Often, counties use traditional banking structures to conduct financial transactions, such as collecting property taxes or other fees. Yet, a share of county residents and businesses do not have access to such institutions and conduct business in cash. For counties, cash transactions mean higher costs due to the need for face-to-face transactions, the potential for non-secure and unsafe payments, issues with recording and reporting to external authorities and a higher likelihood of mistakes.
At NACo’s 2017 Western Interstate Regional Conference, the Counties Futures Lab hosted a training session on strategies counties are using to increase access to financial institutions for their taxpayers to ensure timely and secure payments while simultaneously lowering operating costs. Moderator Doug Lasher, Treasurer, Clark County, Wash., and presenter Cathy Traywick, Treasurer, Cochise County, Ariz., shared their insights on how to best handle cash transactions for their constituents in a world that is increasingly moving toward digital payments.
Treasurer, Clark County, Wash.
Treasurer, Cochise County, Ariz.
What Counts As Cash?
U.S. coins and currency (including Federal Reserve notes and circulating notes of Federal Reserve banks and national banks) are legal tender for all debts, public charges, taxes and dues.1 Foreign gold or silver coins are not legal tender for debts.
Torn bills may be redeemed with the U.S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing if most of the note is identifiable or if less than half of the note is identifiable and evidence is provided that the rest of the bill has been destroyed.
The U.S. Currency Education Program, managed by the U.S. Federal Reserve Board, maintains a wealth of information for users to familiarize themselves with the different styles of U.S. currency over the years and the security measures taken within each bill. For more information, check www.uscurrency.gov.
- 31 U.S.C. §5103. “National bank” refers to a banking institution chartered and supervised by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, an agency in the U.S. Treasury Department, pursuant to the National Bank Act. 12 U.S.C. §38 (1864)
- Population size for Clark County, Wash. is 467,000; for Cochise County, Ariz. it is 126,000. Source, U.S. Census Bureau, 2016.
- U.S. Federal Reserve. “FAQs.” Retrieved June 6, 2017. https://www.federalreserve.gov/faqs/currency_12597.htm
- Aaron Smith. “10 things to know about legal pot.” CNN Money. Last modified May 26, 2017. http://money.cnn.com/2017/04/19/news/legal-marijuana-420/index.html
- “Banking Woes Easing For Some Legal Pot Businesses.” Associated Press. Last modified April 20, 2016. https://apnews.com/804ae396daab4ba98f814b186f872ef6/banking-woes-easing-some-legal-pot-businesses