App for property tax paymentsis launched in Douglas County

Omaha World-Herald |

People in Douglas County can now pay their property taxes and manage their property tax accounts from their mobile phones with a new app operated by a private tech firm.

Douglas County Treasurer John Ewing and the Kansas City-based company PayIt launched the app, myDouglasCounty, on Wednesday. Ewing said taxpayers will be able to use the app to monitor their account statements, make one-time tax payments, schedule future payments, manage payment options and receive reminders when a new statement or bill is available.

People already could pay their Douglas County property taxes online. But the new app, which is also available on laptops and other devices, makes it easier to do on mobile devices and offers more services, Ewing said.

"We see so many people wanting to do so many things on their phones," Ewing said.

The Treasurer's Office is contracting with PayIt, which specializes in providing government services payment platforms. Those notably include the iKan app with the State of Kansas, which Kansans can use for renewing driver's licenses, automobile registrations and numerous other transactions.

The company makes money by charging fees to users. For electronic transfers from bank accounts, it will cost $4 for any payment of $250 or more. The fee for credit or debit card payments is higher, although PayIt's fees are a little lower than the county's current fees.

The fees vary based on the amount of the payment. For example, a homeowner with a $1,200 property tax bill would pay $4 to PayIt for an electronic transfer from a bank account, or $28 for a credit or debit card payment.

The benefit to the taxpayer is convenience, Ewing said.

"And we get the benefit of being able to provide better service, because there will be fewer people in line," he said.

Moving toward more online service also saves the county, and thus taxpayers, money in personnel costs, Ewing said.

Ewing hopes to expand the services to nearly all the business that Douglas County taxpayers do with his office, including food and pool permits and motor vehicle registration and taxes. The latter would require coordination with the State of Nebraska.

chris.burbach@owh.com, 402-444-1057

twitter.com/CHRISBURBACH

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