Tuesday, September 23, 2014
How fees on tax bills work in Decatur
Apart from taxes themselves, the only fees that appear on Decatur's tax bills are for residential sanitation and stormwater (runoff/drainage). The fee amounts are adopted by the City Commission annually.
For 2014, the residential sanitation charge was $237. The sanitation fluctuates a little each year but has generally been around $230 for the last several years. Residential sanitation service is a "per household" charge. For example, a duplex owner would be billed $474 rather than $237; a quadraplex would be billed $948, etc.
The standard stormwater charge for a single family dwelling is $75 annually. The stormwater has been consistent for many years. The stormwater assessment for non-single family dwellings, including commercial properties, is based on the amount of impervious surface at the property. Properties without structures still have stormwater charges because of pavement, driveways, parking decks, or other impervious surfaces onsite.
Local businesses have a stormwater charge but no residential sanitation charges (although any business can sign up for commercial sanitation and recycling with the city). Tax-exempt entities such as government entities, schools, and churches have to pay a stormwater bill.
The City doesn't add fees to tax bills for street lamps, sidewalks, speed bumps, or sewer services.