AUBURN – Residents will be able to use credit cards to pay for city business, councilors learned Monday.

The city plans to sign a contract with Point and Pay, a credit card payment company. The service should be available in the next 30 to 45 days, according to City Manager Glenn Aho. Residents will be able to swipe their credit or debit cards to pay property taxes, car registration and excise taxes as well as birth certificates, hunting licenses and other fees.

Residents who use the service will be charged a $1 fee and 2.95 percent interest. For example, a person charging $1,000 would pay an additional $30.50.

Previously, credit card companies wanted to charge those fees to the city. Officials objected to spending taxpayer money to offer a convenience to a few customers.

“That was a big hurdle,” Aho said.

American Express, Master Card and Discover Card users will be able to swipe their cards at the city staff stations for all transactions, according to Finance Director Tracy Roy. Visa card holders will be able to use their cards at the staff stations to pay their property taxes. They’ll have to use a nearby computer station to pay for other city fees and permits.

“But it will be instantaneous,” Roy said. “We’ll be able to see right away as soon as they’ve paid.”

Aho said the city plans to expand the service to the Internet eventually, letting people check on and pay from their own computers.

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