Lee County officials speak on recent trash bills

Published: Dec. 20, 2022 at 7:36 PM EST
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LEE COUNTY, Ala. (WTVM) - Lee County residents are questioning officials about s new trash bill, earlier in the year, Lee County got rid of the dumpster sites by switching over to a curbside cart system. Now many are wondering about this new bill they’re receiving.

Residents were told the trash fee would be collected as part of their property tax, then all of a sudden, they were billed $55 right before Christmas.

The biggest complaint is a lack of communication.

Lee County residents want answers after a $55 trash bill was mailed instead of being a part of their property tax... as first promised.

In July, dump sites were shut down as they switched to Arrow Disposal Service and started a curbside trash pickup service for county residents.

“People just got a postcard in the mail saying you owe $55 now,” said Lee Co Resident Julie Mack.

According to an official statement from the Lee County Environmental Services Department …the property tax bill sent out by revenue commissioner Oline Price in October did not include a garbage fee.

Price said in August the state Attorney General issued an opinion stating her office could not add a third party ‘garbage collection fee’ on a tax bill.

“It has to be a tax on a tax bill. It can not be a fee. Therefore the garbage fee cannot be added to the tax bill,” said Price.

That’s why Lee County residents received a separate garbage fee bill in the mail.

Price says it’s because the tax bill went up for most people - they ‘think’ their property tax also includes a garbage fee... but she says it does not.

According to the Lee County solid waste page, The current fee for garbage service is $222 per year. While in the past, this fee has been included with the Ad Valorem tax, recent procedural changes mean the Environmental Services Department will now bill it

The fee will be split into four payments of $55.50 billed each quarter. If a one-time annual payment is preferred, this can be paid with the October – December statement each year.

Judge Bill English said those who are disabled or on a fixed income need to fill out the exemption form found on the Lee County Health Department website.

Resident Julie Mack said all she wants is communication between the county and the residents to improve.. so residents can be informed about the changes.

You can pay your garbage bill using the following options - Cash, check, money order, e-check, debit card and credit card.

A $3.00 service fee will be applied to e-check and credit or debit card payments. Please do not mail cash.

You can pay your bill online here, by U.S. mail or in person in the office between 7:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. CST, Monday through Friday.

“Please note the office is closed on County-observed holidays. With these changes, the Environmental Services Office is anticipating a very high call volume over the next several weeks. If you call and are unable to get through, please leave a message during our normal business hours or try your call again later. Calls will be returned in the order they are received. We greatly appreciate everyone’s patience during this time.”

For more information, click here.