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Q: It’s almost time to pay my property taxes. Can I do this with a credit card?
A: Whether or not property taxes can be paid with a credit card will depend on the county or state in which you live or in which the property is located. Generally, however, you should be able to do so.
But we do want to warn you that most jurisdictions charge a fee to accept payment by credit card. Taxing authorities want to cover their costs of processing your credit card payment. And these fees are usually more than any rewards you can earn by paying by credit card.
If you choose to pay property taxes with a credit card that allows you to make either debit or credit payments, it is best to choose the “credit” option with this particular transaction. You will have to sign a slip, something that is known as a “signature transaction”; however, you will also get a hard receipt of the credit card transaction itself.
This will be in addition to anything else you are given showing you paid your property taxes. These can include such things as a part of the card that has been stamped “paid”, or a separate receipt issued by the tax agency showing you have paid your taxes, or any similar item. You can staple or clip all these together and put them in your file for tax payments.
If you are not sure that your property tax agency accepts credit card payments, you might want to call first. This way, you can arrange to get either the cash or another form of payment, such as a money order or certified check.
Also, before you pa your property taxes, make sure that your mortgage lender will not be paying them also. Most people pay their lender a little extra each month for taxes and insurance. These are then held by the lender until those bills are due. Think of it as a forced allocation program. Regardless, you do not want to pay those bills twice.