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Quick Response codes make it easier to pay property taxes online
September 6, 2012
Solano County property tax bills will be sporting the latest trend in making it easier to conduct government business.
The bills will be printed with Quick Response (QR) codes to provide mobile device users a direct link to the web page of the Treasurer – Tax Collector – County Clerk.
"This is part of our long-term strategy to increase the use of electronic communication and payments. The electronic delivery of services makes it easier for taxpayers to pay at home and avoid waiting in line, while saving taxpayers money by allowing government to provide the same quality service at a lower cost," said Charles Lomeli, Treasurer – Tax Collector – County Clerk for Solano County.
QR codes allow the recipient to scan the code using a mobile device, and the code directs their device to perform a specified action. The initial QR code being deployed will take the taxpayer to the department's online bill payment site, where taxpayers can look up tax information. Enhancements expected next year will take the taxpayer directly to their tax bill.
Once on the website, people can pay any property taxes due using an e-check, debit card or credit card.
Lomeli anticipates that making it easier for taxpayers to access their bill online will result in more online payments and reduce the number of payments received in person or via traditional mail. About 7 percent of the payments received for 2011/2012 tax bills were electronic.
Payments made in person or by mail require additional processing time than online transactions. Lomeli estimates that a payment received via mail costs about 45 cents per transaction, while in-person payments cost about $3 each. By comparison, electronic payments can be processed for as little as 12 cents each.
“This is about making our limited resources work smarter for us, while making it more convenient for the taxpayer,” Lomeli said.
The department is also evaluating the use of QR codes and interactive chat services that will further reduce phone and counter transactions and provide taxpayers information in a more cost-effective format.