Property owners pay lump sum for garbage bills
MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – April 2nd was the day property owners had to pay their annual garbage bill. This is a first for tax payers where they paid it as a lump sum. County Commissioners passed the bill last spring, making garbage bills due yearly versus quarterly.
“If they didn’t pay it yesterday, they got interest and fees that are going to be charged on it, but you’re saying I can pay quarterly, but you’re going to charge me for not paying it all yesterday?” Sarah Hunt said.
An angry Hunt feels strongly about paying the annual $300 for garbage on April 2nd.
“I would like for them to go back to the way it was being collected before, quarterly, I would like for them to where they have made ill adjustments, where they have made people pay that did not have occupied property and give those people their money back,” she said.
Tax Commissioner Samuel Wade McCord says the $300 property owners paid is for five quarters from September 2017 until December 2018.
“I tried to strike a balance between what was fair to the county and what was fair to the tax payer. I figured April 2nd gives several months to pay for it. At the same time, it’s not too far out where county is in a dry spell,” McCord said.
The garbage fee did not go up, the county is requesting the fees be paid at once. This would help save the county money in mailing expenses and increase the collection rate.
“We allow payments anytime and so I have people who pay as much as $10 a week. I have people that come in and pay me $20 a month,” he said.
There are two exemptions to this yearly bill: If you are far below the poverty line or are disable as far as social security or injured in war you may qualify to not pay at all.
But, for those who own property that’s unoccupied…
“They took that part of the co-section out and so it was a bill on an annual basis for all properties with habitable residential structures,” McCord said.
According to McCord, they’re willing to work with tax payers on partial payments.
“We aren’t going to put you on a payment plan. If you live in that house we’re going to work our best to make sure we try to keep you in that house,” he added.
This was a one time $300 fee. The next garbage bill will be for 2019. It’ll be a line item on a tax bill. That garbage bill of $240 will be due November 15th of this year. $240 will be the normal cost of waste, annually.