Originally created 09/15/96

Tax questions



The tax commissioner's office expects a deluge of phone calls and questions when Augusta residents receive their new consolidated tax bills. Here are some questions officials expect from the public and the answers:

The tax commissioner's office expects a deluge of phone calls and questions when Augusta residents receive their new consolidated tax bills. Here are some questions officials expect from the public and the answers:

Q: Why do I still have to pay city taxes? I thought we were consolidated now and would all be treated alike.

A: The urban services district taxes pay for services taxpayers outside the urban district do not receive. Street lights, garbage pickup and a more highly rated fire department are paid for with urban services district taxes.

Q: Why do we have an urban services district?

A: The way it is now, different services are provided to taxpayers in the different tax districts. If you benefit from street lights, you pay for street lights. If you don't benefit from street lights, you don't pay for them. As more services are provided to taxpayers in the suburban services district - or fewer to those in the urban district - the mill rates will come closer together.

Q: My garbage isn't really being picked up. Do I still have to pay the "urban services taxes?"

A: The taxes are a legal obligation. You do have to pay them. However, if you live in the urban district and need to talk to someone about your garbage problem, call Urban Services Administrator Charles Dillard at 821-2400.

Q: I don't live in the city. Am I paying more this year?

A: You are paying no more in taxes this year unless your assessment went up or your exemptions changed. Check last year's bill.

People who live within the old city limits are still paying the same taxes they paid last year because they are still getting urban services. We still have different taxing districts based on the services provided. The mill rates could change in the different tax districts in the future based on services provided.

Q: Why did my tax bill go up?

A: Your assessment must have gone up. If your assessment did not go up, your tax liability should be the same as it was in 1995. If you live inside the old city limits, you will need to add your 1995 city bill and 1995 county bill together. The total should equal your 1996 consolidated tax bill.

Q: Why is there a new consolidated bill form?

A: So that one bill can be sent to everyone, instead of one to suburban property owners and two to urban property owners as in the past. Now, suburban district property owners' bills will reflect suburban district taxes only. Urban district property owners bills will reflect billings for both districts. One bill saves money on forms, postage, envelopes and processing costs.

Q: What's in store for next year?

A: Tax office officials don't know if more services will be provided or if some will be eliminated.

Source: Tax Commissioner's Office