Law:Title 4. Finances. Subtitle C. Financial Provisions Applying To More Than One Type Of Local Government from Chapter 132. Payment Of Fees And Other Costs By Credit Card Or Electronic Means In Municipalities And Counties (Texas)

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Subtitle C. Financial Provisions Applying To More Than One Type Of Local Government

Contents

Chapter 132. Payment Of Fees And Other Costs By Credit Card Or Electronic Means In Municipalities And Counties

Section  132.001.  Definitions.

In this chapter:

(1)  "Credit card" means a card, plate, or similar device used to make purchases on credit or to borrow money.

(2)  "Payment by electronic means" means payment by telephone or computer but does not include payment in person or by mail.

Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 149, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1987. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 148, Sec. 5, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Section  132.002.  Payment Of Fees Or Costs By Credit Card Or Electronic Means.

(a) The commissioners court of a county may authorize a county or precinct officer who collects fees, fines, court costs, or other charges on behalf of the county or the state to accept payment by credit card of a fee, fine, court costs, or other charge. The commissioners court may also authorize a county or precinct officer to collect and retain a fee for processing the payment by credit card.

(b)  The governing body of a municipality may authorize a municipal official who collects fees, fines, court costs, or other charges to:

(1)  accept payment by credit card of a fee, fine, court cost, or other charge; and

(2)  collect a fee for processing the payment by credit card.

(c)  The governing body of a municipality may authorize the acceptance of payment by credit card without requiring collection of a fee.

(d)  The commissioners court may authorize a county or precinct officer who collects fees, fines, court costs, or other charges on behalf of the county or the state to accept payment by electronic means of a fee, fine, court costs, or other charge. The commissioners court may also authorize a county or precinct officer to collect and retain a handling fee for processing the payment by electronic means.

(e)  A commissioners court may authorize the acceptance of payment by credit card or by electronic means without requiring collection of a fee.

(f)  The director of a community supervision and corrections department, with the approval of the judges described by Section 76.002, Government Code, may authorize a community supervision official who collects fees, fines, court costs, and other charges to:

(1)  accept payment by debit card or credit card of a fee, fine, court cost, or other charge; and

(2)  collect a fee for processing the payment by debit card or credit card.

Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 149, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1987. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 148, Sec. 6, eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 569, Sec. 1, eff. June 11, 2001.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1205, Sec. 9, eff. September 1, 2007.



Section  132.003.  Processing Or Handling Fee.

(a) The commissioners court shall set a processing fee in an amount that is reasonably related to the expense incurred by the county or precinct officer in processing the payment by credit card. However, the court may not set the processing fee in an amount that exceeds five percent of the amount of the fee, court cost, or other charge being paid.

(b)  The governing body of a municipality shall set the processing fee in an amount that is reasonably related to the expense incurred by the municipal official in processing the payment by credit card. However, the governing body may not set the processing fee in an amount that exceeds five percent of the amount of the fee, fine, court cost, or other charge being paid.

(c)  If the commissioners court authorizes collection of a handling fee under Section 132.002(c), the fee shall be set:

(1)  at a flat rate that does not exceed $5 for each payment transaction; or

(2)  at a rate that is reasonably related to the expense incurred by the county or precinct officer in processing a payment by electronic means and that does not exceed five percent of the amount of the fee, court cost, or other charge being paid.

(d)  In addition to the fee set under Subsection (a), the commissioners court of a county may authorize a county or precinct officer to collect on behalf of the county from a person making payment by credit card an amount equal to the amount of any transaction fee charged to the county by a vendor providing services in connection with payments made by credit card. The limitation prescribed by Subsection (a) on the amount of a fee does not apply to a fee collected under this subsection.

Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 149, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1987. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 148, Sec. 7, eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 126, Sec. 1, eff. May 15, 2001.



Section  132.004.  Service Charge.

If, for any reason, a payment by credit card is not honored by the credit card company on which the funds are drawn, the county or municipality may collect a service charge from the person who owes the fee, fine, court cost, or other charge. The service charge is in addition to the original fee, fine, court cost, or other charge and is for the collection of that original amount. The amount of the service charge is the same amount as the fee charged for the collection of a check drawn on an account with insufficient funds.

Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 149, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1987.



Section  132.005.  Encumbrance Of Credit Cards; Fee.

A county or municipality may contract with a company that issues credit cards to collect and seize credit cards issued by the company that are outdated or otherwise unauthorized. The county or municipality may charge the company a fee for the return of the credit cards.

Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 149, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1987.



Section  132.006.  Disposition Of Fees And Charges.

(a) The county or precinct officer collecting a fee or charge under this chapter shall deposit the fee or charge in the general fund of the county.

(b)  The municipal official collecting a fee or charge under this chapter shall deposit the fee or charge in the general fund of the municipality.

Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 149, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1987.



Section  132.007.  Information, Services, And Payment Through The Internet.

(a) A county or municipality may provide through the Internet:

(1)  access to information;

(2)  collection of payments for taxes, fines, fees, court costs, or other charges; or

(3)  other county and municipal services authorized by law.

(b)  A county or municipality may charge a reasonable fee for providing access, collecting payments, or providing services authorized by this section.

(c)  A county or municipality that provides access to information or provides services through the Internet under Subsection (a)(1) or (3):

(1)  may only charge a fee for the access or service if the fee is designed to recover the costs directly and reasonably incurred in providing the access or service; and

(2)  may charge the fee only if the governing body of the county or municipality determines that providing access to the information or providing the service through the Internet would not be feasible without the imposition of the charge.

(d)  A county or municipality may contract with a vendor to provide access, collect payments, or provide services authorized by Subsection (a). A vendor must promptly submit to the county or municipality all payments collected on behalf of the county or municipality under this section. The county or municipality must approve any fee charged by a vendor under a contract authorized by this subsection.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 94, Sec. 1, eff. May 11, 2001. Amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1304, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.


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