Why is there a fee for using a credit or debit card to make a payment?

Many merchants accepting credit or debit cards are willing to pay the fees charged by credit card companies in order to provide that service to its customers. As a municipality, we do not have the option of paying those fees since we must collect the full amount of the tax bill. Therefore, when a taxpayer uses a credit card, the fees must be charged over and above the amount of the bill being paid.


A convenience fee is charged for processing each debit or credit card transaction as payment to a third party credit card processing service provider for accepting and processing the payment. The fee also covers the cost of the operation of a system for accepting card-based payments. This convenience fee is charged directly to the taxpayer as a separate charge on their cardholder statement. The fee amounts to 3% of the payment amount or a minimum of $2.00. No part of the convenience fee is paid to the Town of South Kingstown. 

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1. I escrow my Real Estate taxes – what do I do with my Real Estate tax bill?
2. I just purchased real estate in South Kingstown and received my tax bill – why is the tax bill under the prior property owner’s name?
3. When are tax payments due?
4. Is there a grace period after a tax bill’s quarterly due date before I am charged interest? What if my tax payment is late?
5. Why did I receive a late notice (“Notice of Account Statement”)?
6. How are penalties calculated?
7. If I mail a payment, will you honor the postmark?
8. Can I post-date my check?
9. What periods do tax bills cover?
10. Why can’t I register my motor vehicle; or, why can’t I renew my registration?
11. Why did I get a motor vehicle tax bill for a car I no longer own?
12. I don’t live in South Kingstown anymore – why am I receiving a motor vehicle tax bill from the Town of South Kingstown?
13. How can I pay my tax bill?
14. How can I pay my utility bill?
15. How do I make a payment with a credit or debit card?
16. Why is there a fee for using a credit or debit card to make a payment?
17. What is the current tax rate?
18. What if I don’t receive a tax bill?
19. How do I electronically retrieve a copy of my current tax bill?