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More property tax payment options for Lake County residents

Linda Libal

Lake County residents can now pay their property taxes online and with more payment options.

In the past, taxpayers were limited to paying with only checks or cash in person or through the mail. Now the county can receive payments online from credit cards, debit cards or electronic checks. In addition to the new online payment option, there is a machine at the Lake County Courthouse that accepts credit and debit cards. Taxpayers can still bring checks or cash to the counter, too.

"We're trying to move ahead technologically a little bit and hoping we can make some people's lives a little bit easier," said Linda Libal, Lake County auditor and treasurer.

The changes come after multiple inquiries by taxpayers asking if there was an electronic payment option, and out of convenience for seasonal residents.

"We had a lot of people asking," Libal said. "We have a lot of people who are out of state who vacation here and have summer homes here."

Libal said she estimates more than half of the counties in Minnesota already have a form of online payment. Additionally, Libal said she understands people are moving to banking options that no longer use physical checks.

Accepted credit cards are Visa, Mastercard, American Express and Discover. There are fees associated with the new payment methods. The fees do not go to Lake County but to Forte Payment Systems, the company providing the payment service. The fees associated with the new payment options include:

• Credit card: convenience fee of 2.35 percent and a minimum fee of $1.95

• Electronic check: flat fee of $1.50

• Debit card: flat fee of $3.95

As for security, Libal voiced no concerns.

"(Taxpayers will) be provided with the same security that the county as a whole has, our same firewalls, (and) the credit card company itself that's working with the counties has its own built-in security," she said.

Overall, Libal said she believes the changes will be positive for Lake County taxpayers.

"I hope that it will make their lives just a little bit easier," Libal said.

More Information

Go to co.lake.mn.us and click on "Latest News," or call Linda Libal, Lake County Auditor/Treasurer, at (218) 834-8315

Jimmy Lovrien

Jimmy Lovrien is a reporter for the Duluth News Tribune. He spent the summer of 2015 as an intern for the Duluth News Tribune and was hired full time in October 2017 as a reporter for the Weekly Observer. He also reported for the Lake County News-Chronicle in 2017-18. Lovrien grew up in Alexandria, Minn., but moved to Duluth in 2013 to attend The College of St. Scholastica. Lovrien graduated from St. Scholastica in 2017 with a bachelor's degree in English and history. He also spent a summer studying journalism at the University of California, Berkeley.

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