October 13, 2005
When Augusta commissioners voted last month to increase yearly garbage collection fees, it meant those living in urban areas would have to start paying for the service for the first time. News 12 is on your side to explain why those living in that area say they should have to pay.
There’s been a multi-million dollar deficit in the city’s garbage fund for years now and the approved increase will help fix that. But those who aren’t so well off say it also means they’ll be charged a fee they don’t have the money to pay.
“My trash is not being picked up every day, not twice a week as it’s supposed to be picked up,” said Tony Garrett.
Tony Garrett isn’t happy with the city’s garbage service, but has never complained because he’s never had to pay for it, until now.
“People are bringing home checks with not enough money on them already, and for us to be paying for garbage to be picked up, it’s just not right,” Garrett said.
Last month, commissioners voted to increase the yearly garbage pickup rate. Before, those in the county tax district paid $195 for the service. Now that will jump to $276, an $81 increase. But for those in the urban tax district and typically lower income areas, their service was always part of their property tax. But now it means they’ll have to pay the same as the county district, $276 dollars.
And James Young is concerned that it’s an increase his 90-year-old mother won’t be able to handle.
“I would tell the commissioners to find another source to provide the revenue required to provide the services,” Young said.
But for many living in the county tax district and more affluent areas, the increase is welcomed because it also comes with the promise of lower property tax.
“Anytime property taxes are lower, we’re happy,” said Ginger Flanagin.
Ginger Flanagin says the increase won’t put a big dent in her wallet, but she’s sympathetic to those who it will affect.
“Yes, lower property taxes are a gift, but not at the sake of making someone else suffer,” Flanagin said.