State Treasurer Riley Moore today praised the Legislature’s unanimous passage of a bill proposed by his office that will make online payments for state or local government services available statewide in the coming years.
The House of Delegates voted 98-0 Monday morning to pass Senate Bill 280; it will now go to Gov. Jim Justice for his signature. The bill unanimously passed the Senate on Feb. 22.
Senate Bill 280 would require all county and local governments to give citizens and businesses the option to make payments online through the State Treasurer’s electronic payment system.
The bill would guarantee that by March 1, 2023, West Virginia citizens and businesses would be able to pay any tax, fee, fine or other payment to the state or any political subdivision online, in addition to still being able to pay in person or by mail.
“This is a tremendous leap forward to modernizing government and finally bringing West Virginia into the 21st century,” Treasurer Moore said. “People have become accustomed to making payments online, especially following the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s essential for business transactions, and we need to make sure this option is available for all government services.”
While online payments are already available in some areas, the processing fees charged by some governments are prohibitively high. Treasurer Moore said that by making this a statewide payments system, it will reduce the costs for these transactions, saving money for both individuals and the government.
“This statewide system will give us the economies of scale to bring down the cost of these fees and save money for government agencies and consumers,” Treasurer Moore said.
While this bill requires state and local governments to make the e-payment system available, people will still be able to make payments in person or by mail if they so choose.
“If you like paying in person, you’ll still be able to do that, but we want to make sure this convenience is available for those who would rather pay online,” Treasurer Moore said.
Treasurer Moore promoted the legislation as part of an overall effort to modernize the structure of the State Treasurer’s Office.
“We want to make sure we’re making these payment systems as easy to use as possible for our people,” Treasurer Moore said. “No one should be forced to take time off work to travel to a courthouse or government building to pay their taxes and other fees for government services. It’s long past time we implemented this convenience for our citizens.”