Long lines to pay vehicle taxes at the Richland County Administration Building are one step closer to becoming a thing of the past, thanks to new technology included on tax bills.
In November, the county’s Information Technology (IT) department began printing Quick Response barcodes, commonly known as QR codes, on vehicle tax statements prepared by the Richland County Auditor’s Office. Citizens using a mobile device’s QR reader to snap or scan the code will be taken to the county Treasurer’s online bill payment page where taxes can be paid with a credit card or electronic check.
Including QR codes on Richland County tax bills saves taxpayers time while making county operations more accessible and efficient, said Carolyn Yon, applications and development manager for the IT department, whose staff developed the concept during its “Innovation Challenge.”
There is no cost to taxpayers to generate a QR code for bills and Yon said plans call for the technology to be extended to other types of tax payments over the next 12 months.
“Right now, we’re using it just for vehicle taxes, but we are already working on how to make this system work for other types of taxes that are paid to Richland County,” she said.
Richland County may be among the first local governments in South Carolina to incorporate this technology, though more cities and counties across the nation have moved toward using QR codes for various applications the past two years.
"We want to make it as easy as possible for people to meet their tax obligations. This is another great step to help our taxpayers," said Richland County Treasurer David Adams.
Richland County vehicle tax payments made online are processed by SC.GOV and do include convenience fees for using the service.