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Walthourville millage rate can’t go into effect
Walthourville seal

It may be another year — or more — before the City of Walthourville can reap the proceeds of a millage rate.

Earlier this month, Walthourville City Council voted to levy a millage rate of 15 on property owners in the city. But the city has not entered into an agreement with the Liberty County tax commissioner to collect the tax — and can’t do that until at least the end of May.

“We’re still working on it,” Mayor Sarah Hayes said Wednesday morning.

Currently, the county is operating with an interim commissioner following the passing of longtime tax commissioner Virgil Jones. That position also is up for election this year, with two candidates, each running as a Democrat. With no Republican announced candidate, the race will be decided in May’s general primary, rather than November’s general election.

But the proposed millage also needs to be on the assessment notices and any agreement with a tax commissioner would be too late to get out on the coming assessment notices, according to county officials.

Should Walthourville officials get everything in place to enact a millage and have it on assessment notices, the earliest it possibly could go out is late 2025, with collections continuing into 2026.

City council has voted for a fire fee of 31.60, and during a council meeting earlier this month Mayor Hayes said residents will not have to pay for a fire fee and a millage rate at the same time.

“We are looking at moving this city forward and that entails how we can bring in revenue for this city,” she said in a recent city council meeting. “We are looking at the best way to bring in revenue that is not going to kill the citizens. We’re all consciously looking at how we can bring in revenue to pay the bills and not kill the citizens.”

Hayes also acknowledged there is still a question about the fire fee.

Also, the city has begun taking up a second garbage can allotted to residents. Residents who wish to have a second garbage can have to pay $11 per month for the additional can. The second cans initially were intended to handle residential recycling, but the city has not been recycling. Instead, the contents have been going to the landfill, resulting in much higher bills from the landfill, Council member Mitchell Boston told council members.

Boston said 1,588 accounts receive trash service from the city and the city was making up for the deficit with the landfill bill.

“Those who want more than one trash can can have it,” he said. “But they have to pay for it.”

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