January 20, 2022
Final Reports
San Mateo Courts - Civil Grand Jury 1998 Final Report: Payment of Secured Property Taxes by Credit Card
Background | Findings | Recommendations

The San Mateo County 1997 Grand Jury recommended that the County Treasurer-Tax Collector should proceed with the implementation of a credit card system for the payment of secured property taxes, and that the San Mateo County 1998 Grand Jury should monitor the implementation and use of this system.

The system, operated at no cost to the County by U.S. Audiotext, allows payment by telephone using American Express, Discover and MasterCard. The taxpayer is charged a fee according to the amount of the transaction.


During fiscal year 1997-1998, secured property taxes amounted to $665 million. Of this amount, $2.954 million (0.44%) was paid by credit card. Taxpayer delinquencies, already low (1.8%), were not reduced. Visa currently refuses to participate in this program.

The Treasurer-Tax Collector plans to establish an interactive web page for property tax payments during fiscal year 1998-1999 which should enhance use of this system.

Recommendation 26: The County Treasurer-Tax Collector should continue using the credit card system for payment of secured property taxes during fiscal year 1998-1999.


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