New streetlight fee; unexpected and troubling for some

CSRA News

It’s a busy time at the Richmond County tax office, and Missouri Harris wasn’t expecting her new 85 dollar streetlight fee. 

 “I was a little surprised it was on their so early I thought next year it might be on there but no this early,” Harris said. 

After months of back and fourth commissioners approved new streetlight fees early this month to take care of a more than one million dollar shortfall, the approved plan called for new residential and commercials rates  and for the first time street light charges for non profits and churches. 

 “I got to talk to the commission or somebody about this I’m not going to pay that I refuse to pay that,” said Pastor Eugene Waltower. 

Pastor   Eugene Waltower isn’t happy with  the fee because not only his his church on 12th street being charged 85 dollars for the first time.  so are three vacant properties across the  street being used for church parking the total bill over 300 dollars. 

 “What’s going on you’re ripping off the citizens of Augusta that’s not fair,” said Pastor Waltower.

And those with this church on Old McDuffie Road say they don’t even have streetlights nearby but now they have to pay a fee. 

 “I don’t think it’s fair we had no lights for years and all of a sudden we have to pay 85 dollars and we still have no lights and it’s a dark area its unsafe,” said Head Deacon Jessie Tarver.

Put that on the  citizens of Richmond County to pay more money did we vote on it they just put it on us,” said Pastor Waltower.

 Almost three thousand tax exempt properties were included for the new streetlight fees including more than 1000 properties owned by the city of Augusta, the finance department says so far the cities bill is  90 thousand dollars, money that wasn’t included in this years budget back to you

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