Make Convenience Fees for Public Utilities and Government Services Illegal in New Jersey
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If a New Jersey resident wants to pay for a parking/speeding ticket online instead of appearing in court on the date printed on the ticket, they face a convenience fee surcharge of $2.00. As most people can not make these court dates or can not win in court, these fees are, in effect, an extortion of the state's residents.
In addition, some public utilities, such as the South Orange Water Utility, working with American Water (American Water Works Company, Inc.), issue convenience fees for paying with a credit card or bank account online (currently $2.95). The other options are to pay by telephone or by mail, both outmoded means of payment in our highly technological society. While some may argue that this warrants convenience fees, it should not be considered "convenient" to pay bills or fines using means that should be considered "standard" or "common" in 2017.
Please note that the following ten U.S. states have made all surcharges and fees illegal: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Kansas, Maine, Massachusetts, New York, Oklahoma and Texas (source: https://www.nerdwallet.com/blog/credit-cards/credit-card-convenience-fees-surchargeslegal/). It is time for New Jersey to follow these other mostly forward-thinking states into modernity.
Please help to make online convenience fees and credit card/bank payment surcharges for public utilities and government-issued fines illegal in New Jersey.
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