Rain tax in Augusta becomes closer to reality

Oct. 11, 2013

Augusta,Ga (WRDW)--Augusta leaders are one step away from implementing a new storm water fee. Commissioners just approved spending more than $400,000 on a study to look over the needs for the city's old drainage system.

"They told me to never call it a tax. The Storm Water Fee which is a tax creates a funding stream to stay ahead of the curve," said City Administrator Fred Russell.

The City says the money will be used to fix sinkholes, washed out roads, and down trees. It creates financial problems for the city. "You're going to have immediate flash floods and we can't solve that. Our system from Broad Street to Gordon Highway has problems," said Commissioner Joe Jackson.

Just this year alone, leaders have spent $1.5millionfor tree removal and a survey on how to fix the city's drainage system. Taxing you an extra $70 dollars a year is becoming more of a reality.

"It's coming. We keep having emergency work done on trees that are falling and killing people. We need to have them taken down," said Commissioner Jackson.

"If it floods in East Augusta, it will eventually cost people out in West Augusta money. If it floods in South Augusta, it costs everybody," said Russell.

Everybody will be charged the fee including churches and non-profits in the area who normally don't pay property taxes.

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