Archived Story

Garbage fee bills mailed

Published 11:16am Friday, November 23, 2012

BY GWEN ALBERS/MANAGING EDITOR
gwen.albers@tidewaternews.com

IVOR—Barbara Haywood broke down and cried after receiving a $200 garbage bill from Southampton County.

The 78-year-old Ivor woman, who lives on $14,400 a year, did not know about the first-time annual fee, which the Board of Supervisors approved in May for its $52 million budget. Haywood also didn’t know she could ask for an exemption.

She isn’t alone, said Treasurer David Britt.

“We’ve had a lot of phone calls concerning the $200 refuge fee,” Britt said. “Some ask if they have to pay it and can they get an exemption.”

Most are elderly.

Bills were received in the mail last week and are due Dec. 5. Sept. 1 was the deadline to apply for an exemption.

Newsoms District Supervisor Glenn Updike, who was the only board member to oppose the fee, said he may suggest extending that deadline during the supervisors’ 7 p.m. Monday, Nov. 26, meeting at the County Government Center in Courtland.

“I think each individual case should be reviewed and taken into consideration,” Updike said.

A front-page story that included the exemption deadline ran in The Tidewater News on July 4. The exemption is given to a home occupied by residents 65 or older, or who are totally disabled; have a combined annual household income of less than $30,000; and a combined financial worth of less than $80,000.

Carolyn Gwaltney of Chuckatuck, who is Haywood’s daughter, believes the county should’ve notified residents by mail about the exemption option.

“She does not have a computer and she does not subscribe to The Tidewater News because she was raised in Deep Creek and Chesapeake (and gets The Virginian-Pilot),” Gwaltney said about her mother. “She’s disabled, on a fixed income and 65 or older. It should be a write-off.”

Britt said it took until October to compile a list of names and addresses for billing. The county got its data from personal property tax roles, utilities companies and its 911 emergency calling base.

“We notified the newspaper and had a public hearing, which was necessary,” he said.

Anyone who does not pay the bill by the deadline will be charged a 10 percent penalty, and interest begins to accrue at the rate of 10 percent annually. After Dec. 5, the treasurer will send a past due notice. Failure to respond may result in property liens, garnished wages and seizure of assets.

The costs for collecting, handling and disposing garbage will equal $1.8 million for fiscal year 2013. This equates to an annual expense of more than $250 per household. The fee is expected to generate $1.34 million annually, which will cover 71.6 percent of the cost of managing the county’s garbage. The $534,000 balance will be funded through property taxes.

  • Liberty With Responsibility

    I’m sure she has a family for when there is a $200 “disaster” crisis like this. It’s not the end of the world.

    Suggest Removal

    • foxtrotter56

      Maybe you could pay her $200.00. If you are a “worker bee”, you need to learn to just keep quiet, work harder, and make more honey!

      Suggest Removal

  • smoke14

    Why doesn’t the board look at Mike Johnson’s salary and that money paid to the former sheriff to up keep the radio systems. What about all the money the sheriff’s office spends.

    Suggest Removal

  • independent

    No matter what you think of the fee/tax/revenue increase, government’s position has always been that ignorance of the law is no excuse. It is up to citizens to inform themselves. Before TV and Internet or even the radio, the local newspaper was the main source of information. The law usually requires two postings of budgets…..in the newspaper. It is hard for seniors but folks, get ready. If you don’t like this way of balancing a budget, it will be interesting to see how everyone handles the cuts/taxes that hit us all next year when congress settles “the fiscal cliff.”. And our poor supervisors will have even fewer choices.

    Suggest Removal

  • SandMan

    She cried when she received her tax bill? Don’t we all…..?

    Suggest Removal

  • RWH

    Well, when you go to the meeting and submit your discuss, point your finger at Mike Johnson, he is the brain trust of this cockamamie scheme.

    I don’t know how loud residents have to holler to get the attention of the board of supervisors to reject this. Many of us were making our opposition know as soon as this was introduced but it didn’t matter. Every member fought against Updike who from day one was opposed to the trash fee. Where did your guy stand? With you or against you.

    Suggest Removal

  • ispruell

    I hope everyone go out to the Meeting Monday Night it very important that we all stand together on this.

    Suggest Removal

  • moral1

    As residents of Southampton County, I think that it is in everyones best interest to make a concentrated effort to attend all Board of Supervisors meetings. This ridiculous trash fee is a very good reason to attend and voice our opinions. The response from Mr. Britt that the media had placed a front page article in the Tidewater News is just not acceptable for a number of reasons. Many of our seniors do not even read the paper, more less subscribe to, or run out to buy one. The bills were generated on paper and mailed out to every household. My husband and I actually received 2 bills, for 2 different addresses. We shouldn’t have to rely on the Tidewater News for information that we as tax payers are being billed for. This was done very poorly on the part of the treasurer’s office. If they can generate bills by mail there is no reason why they can’t send detailed information by mail to each household.

    Suggest Removal

  • kingradman

    I am. Mrs Haywood’s next door neighbor, she is a nice lady, this fee is bs I would have told her about the exemption anyway

    Suggest Removal

  • 087hunter

    Lol…I received a bill and I’m a resident of the City of Franklin.

    Suggest Removal

  • zuni1

    They could have at least notified those that are already exempt from property taxes, like Ms. Haywood. Not everyone subscribes to the Tidewater News.

    We actually received three mailings for this bogus fee. We received two bills – on in my husband’s name only and one in my husbands and my name. Then, a few days later, after I had called to complained, I received a letter saying that some duplicates had gone out in error, and to call the Treasurer’s office. I had already called them and gotten them to void one of the bills.

    So I wonder how many duplicates were mailed out, and how that will impact the amount of money they thought they could collect.

    I guess we should consider ourselves lucky that we did not receive a third bill in my name.

    Suggest Removal

  • christina97

    It says in the article that it was front page news in the Tidewater News newspaper… Umm what about those who DON’T get the paper! I guess it would have cost too much money for this info to be mailed out in July so that people could have planned accordingly. Personally I think the “fee” is all a bunch of bs anyway.

    Suggest Removal

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