You asked: Southampton fee will be included with tax bills

Published 11:09 am Saturday, May 26, 2012

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You asked: How will Southampton County residents be billed for the $200 annual garbage fee?

COURTLAND—Southampton County supervisors on Tuesday, May 29, are expected to approve a $52 million budget that calls for all households to pay a first-time $200 garbage fee.

County Administrator Mike Johnson said the fee will be included in real estate or personal property tax bills. The county attempts to send both tax bills together and would like to include the garbage fee with either or both of the tax bills to save postage.

Anyone who does not own real estate or personal property, which includes vehicles, will be billed at the address where they receive their electricity bills, Johnson said. The county since the mid-1980s has levied a $3 monthly fee on electric bills to cover the cost of taking garbage to the landfill.

Boykins Mayor Spier Edwards said he understands the fee has never been used for landfill fees but instead goes into the county’s building fund.

Real estate and personal property tax bills are normally mailed in September or October with payment due in December, Johnson said. The garbage fee will be assessed once per household.

Residents will not receive a proof-of-payment sticker for their vehicles, so there’s no need for anyone who doesn’t pay to get rid of their garbage another way, like dumping it along roadways or on private property, said Jerusalem District Supervisor Dr. Alan Edwards.

“As our tipping fee goes down, the fee will come down,” Edwards said during a Wednesday budget work session. “It will be reviewed on an annual basis.”

The tipping fee is the money the county pays to the Southeastern Public Service Authority for disposing of garbage in the agency’s Suffolk landfill. The fee will drop from $145 per ton to $125 per ton beginning July 1.

Residents who live in towns and pay a monthly fee for curbside garbage pickup also will be expected to pay the $200 annual fee, Spier Edwards said. The $200 is considered a disposal fee, not a collection fee, he said.

Johnson has indicated that county officials can go after those who do not pay the garbage fee the same way they do those who don’t pay their personal property taxes.

Southampton County and the City of Franklin officials one year ago began working with Virginia Auction Co. to collect delinquent on personal property tax collection.

Treasurers send their delinquent lists to Virginia Auction. Using license-plate readers equipped with the treasurers’ information, Virginia Auction employees scan cars’ license plates in parking lots, driveways and streets. Once the reader locates a license plate matching a delinquent account, the agent boots the car. A note is left for the owner to call the treasurer’s office to settle the tax account.