Get Answers: Laurens County Sanitation Fee Breakdown | News
With government budget cuts, some Central Georgia residents are having to make up the difference when it comes to sanitation. This week we answered Sandra Justice's question,
"Laurens County property owners were charged a new fee this year called a 'sanitation fee.' To my knowledge, this fee is paid by the property owners only. If this is the case, what about those people who rent? Is the property owner responsible for their sanitation fee also or does the renter pay his own sanitation fee?"
Laurens County did add a fee, a Sanitation Assessment, on your property tax bill. County Administrator, Bryan Rogers, says the fee pays the operating costs for the nineteen collection centers in Laurens County. Each household is billed $50 a year.
"We've eliminated tons of positions we've cut approximately $2 million from our operational fund, and while we're looking for different sources of revenue, one place we don't want to look is always to the property owner," says Rogers.
He says it costs over a million dollars to run the collection centers in the county, and he calls the fee fair.
"We're letting the people that are utilizing the collection centers to pay for the service," says Rogers.
Rogers says they wanted to avoid raising property taxes. "We did not feel like it was fair to put something such as sanitation which everyone generates, I guess you could say, just on the backs of the property taxpayer."
The fee comes to the property owner, but it's not based on your property value. "Someone who lives in a 2500-square foot house versus a 500-square foot house is going to generate about the same amount of sanitation so they should all pay the same thing."
He says it's up to owners to collect from rental properties by either adding it in to rent costs or collecting the fee in full.
The city of Dudley, East Dublin and Dublin opted out of the fee because they offer curb side pickup, but Rogers says it would be more expensive to have door-to-door pick up in the unincorporated areas of the county.
Rogers says you still have until May first to pay the $50 sanitation fee and get your tag.