alexander noted that most people do not pay with a credit card because of the size of the bills.

Alexander said he doesn't expect the new payment option to increase collection rates because Westport already does remarkably well in that area. However if residents that would normally pay by check use a debit card instead, the funds would be collected faster.

“The first part of this is to get through the first quarter and make sure it works,” said Alexander.

The new system is not in place yet. When it goes live the town will add instructions on how to pay by debit card to its website .

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