>Crook County soon will implement an online bill payment system
Crook County will soon be implementing a new payment system that will allow residents to pay county property taxes online.
   The program, called Point and Pay, is expected to be up and running for the May 15 installment, which is the final third installment for taxes, according to Crook County Treasurer Kathy Gray.
   "I don't know that is will streamline things so much for us as a county, as it will be a convenience and something that we want to offer to the taxpayers to use," Gray said, adding that the county has been looking to apply such a system for a while.
   "We've had lots of inquiries from people want to pay their taxes online with a credit card, so we're just trying to offer this as a service so they can do that," she said.
   According to Sim Ogle, Crook County's information technology director, payments can be made with Visa, Mastercard, Amercan Express, or by online check.
   He mentioned that the system has received a court approved contract and county officials are currently in negotiations with Portland-based firm Vesta Corp., which is the parent company of the program.
   The new system is not without a fee, however, and will take an automatic 2.9 percent off the top of all tax payments.
   Gray emphasized that it will not be required to be online to pay taxes, and the customary method paying by cash or check is still accepted.
   "People can definitely still come by the office or do it by mail," she said. "It's just one additional way to do your taxes."
   The system is being installed at no cost to the county and Vesta Corp. recuperates their payment through the 2.9 percent fee.
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