2020 Tennessee Code
Title 9 - Public Finances
Chapter 1 - General Provisions
§ 9-1-108. Collection of Funds on Behalf of the State or Local Government — Acceptance of Checks or Money Orders — Acceptance of Credit or Debit Cards

Universal Citation: TN Code § 9-1-108 (2020)
  1. It is lawful for any municipal, county or state officer to receive, in payment of any public taxes, licenses, fines, fees or other moneys collected, checks or money orders made payable to the appropriate municipal official, county officer or to the “State of Tennessee.” If a check or money order so received is not duly paid, the person by whom such check or money order has been tendered shall remain liable for the payment of the tax, license, fee or other obligation, and for all legal penalties and/or interest, to the same extent as if such check or money order had not been tendered.
  2. It is lawful for any public official who collects funds on behalf of the state or any local government to receive checks in such public official's official capacity made payable either to the individual public office or to the individual person's name who holds such public office; provided, that it is unlawful for any such public official to instruct the public to make such checks payable to the individual person's name who holds such public office on any notice sent to the public to collect such funds. This subsection (b) applies only to any county with a metropolitan form of government and is controlling if in conflict with any county or local ordinance to the contrary.
    1. It is lawful for any municipal or county entity or officer to receive payment by credit card or debit card for any public taxes, licenses, fines, fees or other moneys collected by such municipal or county entity or officer.
    2. As used in this subsection (c), unless the context otherwise requires:
      1. “Credit card” has the same meaning as defined in § 47-22-101;
      2. “Debit card” has the same meaning as defined in § 39-14-102; and
      3. “Municipal or county entity” includes, but is not limited to, a municipality, county, metropolitan government, utility district, board, commission or authority created or authorized by general or local law.
    3. Any municipal or county entity or officer collecting payment by credit card or debit card pursuant to this subsection (c) shall set and collect a processing fee in an amount that is equal to the amount paid the third party processor for processing the payment. Such processing fee may be waived by approval of the governing body.
    4. If a payment by credit card is not honored by the credit card company issuing the card, or if a payment by a debit card is not honored by the entity on which the funds are drawn, the municipal or county governmental entity or officer may collect a service charge from the person who owes the municipal or county tax, fee, fine, penalty, interest or other charge, for processing the transaction. The amount of the service charge shall be the same amount as the fee charged for the collection of a check drawn on an account with insufficient funds; provided, that this service charge shall not apply nor be collected if an electronic device is used to conduct the transaction, the card and card holder are present, and the officer learns of the declination of the credit card or debit card at the time the transaction is processed.
    5. The municipal or county entity or officer collecting funds through payment by a credit card or debit card shall state on any notice to the person owing the tax, fine, fee or other money either the percentage of the processing fee for use of a credit card or debit card or the actual fee imposed for the use of a credit card or debit card.
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