News 12 First at Five/ Monday, June 16, 2014
Augusta, Ga (WRDW)-----If you live in Richmond County, chances are you pay a different price for the same service as someone living just across town.
The way it stands now the cost of things like trash services and street lights varies from one part of town to the other.
City leaders are looking to level the playing field. Butch Palmer owns several properties in Harrisburg. He says the county is double taxing property owners.
"It's not fair to Richmond County Taxpayers," said Property Owner Butch Palmer.
Augusta-Richmond County consolidated back in the 90's and city residents paid one rate for things like trash and street lights.
People in the county paid a different rate. The governments have consolidated, but the fees never changed.
"If you do it on a city wide basis your probably talking thousands that people who live in the city have paid than those on the outskirts of town have not,"
It means people living in the exact same county, paying for the exact same services are paying exact opposite rates. A tax subcommittee of three commissioners and the finance department met to come up with a plan last year.The solutions were having one millage rate meaning the rate would stay the same for a year.
Street lights and garbage would be a fee charged.
"If you live in the county you do not pay an urban maintenance fee," said Palmer.
Finance officials tell us the people who live in the city and county are paying around the same price but doing it differently.
People within the old city limits pay a set millage rate for garbage, street lights and fire. Those in the suburbs like much of South Augusta pay a set millage rate and other fees for garbage and street lights.
"We're trying. We are trying and a lot of times, it just takes that extra effort to push something forward," said Commissioner Grady Smith.
City employees are proposing a flat rate of a little more than $300 a year for trash. It means no matter how big or small your house is everyone could be paying a $310 fee for all county trash services.