Hartford to consider letting residents pay taxes online

By Jaime Thomas

Residents of Hartford may soon be able to pay their taxes online.

The town board discussed the possibility Monday night of setting up an e-payment system at the town offices. Though such a setup was previously more expensive than it was worth, Town Supervisor Dana Haff said it would now only cost the town $125 per year to install.

“It would make it quite a bit more convenient for the citizens,” he said, explaining that residents could make such purchases as fishing licenses or other fees by credit card.

They could even pay their taxes the same way—for a 2.85 percent fee.

“So I can rack up Am/Ex points while paying my taxes,” board member Bob Dillon joked. Town Clerk Denise Petteys said Fort Ann has been offering the e-payment system for five years, and some townspeople have used it.

The board made no decision on the option, and Petteys said she would further research it.

During the discussion, board member Barbara Beecher asked about another method for residents to pay taxes.

“In Vermont, they can make three tax payments throughout the year. Has the county thought about that?” she asked. Haff said the county has in the past discussed quarterly payments but does not like the idea.

Also during the meeting, Haff mentioned concerns some residents recently raised.

“We just got through election time, and I heard a lot of people complaining that there are a lot of signs,” Haff said.

He said campaign signs are the nature of election season, and that it would be “foolish” for the town board to try and attack the issue.

“There’s really nothing the town can do; it’s private property. Leave it alone. It’s life—deal with it,” Haff said.

In other news, the board passed a resolution to allow any retired full-time town workers, who are currently not on town-provided retirement health care plans, to be able to come back under town coverage. The town and retiree would each contribute 50 percent of the insurance premium.

The resolution came after a former employee, who had left town coverage to go onto his wife’s insurance plan, was looking for town coverage again after her company shut down.

As far as positions, the board will be posting one seven-year opening as a youth commission member and two two-year members. The board also set a public hearing about a resolution for local law to set compensation for a deputy town clerk. Currently, no one serves in that position.

There will be two other public hearing as well, one for a local law to repeal existing laws and regulations for the planning board and one for a local law regulating the planning board.

The next regular meeting and the public hearings will take place on Tuesday, Dec. 10 at 7 p.m.

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