Seminole County Tax Collector Joel M. Greenberg has announced that his office will begin accepting Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash through BitPay for payment for various services starting this summer. Until now, paying taxes by credit or debit card has meant using a third-party processor with heavy fees. The blockchain allows the Seminole County Tax Collector to eliminate much of those fees while improving payment accuracy, transparency and efficiency, which ultimately benefits Seminole County tax payers.
Greenberg commented: “We live in a world where technology has made access to services on demand, with same-day delivery and the expectation of highly efficient customer service and we should expect the same from our government. The aim of my tenure in office is to make our customer experience faster, smarter, and more efficient, and to bring government services from the 18th century into the 21st century and one way is the addition of cryptocurrency to our payment options.”
BitPay enables the Seminole County Tax Collector to accept bitcoin and bitcoin cash for services including property tax, driver license and ID card fee, tags and titles. Using the global blockchain payments provider, the Seminole County Tax Collector receives settlement the next business day directly to its bank account in US. dollars. There is no price volatility or risk to the County. As a push transaction, the user sends the exact amount of bitcoin or bitcoin cash needed to pay the bill. This eliminates traditional credit card fraud and identity theft risks associated with credit cards. Unlike the high cost of credit cards, BitPay charges 1% to approve the bitcoin or bitcoin cash transaction and settlement. BitPay enables transactions from any computer or mobile device making it easy and convenient for Seminole County residents.
Head of Compliance at BitPay, Jeremie Beaudry remarked: “BitPay was started because we recognized the potential for blockchain to revolutionize the financial industry, making payments faster, more secure, and less expensive on a global scale. With the Seminole County Tax Collector’s office, we have engaged our first government agency to accept bitcoin and bitcoin cash by making it easy and seamless for them.”
Major advantages that blockchain provides for these kinds of uses is transactional transparency and the impossibility to use the blockchain for fraud as every transaction is verified, recorded and stored. One of the most critical elements about the blockchain technology is that when the transaction has been reported in the ledger, it cannot be changed. This process creates highly efficient services and an overall better experience for Seminole County residents.
The Seminole County Tax Collector is responsible for the collection of all ad valorem and non-ad valorem taxes, DMV services including tag, title and registration, driver’s license and identification cards, birth certificates, hunting and fishing license and concealed weapon permits.
Greenberg was elected Tax Collector in November 2016 and took office in January 2017. Since taking office as Tax Collector, he has directed the office to introduce new technologies, including artificial intelligence, improved infrastructures, and streamlined and improved customer service. His new modernization plan includes the adoption of blockchain technology.