Monday, November 17, 2014

Decatur now accepts tax payments by e-check

In order to provide more options to taxpayers, Decatur now accepts property tax payments by electronic check (“e-check”). There are no extra fees to pay with an e-check—just the principal amount due.

How it works
Property owners can go to, access their record and click under “Add To Cart” to make a payment. A button will display to “proceed to secure checkout.” Payment options of Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express, Paypal, and e-check will be displayed. If e-check is selected, payment is made by entering a bank account and routing number. The company processing web payments on the city’s behalf is Paypal, but a Paypal account is not required to make payments by credit card or e-check.

E-checks clear in 3-5 days 
Property taxes for the second installment of 2014 are due by Dec. 22, 2014. Taxpayers should be aware that e-checks, like paper checks, generally take three to five days to clear the bank. It is not an immediate debit like online credit card transactions. Considering the clearing period, e-check payers are encouraged to pay at least five days prior to our formal payment deadline to help prevent any last-minute stress over whether your payment was received on time.

Why choose e-check?
Paying by e-check lets property owners save a stamp and avoid convenience fees for online credit card payments. Paying with an e-check through also offers several advantages compared to paying taxes as part of an online bill paying service through personal bank accounts. If you currently pay your taxes online through your personal bank account, we encourage you to consider switching to pay with an e-check directly through our website. At, you can access a full copy of your tax bill, while most major online banking services do not provide detailed bills. Secondly, using an online bill paying feature through your personal bank account may not allow you to include your property ID and tax year with your payment, which are the two essential pieces of information we need to post your payment to your account in a timely and accurate fashion. (Paying with an e-check through our website automatically provides the city with the property ID and tax year information.) Lastly, the e-check service we use is truly electronic, and no paper checks are generated or printed during the process, but with your online bill pay checks, we actually receive those checks as paper.

Web payment services
Decatur began accepting web-based credit card payments with a third-party convenience fee for property taxes in 2010. Adding free e-check acceptance has grown out of Decatur's ongoing commitment to provide more automated services to the community.  Businesses with commercial sanitation accounts will also be able to pay with e-checks in 2015.

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