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Clerk, assessor now accepting credit card payments

The Nye County clerk’s and assessor’s office will soon join the electronic age of commerce practiced by almost every business today in ringing up payments.

County commissioners in the past month approved contracts with Point and Pay whereby the two offices can accept credit card and debit card payments, relieving customers, some from out of town, who had to send checks or money orders and wait for documents.

Nye County Clerk Sam Merlino explained the system will be similar to using an ATM card to make a payment, then getting a prompt that the user will have to pay a $2 or $3 transaction fee.

Merlinio said county clerks were in a quandary, they are bound by statute what they charge for certain fees.

“We had issues with credit companies that do this, we would have to charge the additional fees and reconcile. In talking to some of the other clerks that put them in a position where they were overcharging where they would be violating the law,” Merlino said.

Instead the customer deals directly with the credit company to pay the extra fees for paying electronically, which are $2 for transactions up to $50, then $3 from $50 to $100 and $3 for each additional $100.

“We’re getting a couple card readers for it and I don’t have to reconcile those little fees,” Merlino said. “They’re paying the fee directly to the service not to us. That way they can determine if they want to use that service fine, they can pay that $3 service fee but it doesn’t go to the clerk’s office.”

“This worked out perfect for us because we don’t have to work at reconciling those fees,” she said.

The arrangement will work out especially well for people who need documents that live out of town and can’t drive to the clerk’s office, who have had to wait for their check or money order to arrive, Merlino said.

“Right now it’s checks, cash or money order and we stopped taking out-of-state checks, at least out-of-state personal checks, because they bounce and we had a difficult time trying to recoup those fees,” Merlino said. “We do have a lot of out-of-state people looking for copies and they have moved. It’s real difficult for them to send a check or money order then we sent out the copies. This way we can deal with those out-of-state people real easily.”

County Commission Chairman Dan Schinhofen asked when a similar program would be available for the sheriff’s department to process concealed weapons permits.

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