Vacant homes in Bibb County will start getting garbage bills come this fall. This comes after Bibb commissioners voted to make garbage bills annual in March.
Now one Bibb commissioner is trying to repeal that vote and make the bills quarterly again.
In Bibb County, Tax Commissioner Wade McCord says you can find at least 5,000 houses that do not use solid waste services and many are vacant.
“A building on a property that is residential and it has a bathroom, it has a kitchen, it’s going to get a garbage bill,” says McCord.
Now McCord says homeowners will not have the option to stop garbage services.
“A solid waste bill sent out to all properties that has a residential structure on it,” says McCord.
It is all a part of a resolution five Bibb commissioners approved in March to make garbage bills annual by adding the fee on to people's yearly property tax bill. One of those commissioners was Mallory Jones.
“If we make a mistake, and I say we did, then we need to repeal,” says Jones.
Now Jones is introducing this ordinance to repeal annual garbage bills and make them quarterly again.
“This particular ordinance that was passed is punitive, in my mind, to most every homeowner, especially those citizens who own investment properties,” says Jones.
Jones says the county is looking at increasing property taxes 3 mills, which, on top of a yearly garbage fee, could push people away from fixing up and renting properties in the area.
“But if they’re working on it, we shouldn’t penalize these people who are trying to improve our community,” says Jones.
Jones' proposed ordinance also would not allow the county to bill homeowners for garbage services unless the house has running water.
Although McCord does not have a vote on this issue, he says annual billing could help solid waste collection rates match property tax collection rates. He says the hope is to get solid waste’s collection rate up 7% to 97% where the property tax collection rate is.
McCord says billing these houses could help bring in an extra $1.2 million annually.