Tennessee city puts payments online

Jackson, Tenn.'s parking ticket payment service

Jackson, Tenn., entered the e-government arena Wednesday with the debut of the city's first two online transaction services, enabling more than 53,000 area residents to pay property taxes and parking tickets electronically.

This is the first of several online government services the city plans to provide through a partnership with Atlanta-based application service provider EzGov Inc.

EzGov also has finalized a contract with Dyer County, Tenn., for online property tax payment software, said Jennifer McCollum, the company's director of communications.

By the time most property taxes are filed in two or three months, Jackson city officials will be in position to evaluate the success of these pioneer programs with an eye toward future applications, said City Recorder Russ Truell.

"We looked for two applications to find out how scalable this process is," Truell said. The city, which allows free parking, only writes about 100 tickets per month for handicapped space, loading zone and other parking violations, he said. On the other extreme, Jackson processes about 27,000 property tax filings each year.

"We want to take the hassle out of paying tickets and taxes — no more standing in line, no more late-night runs to the drop box," said Jackson Mayor Charles Farmer in a joint press release with EzGov.

To pay a parking ticket, recipients enter the citation number, their vehicle tag number and the state into the system. They then enter credit or debit card numbers to complete the transaction. Property taxes are paid through an electronic check. Property owners simply enter the name of their bank and account number to create a secure online check that will be debited directly from the account. In both cases an instant confirmation of payment is then sent to the customer. A $3 convenience fee will be charged for parking ticket payments, but multiple tickets can be paid at one time. The fee for property taxes is $4 per payment.

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