Council approves credit card processing fee
Tehachapi City Council Update
May 22, 2021
At their May 17 meeting, the City Council approved credit card processing fees for utilities and other services.
As always, the City of Tehachapi continues to accept credit cards, debit cards and e-checks in payment of utility bills. Credit card companies and merchant processors charge the city processing fees for each transaction, which the government allows to be passed on to the customer. Until last March, the City charged customers a $4 convenience fee for credit card charges in $300 increments when paying utility bills. This fee was waived in 2020 when City Hall was closed to the public in compliance with Governor Newsom’s statewide lockdown order to encourage customers to use a no-contact form of payment.
City Hall is now reopened and customers can again pay their utility bills in person. The city plans to resume charging credit card processing fees for utility payments and also to expand its credit card acceptance to include business license fees and development fees. According to City Finance Director Hannah Chung, these processing fees cost the city approximately 2.7 percent of the bill payment amount.
The City plans to move from the $300 increments to a fee of 2.7 percent for credit/debit card payments effective immediately. Note in the attached table that the old $4 increment undercharges all transactions over $150 and the adjusted fees will allow the city to recoup its administrative credit card expenses. This will also be a savings for customers with bills under $100.
Customers can pay their utility bill with credit cards online, http://www.liveuptehachapi.com, at City Hall, 115 S. Robinson St., Tehachapi, and by phone, (661) 822-2200. Other bills and fees can be paid at City Hall. Utilities can also be paid by direct debit of the customer’s checking account at no extra charge to the customer.
The Tehachapi City Council meets on the first and third Monday of each month at 6 p.m. Currently they are meeting at the BeeKay Theater located at 110 S. Green St.