County clarifies sanitation costs on tax bills

Staff report

September 13, 2013

Troup County has gotten a few calls regarding the layout change on property tax bills.

“This year’s bills have a line that shows the part of the tax that’s used for sanitation,” said Scott Turk, county CFO. “It’s not a fee or a new tax for a new service. The Convenience Centers are still available for all Troup County citizens and guests to use, regardless of whether you live inside a city or in the unincorporated county.”

As usual, part of the property tax bill shows a cost for maintenance and operations – “M&O” – and part for paying back borrowed money – “Debt Service.” In the past, the cost of sanitation was just included as part of the M&O and not split out the way it was this year.

Earlier this year, each commissioner held public meetings to discuss possible options for providing curbside trash and recycling pickup in the unincorporated parts of the county. The broad consensus was that citizens preferred to keep the current system of convenience centers, but county officials felt that the cost of sanitation to tax payers had not been made clear previously and it would be a good idea to make the public aware of that.

County officials decided during budget discussion to split out the existing cost of sanitation on the tax bill.

By having that level of transparency, the county is letting everyone know the real cost, yet not having to spend any more taxpayer money to send it out in a separate bill and set up an entirely new accounting system for it,” Turk said. “Unfortunately, state law prohibited the county from showing it on the assessments that go out in July, and that is what has caused so much confusion for people. We regret any confusion the new layout has caused for our taxpayers.”