February 2, 2008
JCWSA PLANS TO EXTEND “HYDRANT TAX” 4 MORE YEARS
If you didn’t read the very
last page (at the bottom in the corner) of the 1/11/08 Monticello News, you
missed the story about the JCWSA meeting.
The title of the article didn’t even mention JCWSA so it was easily
JCWSA plans to extend the “hydrant tax” and wants it extended for 4
years at a time, rather than 1 year at a time. The intent of the BOC when the tax was passed
was to let this tax “sunset” after JCWSA was passed its “financial
crisis.” Comm. Yarbrough refused to
approve the tax unless there was a sunset provision.
TWG encourages the BOC to
stick with those terms and make sure the
resolution is correctly stated.
Obviously it is not according to what the JCWSA Executive Director,
Linda Jordan, said at the JCWSA meeting 1/8/08.
Mrs. Jordan said it was time to appear before the BOC and ask them to extend the special
tax on fire hydrants. She said this must
be done before the end of March. Mrs. Jordan then went on to say that what the BOC intended to write and what
they did write was different. She said they wrote that if an extension is granted, it will be
granted for the next 4 years. She told Mark Walton (JCWSA Secretary) not
to write in his minutes that the extension would be for 4 years, just to write
that they will ask for the extension. She
doesn’t want to bring the mistake to the attention of the BOC.
If you are being taxed for a
hydrant near you (within 1000’ of a structure on your property) and have
comments before this extension is brought up to the BOC (mostly likely at their
February meeting 2/4/08 or possibly at the March meeting 3/3/08), contact your
commissioners. Their contacts are here: http://www.taxdogs.com/commissioners.htm
Comm. Bernard, Comm.
Johnson, and Comm. Yarbrough’s districts are affected by the “hydrant
tax.” TWG urges those with comments to
make plans to attend the BOC meeting.
TWG also urges the BOC to continue the annual extension so that citizens
are not overtaxed for the benefit of the JCWSA.
Here are some statistics and
facts gleaned from the October 2007 JCWSA financials presented to the JCWSA
From October 2006 to October 2007:
Customers increased 20% (from 247 to 297)
Water revenue increase 19%
Total Revenue increased 7%
cost of water was $1469.00 while JCWSA charged $10,836.89 for the water—a 730%
Cash decreased 29% (by November 2007 it
Current Liabilities (the ones due within a year)
YTD loss = $6663 compared to loss of $11,555 in
Other information of interest:
794 properties were taxed $52.10 each for the
JCWSA can bring in an additional $41,367.40 from
this tax on 2007 tax bills
There is a $50,000 cap on the tax
JCWSA reported that they hit
a milestone of 300 customers in December.
When they were in talks with Newton
County about Bear Creek
Reservoir their projections for customers were closer to 2000 customers or more
by this time.
Comm. Bernard repeatedly
stated during the meeting when the first “hydrant tax” was voted on that the
JCWSA was broke. He was right. JCWSA now has new loans as follows:
Bank of Monticello $22,125
Butts Co WSA
Comm. Resource Grp $40,000
JCWSA continues to pay on their
“big loans” for the water lines they have run:
Rd) $124,112 (note payment of approx $1170 per month)
(note payment of approx $10,760 per month)
Even though the current
customers pay a 700%+ markup on water and a special hydrant tax, the JCWSA
customers should expect to pay more in the future. The JCWSA’s source of new customers has been
new subdivisions which have come to a standstill with the housing and mortgage