Friday Cointelegraph reported on a new rollout of a plan to allow taxpayers to use cryptocurrencies to pay municipalities. Reporter BB covers the adoption of this proposal by the Ontario town of Insfill located on the west bank of Lake Simcoe with a total population of over 30,000.
Many municipalities choose to use third parties to manage cryptocurrency transactions. In this case, the property tax payments will be handled by a third party called Coinberry Pay that will convert the crypto currency to Canadian dollars
However, many who are reading this news might be asking how widespread actual payment practices are.
Let’s take the trailblazing move of Ohio officials to allow property tax payments in that state with cryptocurrencies last year. As a trendsetter, Ohio is a good test case for municipal cryptocurrency acceptance.
What stakeholders observed with the Ohio project is that a total of two companies used the opportunity to pay Ohio taxes with Bitcoin after the adoption of the initiative in November of last year.
The County Auditors Association of Ohio is working on more research involving blockchain and real estate transactions and payments.
One type of blowback that officials ae dealing with has to do with the issue of a municipal office accepting a wider variety of currencies, a move that most get around by using a third party. In comments in February, state Treasurer Robert Sprague explained to reporters how that works.
“We will never accept won or renminbi or francs or cryptocurrency, or any other currency,” Sprague said, according to Cointelegraph reporting by Helen Partz Feb. 22. “You have to relieve your debts to the state of Ohio with U.S. dollars. That’s what we’re currently accepting. This platform just allows for that exchange, basically before that debt is settled to the state of Ohio.”
It makes sense that the earliest adopters of crypto currency property tax payment strategies would be commercial payers. State officials probably didn’t expect homeowners to come running with Bitcoin in their pockets to make property tax payments.
However, looking at the sheer number of homeowners who allow a third-party lender to pay property taxes out of escrow, it could soon become the norm for these payments to be made with cryptocurrencies. That would be a tremendous shot in the arm to blockchain proponents who want to see adoption continue to gain momentum this year and in the years to come.
Ohio officials including former state treasurer Josh Mandel have been outspoken about the value of working to accept crypt oearly.
“(Mandel) said last year that the state’s legislation that led to the decision to accept crypto for taxes had ‘planted a flag,’ a move that would significantly aid in crypto adoption efforts across the U.S.” wrote XBT Network last month.
Keep an ear to the ground on municipal buy-in to understand what’s going on with crypto growth this year.