Casper Council Approves Utility Bill Change, Increasing Payments Made With Credit and Debit Cards
At the Casper city council meeting on Tuesday, the council approved by consent resolution a change to the way the city processes payments received from credit and debit cards.
Specifically, while the city has been paying an extra 1.3% for credit card processing from payments it receives, the city will now be passing that cost onto the consumer through a 2.95% fee on any transaction where people pay with a credit or debit card.
The city received a 1.3% fee because it got a discount that wouldn't apply to citizens purchasing with their cards, and anyone making a payment where the increase would be less than $2, like on a $50 bill where the 2.95% would increase it by $1.47, that increase would be rounded up to $2.
That fee will, for now, only apply to utility bills like water and sewer payments, however, the plans to consider the same fee for payments made to recreation facilities operated by the city, along with payments made to the police department and the court.
The council had previously discussed this issue at a work session on Sept. 27, and in that meeting Vice Mayor Bruce Knell had said that it's good the city won't be paying for the processing fee as many in the public are already used to paying for it.
City manager Carter Napier said that they will probably not consider adding the fee to other areas until sometime next year, but that people who pay with an automatic withdrawal, cash, or check won't have that additional fee.
The city anticipates that the transition to the new payment model won't happen until the end of this year, would save the city around $60,000 for the remaining portion of the 2023 fiscal year, and will cost the city $11,475 to update the card processing equipment.