Official Payments Corporation announced that 65 local government entities within the state of Texas have signed service agreements with the company.
These agreements will enable citizens to pay real estate tax obligations by credit card over the Internet by visiting [www.officialpayments.com], or via telephone by calling 1-800-2PAY-TAX. With these additions, Official Payments now serves nearly 200 government clients within Texas. Concurrent signing of these 65 taxing districts throughout the state was made possible through an alliance between Official Payments and Assessments of the Southwest, an entity authorized to collect taxes on the districts’ behalf. The districts, which cover territories throughout the state including Brazoria, Fort Bend, Galveston, and Harris Counties, annually collect more than $500 million in real estate taxes. All 65 payment systems are scheduled to go live this month, preceding the districts’ tax due dates in January 2002. American Express(R), Discover Card(R), MasterCard(R) and VISA(R) are the cards to be accepted by the programs.
“We are pleased to partner with Official Payments to offer these new services,” said Tommy Lee, Tax Collector, Assessments of the Southwest. “Our goals are to streamline the tax collection process for our districts, and make paying taxes as convenient as possible for our citizens. These Internet and telephone systems do just that,” Lee stated.
“Signing up local clients is critical to our success in Texas, as income taxes are not collected on the state level. Our partnerships with these 65 new clients give us enormous traction,” said Thomas R. Evans, Chairman & CEO of Official Payments. “We hope that residents of these districts will use our credit card payment services in January to make a real estate tax payment, and come back in April to pay their federal taxes,” Evans added.
Official Payments has similar agreements with the Internal Revenue Service, 20 state governments, the District of Columbia, and more than 1,000 local government entities in all 50 states to collect a variety of taxes, fees, and fines by credit card over the Internet and telephone.
Official Payments charges taxpayers a convenience fee for processing these credit card transactions. The fee schedule can be found on the Internet at [http://www.officialpayments.com]. For example, a taxpayer who owed a Texas district $3,000 in real estate taxes and charged their taxes would find a total of $3,087 on their credit card statement: $3,000 for the tax bill and $87 for the convenience fee. Taxpayers using credit cards with bonus rewards programs can, depending on their card’s program, earn rewards, points, and cash-back or airline frequent flyer miles for paying their taxes.
About Official Payments Corporation
Founded in 1996, Official Payments Corporation (Nasdaq: OPAY) is the leading provider of electronic payment options to more than 1,000 government entities in all 50 states. The company’s principal business is enabling consumers to pay their government taxes, fees, fines, and utility bills by credit card, via Internet and telephone. Official Payments has agreements to collect and process credit card payments with the Internal Revenue Service, 20 state governments, the District of Columbia, and over 1,000 county and municipal governments across the United States. In 2000, Official Payments collected and processed over $925 million in federal, state and local government payments. Thomas R. Evans, the former President & CEO of the Internet company GeoCities, became Chairman & CEO of Official Payments in the summer of 1999. Mr. Evans brought Official Payments public in November of 1999, raising $80 million in its IPO on the NASDAQ national market.