Donald Clavin, the Hempstead tax receiver and Republican candidate for supervisor, is establishing a committee to explore the possibility of allowing the use of cryptocurrency and popular cashless transaction services for tax payments in Nassau County.
“Whether it’s buying a cup of coffee or paying back a friend, instead of digging into their wallets for cash, many people are turning to their smartphones to complete a transaction,” Clavin said at an Aug. 14 news conference. “Taxpayers are utilizing these methods of payment through other outlets, including local businesses, so why not consider implementing this technology at the municipal level?
Clavin continued, “I’m committed to running the Hempstead Tax Office with the efficiency of private sector businesses, and I’m always open to implementing innovative initiatives for the benefit of our taxpayers.”
Clavin’s office said the committee would explore the implementation of payment technology that relies on cryptocurrency, like Bitcoin, and popular cashless transaction services such as Apple Pay, Google Pay, PayPal, Venmo and Zelle by local governments, which would include the Town of Hempstead.
Clavin will be head of the committee and said it will include an array of stakeholders, including elected officials from town, county and state government, as well as members representing businesses, the technology sector, credit rating agencies, investment experts, community organizations and financial institutions.
Nassau County Legislator John Ferretti (R-Levittown) announced he will be joining Clavin’s committee as a county representative.
“I’ve co-hosted several community forums with Receiver Don Clavin, and we’ve heard from taxpayers that they’re looking for government operations to run more like successful businesses,” Ferretti said.
Ferretti also said potential changes in the Hempstead tax office may be seen in other Nassau municipalities as well, saying, “With so many people turning to more convenient, cashless options, I’m excited to join with Don to consider new revolutionary payment methods for taxes and potentially for other municipal operations as well.”
“As receiver, I’ve worked to serve all taxpayers to my best ability by making the payment process as simple and convenient as possible,” Clavin said. “Times have changed, and it’s our job as elected officials to ensure that government proactively addresses the needs of our residents.”
Michael Caputo, a spokesman for the receiver, said Ohio became the first state to accept cryptocurrency for tax payments and that Clavin believes New York state should follow.
“Don has already been the first on Long Island to introduce AutoPay and the first in the state to introduce paperless e-Bills, making the office a model for other municipal tax offices,” Caputo said of some of the changes Clavin has brought to the office.
Clavin said the plan is to start implementing cryptocurrency and transaction services for tax payments in 2020.
Clavin is running for supervisor against the Democratic incumbent, Laura Gillen. The general election is on Nov. 5.