LAWRENCEVILLE -- A state legislator is again proposing a measure to prohibit non-tax fees from appearing on property tax bills.
The move, introduced by Rep. Brett Harrell, R-Snellville, would take care of one of the biggest complaints Gwinnett residents have over a trash plan imposed over unincorporated residents three years ago, where charges are placed on property tax bills.
"Too often citizens across Georgia experience increased property tax bills, higher monthly mortgage payments, and, in some cases, liens against their property, all resulting from the addition of nontax fees added to their property tax bills," Harrell said in a press release. "The type and number of fees continues to increase each year. This legislation will help ease the burden on Georgia households and increase government transparency."
Harrell, who works for one of the garbage companies that sued the county over the service in 2010, leading to the current court-imposed settlement, originally introduced the proposal in 2011 with 60 co-signers. It would also apply to fees imposed for stormwater, which first appeared on Gwinnett tax bills in 2007, as well as street lights and speed humps.
In the release, Harrell said nontax fees can take up to 15 to 20 percent of the total bill. He added that the legislation would help clear up confusion for taxpayers, see property taxes can be deducted from income taxes but fees cannot.
Gwinnett Commission Chairwoman Charlotte Nash did not have an immediate response to the proposal.
"As normally happens with legislation that affects the county, county staff are reviewing the potential impacts of this legislation and will be sharing these with the bill sponsors and the Gwinnett delegation members," she said.