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LET CREDIT-CARD FIRMS, BANKS ABSORB NEW FEE

Niagara County officials must stand tough in opposition to banks charging county residents a fee for paying tax bills by credit card. The recent News article on the Niagara County Legislature's decision to approve the payment of property taxes by credit card has raised questions over who should bare the cost of such a transaction.

In an era of bigger and wealthier banks and a proliferation of credit-card companies, the wallets of county residents should come first when it comes to who county officials should protect. Banks will be getting huge amounts of new revenue and many homeowners will end up paying very high interest on substantial sums of money. The tradeoff should be that the credit card companies and banks absorb the "merchant's fee," not the homeowner.

MICHAEL DAVOLI
WNY Regional Coordinator
New York Public Interest Research Group

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