New West Virginia Law Will Streamline Citizen Experience

In a move to modernize West Virginia's government-citizen experience, Gov. Jim Justice recently signed a bill that will allow residents to pay for a range of state and local government services online.

West Virginia Capitol Building
Shutterstock/Sean Pavone
From paying property taxes to DMV fees and other fines, residents of West Virginia will soon be able to make online payments for state and local government services due to a recently signed bill by Gov. Jim Justice.  

SB 280 tackled three main issues: the creation of an online payment system that is accessible to all state political subdivisions, the reduction of processing fees associated with making online payments and the implementation of a uniform platform to avoid separate processing fees and merchant service contracts within different political subdivisions. 

The bill will also require all county and local governments to give residents and businesses the option to make online payments by March 1, 2023.

“This is something that should have happened a long time ago,” State Treasurer Riley Moore said. “Part of the reason I ran for office was to modernize the State Treasurer's Office. The former state treasurer, who was elected in the mid-90s, was in office for 24 years, there was a little bit of stagnation in new ideas and keeping up with times.”

To create the online portal, the state treasurer’s office partnered with Huntington Merchant Services, LLC earlier this year. 

Now that the online portal has been created, the next step is communicating with the state’s different local government agencies and counties to implement the system.

“There are 55 counties in West Virginia,” Moore said. “Each county has its own county clerk, courthouse and sheriff's department; it takes time to bring everyone on board.” 

Once all state counties and political subdivisions are on board, residents can bypass paying fees in person or by mail. 

“It’s 2021 – this is a no-brainer,” Moore said. “Our citizens should not be forced to take time off work to travel to a courthouse or government building to pay their taxes and other fees for government services. It’s long past time we implemented this convenience for our citizens.”

Katya Maruri is a staff writer for Government Technology. She has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and a master’s degree in global strategic communications from Florida International University, and more than five years of experience in the print and digital news industry.