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May 1, 2007

JASPER COUNTY WATER & SEWER TAXES PROPERTY OWNERS

If you live within 1000 feet of a JCWSA fire hydrant, you recently received a letter. (See a copy of this letter below.) This letter informs the property owner that they live within a “Special Fire Protection Tax District.” Each property owner in that district will now owe an additional $50, to be billed on their property tax bill to fund and support the JCWSA.

Tax District is to provide the funding required for the Jasper County Water and Sewer Authority to operate and maintain fire hydrants for fire protection. This funding will be provided by the special tax levied on all properties determined to be within the Tax District.

Also see http://www.taxdogs.com/specialtax121006.htm
Special Tax District to Benefit Jasper County Water Authority, 12/10/06

It doesn’t matter if you are on another water system or pay JCWSA for your water or if you are on a well, you must now help fund JCWSA to keep them solvent. It does not take $40,000 a year to fund and operate fire hydrants. This money to help JCWSA pay their debt.

JCWSA started in 1999. They received a combination grant and loan from USDA Rural Development to run water lines. JCWSA ran these lines down every little dirt road they could find hoping to “encourage development” and to help a few land “dealers”.

After running approximately 40 miles of line and spending over $5 million, the JCWSA has picked up a whopping 250 customers. Understandably, these few customers can not be charged enough to pay the debt on the USDA loan, the Executive Director’s salary, and the fees the City of Monticello charges to do the repairs, locates, read the meters, etc. for JCWSA. That’s right, the City of Monticello. The $50 tax will help support the City of Monticello as well as JCWSA.

The notice sent out to the property owners is on Jasper County Board of Commissioners letterhead. Telephone calls are to be made to Betty Moon, who works in the BOC office. Mrs. Moon has nothing to do with the JCWSA. Instead, people that are concerned with this new tax should call the Executive Director, Linda Jordan, or Peggy Billerman at City Hall who answers the phone for JCWSA. The number for JCWSA is 706-468-5544.

See articles on City and JCWSA partnership

4/9/05 –The JCWSA & City of Monticello are intent on forming a Water Partnership
http://www.taxdogs.com/waterpartner.htm
4/17/05- CITY and JCWSA PARTNERSHIP
http://www.taxdogs.com/citypartnership.htm

One might think that the JCWSA would turn to the City for help with its finances rather than taxing the property owners since they have an alliance and contract together.

JCWSA has demanded that the BOC (and therefore all property owners) pay for “fire hydrants” year after year. The new BOC balked at this idea, and the JCWSA threatened to sue them. Instead of standing their ground, the BOC bowed to the pressure and decided instead to tax the property owners along the JCWSA lines citing ISO ratings and insurance savings to those near fire hydrants.

USDA holds the bonds for the JCWSA debt. If JCWSA defaults, USDA must pick up the debt—NOT the taxpayers of Jasper County. Yet with this move, the BOC has become involved and could possibly become partially liable for the debt.

JCWSA is an Authority that is supposed to stand on its own. It has not been able to do so. It has had to borrow money from both the Bank of Monticello (stop-gap loan) and from Butts County WSA. It has also received over $30,000 a year from the cofers of Jasper County’s General Fund up until the last 2 years. Now it will receive approximately $40,000 a year from this “Special Tax” that has been enacted on its behalf (approximately 800 property owners are being assessed.)

6/30/06-- JCWSA tells Butts Co WSA it is in need of Money
http://www.taxdogs.com/JCWSA063006.htm

By making unwise decisions as to where to run lines—the original purpose of the JCWSA was to bring industry to the County, not housing development—the JCWSA has now had to have certain property owners taxed to keep them solvent.

A copy of the Special Fire Tax District Letter follows.

Board of Commissioners
of Jasper County

Courthouse
126 West Greene Street, Suite 18
Monticello, GA31064

April 16, 2007

PROPERTY OWNER
ADDRESS
FIR1
MONTICELLO, GA 31064

Important Notice Special Fire
Protection Tax District

Dear PROPERTY
OWNER

RE:Parcel Number: XXXXX

On January 8th, 2007, the Jasper County Board of Commissioners approved an ordinance that created a Special Fire Protection Tax District. The purpose of this Tax District is to provide the funding required for the Jasper County Water and Sewer Authority to operate and maintain fire hydrants for fire protection. This funding will be provided by the special tax levied on all properties determined to be within the Tax District.

The above referenced parcel has been identified as being located within the Tax District. As owner of this parcel, you will be responsible for the payment of the special tax. If for any reason you believe that this property should not be included in the Tax District, you may appeal this determination to the Jasper County Board of Commissioners The appeal process is specified in the ordinance. Please contact Betty Moon in the Board of Commissioners Office at (704) 468-4900 for further information.


Sincerely,

Greg Williams
Jasper County Manager

 


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