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Payments made by credit card are processed by a secure 3rd party payment processor, who charges a 2.5% processing fee on the grand total of all transactions. This is necessary to cover the additional fee (also called interchange fees) that financial institutions/credit card companies charge payment processors for credit card purchases. Whereas private businesses can increase the prices they charge to "absorb" the cost of interchange fees, local government agencies can not. Because of that, the processing fee must be paid by the customer to the payment processor. No part of the 2.5% fee is sent to or kept by the Manatee County Tax Collector's office.
To avoid the processing fee, you may pay your property taxes online by using your checking account information and electronically debiting the funds.
What legal authority does the Tax Collector have to charge a processing fee?
Section 215.322, Florida Statutes, " Subsection (5) of the statute states: "A unit of local government, which term means a municipality, special district, or board of county commissioners or other governing body of a county, however styled, ... and means any clerk of the circuit court, sheriff, property appraiser, tax collector, or supervisor of elections, is authorized to accept payment by use of credit cards, charge cards, and bank debit cards for financial obligations that are owing to such unit of local government and to surcharge the person who uses a credit card, charge card, or bank debit card in payment of taxes, license fees, tuition, fines, civil penalties, court-ordered payments, or court costs, or other statutorily prescribed revenues an amount sufficient to pay the service fee charges by the financial institution, vending service company, or credit card company for such services... ." (e.s.)"