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Few take advantage of utility discount

I noticed on my city utility tax bill there's a 3.5 percent discount if I pony up an entire year's worth of fees. Now, I know that 3.5 percent is a whole lot better than what the banks or credit unions are offering, but it's tough enough to scrape together the monthly payment, let alone a whole year's worth. How many people actually pay all at once?

— Paul K., Medford

If you find a CD paying 3.5 percent right now, Paul, call us.

We tracked down Medford Public Works Director Corey Crebbin, who told us of the more than 30,000 utility customers in Medford, 703 have elected to take advantage of the annual payment. Crebbin said the city adopted the Water Commission's annual option when it assumed control over its monthly billing.

If you're paying $100 a month, you would pocket $42 a year.

"I was talking to a guy last week who pays annually because he travels a lot and it's just a lot more convenient," Crebbin said. "He just doesn't want to worry about it."

Makes sense, too, because if you miss a monthly payment, you get slapped with a $15 penalty.

If you're a property owner, Jackson County offers a 3 percent discount when the entire property tax statement is paid by Nov. 15.

— Send questions to "Since You Asked," Mail Tribune Newsroom, P.O. Box 1108, Medford, OR 97501; by fax to 541-776-4376; or by email to youasked@mailtribune.com. We're sorry, but the volume of questions received prevents us from answering all of them.