County Government Unveils Latest Payment Kiosk

(Monday, September 25, 2006 2:51 PM EDT)
“Pay early, and pay elsewhere” was the resonating motto at a ribbon-cutting ceremony launching a self-service tax-payment kiosk at the Arlington County government headquarters Sept. 25.

This kiosk is the 23rd of its kind in Arlington (the other 22 are found in convenience stores across the county) and allows residents to pay their taxes, bills, decal fees and parking tickets with cash or check, without having to stand in line at the treasurer's office.

The kiosk initiative is part of the broader Neighborhood Payment Program, which seeks to make the payment process more convenient for Arlington residents. Payments can be made at more than 40 Global Express Financial Services locations, as well as 7-Elevens and at most Arlington banks.

The program especially aims to help the immigrant population. Around 30,000 Latino immigrants come to the treasurer's office to make payments near tax deadline dates.

Doing so takes time and can result in a loss of income for those who have to take time off to come, said county Treasurer Frank O'Leary.

“I don't want to people to come here to pay,” O'Leary said. “They should take advantage of the technology in their area.”

At $15,000 apiece, the kiosks are designed to pay off in the long run, taking the place of cashiers who cost much more yearly.

“Technology costs less than people,” O'Leary said. “Machines don't have sick days, and they can work 24 hours a day.”

A 24th kiosk, to be located outside on the plaza side of the government center, will be available for self-service payment once construction in the building is finished. Future kiosk sites also might include public libraries and local shopping malls.

Oct. 5 is the deadline for personal property tax and real estate tax payments.

County Board Chairman Chris Zimmerman tries out the new payment kiosk at the county government headquarters in Courthouse.
(Photo by Kristen Armstrong)

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