Okaloosa County Tax Collector Chris Hughes announced that the county is deploying a self-service kiosk for the citizens of Okaloosa County to conduct a wide range of business transactions with his office, including: property tax, vehicle registration renewals, occupational licenses and hunting and fishing licenses. The kiosk will enable citizens to make payments using credit cards.
This initiative, provided in conjunction with Nashville-based electronic payment processor LINK2GOV Corp., is the first of its kind in the State of Florida to offer a full range of county and state transactional tax-related services and to address the growing public demand for government entities to provide convenient and expedient cashless commerce services as they are offered in the private sector.
The kiosks are a product of Burnby, British Columbia-based Info-Touch Technologies. The full service kiosk is located adjacent to the food court in Santa Rosa Mall in Destin, Florida.
“Citizens today should expect their government to meet their needs anytime and anyplace,” Mr. Hughes commented. “Our kiosk complements our current Internet and automated phone services to address those citizens who want to transact business with our office but who experience time constraints or simply are unable to physically come to one of our five offices throughout Okaloosa County” Hughes continued, “We also recognize that citizens want the ease of ‘one-stop shopping’ of government services – so we designed our kiosk to enable them to transact from a menu of services including county and state tax payments. Our goal is to continue to increase citizen convenience through innovative use of emerging technologies,” said Hughes.
“The Okaloosa kiosk project offers exciting new alternatives to streamline citizen and business-to-government transactions through technology,” Tom Tarver, president of LINK2GOV said. “As an authorized payment processor for several Florida County tax collectors, we applaud Okaloosa County for their leadership in launching the first kiosk in the state that provides the option to make a variety of state and county payment services. These types of services not only serve the citizens directly, but they create operational efficiencies within the government entity.”
The Okaloosa Tax Collector’s office is an innovator in tax collections in the State of Florida by becoming the first Tax Collector Office to fully integrate the use of personal computers to handle county and state tax collection functions. The office has pioneered ways to collect funds efficiently while trying to make the process as painless for the customer as possible. Chris Hughes was one of the first tax collectors in the country to accept credit cards for tax payments both in the office and over the Internet. The main branch of the Okaloosa County Tax Collector’s office is located in the Crestview Courthouse with additional branch offices in Ft. Walton, Destin, Eglin AF Base, and Niceville.
Link2Gov Corp. is a premiere provider of electronic payment processing and portal and e-Commerce services for local, state and the federal government. In January 2003 LINK2GOV began accepting electronic payments for individual income tax payments for the IRS.
Cashless, electronic payment processing services enable citizens and businesses to complete transactions with the government over the Internet, telephone, point-of-sale and kiosk through methods such as credit cards, ATM/debit cards, check cards and electronic checks.
About Info Touch
Info Touch is North America’s leading provider of kiosk software based security and management solutions. Surfnet Premiere, its flagship software platform, is the Fortune 1000’s preferred solution for public Internet access. Established in 1997, Info Touch provisions premiere kiosk technology solutions that help drive bottom-line benefits through the convergence of online and offline operations. Info Touch clients include: Cable and Wireless (Caribbean), Telmex, Chapters Indigo, Future Shop / Best Buy, Macs/Couchetard, ConocoPhillips, KB Home, Fairmont Hotels, Chase Manhattan Bank, Merrill Lynch / HSBC, the U.S. Army, Marines Corps and Navy.