City Officials Say Utility Credit Card Fee Likely Here to Stay

3 years 5 months 2 days ago November 22, 2013 Nov 22, 2013 Friday, November 22 2013 Friday, November 22, 2013 6:11:00 PM CST in News
By: Alyssa Caruso, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

COLUMBIA - Many utility customers have changed their payment methods since the city added a $4.60 credit card processing fee the week of September 16. Despite the dislike voiced by some utility customers, city officials said the fee would likely remain in place.

In October, about nine percent fewer utility customers paid their bills on-line or by phone and more customers paid using other options. Five percent more paid by mail, 2.5 percent more paid using automatic bill pay, and one percent more paid in person.

Austin Kolb is one utility customer who is not happy about the processing fee and now wants to persuade the city council to change it.

"I only pay sewer for the city, so my bill is only between $15 and $20, pretty much almost nothing and I have to pay $4.60 on that bill which is outrageous, that's more than 25 percent of the bill, 30 percent sometimes," Kolb said.

Kolb started an on-line petition against the fee on Change.org. He said once the petition has about 5,000 signatures, he would bring it to a city council meeting and talk to the mayor. He said he does not expect the city to pay for the fee, but that the fee does not need to be as high.

"I think everyone is OK with covering the cost of the transaction by paying on-line, but this is not cost. There's no way this is cost," Kolb said.

But Lynn Cannon, the assistant director of finance, said it is not possible to have different fees set for the different credit card payments.

"When you charge a convenience fee, MasterCard and Visa and the payment card industry dictates that those fees have to be consistent across the board for all payment types that come through that channel," Cannon said. "So you're going to pay the same fee whether it's a credit card, it's a debit card, or it's an e-check. And those are rules that are set and we can't control those."

That means even though the average cost to process a customer's credit card for the month of October was only $1.60, city officials defended the higher fee. City officials said the fee needs to be large enough to cover the costs for cards with higher rates, update and maintain software, and also give a profit to the company that processed the payments.

The city is one year into a two-year contract with the company that processes its credit card transactions. Cannon said the city would pay more if the officials removed the fee.

"There is a cancellation fee that's associated to that. And then, ultimately, we would have to start paying those credit card fees again at the city, which could result in a utility rate increase," Cannon said.

But Kolb still hopes city officials will come around and his petition will make people want to become informed.

"I'm hoping to just bring awareness that this is happening and that people will look into themselves and figure out how they feel about it," Kolb said.

City officials and the processing company will re-evaluate the fee after the current contract ends.

More News

Grid
List
FULTON - The Fulton Police Department found a body on Monday that's likely to be that of 31-year-old Carl DeBrodie.... More >>
2 hours ago April 25, 2017 Apr 25, 2017 Tuesday, April 25 2017 Tuesday, April 25, 2017 8:24:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA- The time has come for Missouri elementary and middle schoolers to take the annual Missouri Assessment Program (MAP) test.... More >>
4 hours ago April 25, 2017 Apr 25, 2017 Tuesday, April 25 2017 Tuesday, April 25, 2017 6:50:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - Developers have been busy since the Unified Development Ordinance passed earlier this year. As a result of the... More >>
4 hours ago April 25, 2017 Apr 25, 2017 Tuesday, April 25 2017 Tuesday, April 25, 2017 6:42:00 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Another way to get around town is entering Missouri's state capital. Uber began operating in Jefferson... More >>
4 hours ago April 25, 2017 Apr 25, 2017 Tuesday, April 25 2017 Tuesday, April 25, 2017 6:28:00 PM CDT in News
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Kansas City, Missouri, police said four people are in custody after one of them allegedly... More >>
5 hours ago April 25, 2017 Apr 25, 2017 Tuesday, April 25 2017 Tuesday, April 25, 2017 5:53:52 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Missouri public K-12 schools appear set to get roughly $48 million more in basic aid next... More >>
5 hours ago April 25, 2017 Apr 25, 2017 Tuesday, April 25 2017 Tuesday, April 25, 2017 5:51:30 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA – An expert from a group looking to eliminate all things nuclear spoke Tuesday to a crowd of mid-Missourians.... More >>
6 hours ago April 25, 2017 Apr 25, 2017 Tuesday, April 25 2017 Tuesday, April 25, 2017 4:22:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA – The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is currently processing a claim of racial discrimination against the Boone County... More >>
7 hours ago April 25, 2017 Apr 25, 2017 Tuesday, April 25 2017 Tuesday, April 25, 2017 4:02:00 PM CDT in News
FAYETTE - Fayette Resident Megan Monckton said she and her husband had plans to go flying with pilot Charles McCutcheon,... More >>
7 hours ago April 25, 2017 Apr 25, 2017 Tuesday, April 25 2017 Tuesday, April 25, 2017 3:39:00 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY – As the law currently stands, it is legal to discriminate against LGBTQ Missourians. House Bill 846,... More >>
7 hours ago April 25, 2017 Apr 25, 2017 Tuesday, April 25 2017 Tuesday, April 25, 2017 3:30:00 PM CDT in News
FAYETTE – More than 100 people attended the second annual “Never Forget…Never Again” Holocaust Remembrance Day at Linn Memorial Church... More >>
8 hours ago April 25, 2017 Apr 25, 2017 Tuesday, April 25 2017 Tuesday, April 25, 2017 3:03:00 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — The Missouri Supreme Court said that a woman running a dog kennel can't sue dog advocacy... More >>
8 hours ago April 25, 2017 Apr 25, 2017 Tuesday, April 25 2017 Tuesday, April 25, 2017 2:53:21 PM CDT in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Two children were critically injured after a police chase ended in a crash near Lambert Airport... More >>
8 hours ago April 25, 2017 Apr 25, 2017 Tuesday, April 25 2017 Tuesday, April 25, 2017 2:45:05 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The Supreme Court of Missouri upheld the decision by a lower court regarding the sentence in a... More >>
9 hours ago April 25, 2017 Apr 25, 2017 Tuesday, April 25 2017 Tuesday, April 25, 2017 2:00:00 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens has appointed Jackson County Circuit Judge W. Brent Powell to the state... More >>
10 hours ago April 25, 2017 Apr 25, 2017 Tuesday, April 25 2017 Tuesday, April 25, 2017 12:21:00 PM CDT in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Two children are critically injured after a police chase ended in a crash near Lambert Airport... More >>
11 hours ago April 25, 2017 Apr 25, 2017 Tuesday, April 25 2017 Tuesday, April 25, 2017 12:14:00 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — An advocacy group is pushing a bill that would increase the age of people tried in... More >>
11 hours ago April 25, 2017 Apr 25, 2017 Tuesday, April 25 2017 Tuesday, April 25, 2017 11:56:54 AM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - A student at Battle High School was taken into police custody on Monday after administrators reported finding drugs... More >>
13 hours ago April 25, 2017 Apr 25, 2017 Tuesday, April 25 2017 Tuesday, April 25, 2017 10:05:00 AM CDT in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 70°
12am 68°
1am 67°
2am 66°
3am 65°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

10:35p
The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon
11:37p
Late Night with Seth Meyers
12:37a
Last Call with Carson Daly
11:00p
Rules of Engagement
11:30p
Rules of Engagement
12:00a
Raising Hope

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
The Voice
8:00p
Great News
8:30p
Great News
9:00p
Chicago Fire
7:00p
The Flash
8:00p
iZombie
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld