The Village of Burns Lake plans to start accepting online payments for utilities, property taxes and penalties by credit card.
The village currently accepts cash, debit card, cheque or online banking payments. However, many residents have expressed the desire to pay with their credit card, whether it is to gain points, or because they don’t have the funds to pay their entire bill all at once.
Burns Lake residents still won’t be able to make credit card payments at the village office – the service will only be available through the village’s website at http://office.burnslake.ca.
Typically when a company accepts a credit card payment for services, there is a cost to the company which could be between one to five per cent of the payment. In this case, the cost of the transaction will be transferred to the cardholder.
Bernice Crossman, Director of Finance for the Village of Burns Lake, said the village hopes to have the system up and running by the end of April or early May 2016.
According to a village staff report, in the future the village expects to see the scope grow to other payments such as dog licenses and business licences.
Residential sewer rates to increase
As part of the 2016 provisional budget, Burns Lake council approved a 9.8 per cent increase to residential sewer rates.
According to the village, this increase will help mitigate the ever-growing cost of the materials that the village uses to maintain streets and treat water and sewage.
According to Sheryl Worthing, Chief Administrative Officer for the Village of Burns Lake, the purpose of the increase was to ensure that $50,000 goes to sewer reserves.
“While it is unfortunate that taxes need to be raised, council feels that in order to maintain the high level of services that our residents receive, a small increase must be implemented,” says council.
Tax rate for residents will increase by one per cent while the tax rate for businesses will decrease by two per cent.
The village says the tax reduction for local commercial businesses will help reduce the yearly expense associated with running a business and encourage entrepreneurs to invest locally instead of moving their business to another area.
“By providing incentives like this, we hope to encourage businesses to fill our local commercial space as well as invest in their properties,” says council.