HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - While paying taxes in Horry County, you might have noticed the address where you send the payment is in Charlotte, North Carolina. Some Horryites wanted to know why county officials are sending tax dollars to NC to handle money.
Horry County distributes nearly half a million tax notices, according to Treasurer Roddy Dickinson.
"We did not have the staff to process this, in a time and manner," Dickinson explained.
Horry County uses lockbox services to process tax notices.
"About a year ago, [Horry County] put it on a bid; Wells Fargo got the bid [to provide the service]," Dickinson said.
A lockbox service, like the one at Wells Fargo, accepts electronic and paper remittances, like Horry County tax notices, converts the checks to debits, and then transmits the information directly to its client, according to its website. In this case, the Wells Fargo processing center in Charlotte, processes the payments for the county.
County residents wanted to know why local banks didn't process the payments for the county.
For instance, "a bank like Conway National Bank, isn't large enough to handle the county's high volume transactions. Not to mention, it didn't place a bid," Dickinson said.
"Local banks - we use them to invest money," Dickinson continued.
With Wells Fargo, the processing is all automated. The transactions are filed online, according to Dickinson.
Horry County sends 15,000 to 18,000 tax notices for vehicles every month, according to Dickinson. This doesn't include the notices for property taxes.
"When you mail in your tax notice, if you mail it to Charlotte and if the DMV does their job, within a week, you have your sticker," Dickinson explained.
"Larger banks can handle the volume. We try to give Horry County residents the biggest bang for their buck; be efficient and economical," Dickinson said.
Fees, services and miscellaneous charges cost the county nearly $40,000 in June.
"Last month, the cost was $37,508. It covers armored car services, lockbox services, and all the different charges and fees," Dickinson calculated.
The costs vary month to month.