Frequently Asked Questions

FAQs @ 3 Community Meetings

Q. Why should I have to pay more taxes to Oconee County for services I don’t receive?

A.  Ideally you shouldn’t, but the county is obliged to allocate its general tax revenue countywide.  The $60,000 the county gives CSFD out of general tax revenue now only covers a small portion of the total cost of the limited fire and EMS services CSFD provides annually, even with an all volunteer roster. The dramatically increasing call volume in an increasingly urban part of the county long ago outstripped the county’s funding of CSFD.

Q. Why a special tax district?  Why doesn’t the county simply allocate the necessary funds to adequately provide fire department service to us?  

A. The county has to look at the area as a whole, not just our fire district.  The only mechanism for raising funds from ALL the property owners AND businesses in the fire district that STAYS in the fire district is a special tax district.  Right now, only DONATIONS from a small percentage of residents and an even smaller percentage of commercial concerns stay in the CSFD district. A special tax district would have ALL property owners and commercial concerns here contributing to fire protection within the confines of the district.

Q. What will keep the millage from increasing every year? 

A. The petition seeking the special tax district absolutely caps the millage at no more that 25 mills.  Our proposed five-member CSFD Fire Commission will monitor the CSFD budget regularly.  The Commissioners would have to justify any potential increase before County Council.  Council would have to go through a full set of public hearings and ordinance readings before any increase could happen.  And even then, state law limits how much and how frequently millages can be increased.

Q.  Why not just a flat fee in the district instead of a special tax? 

A.  To be fair to all, as the amount of resources needed to fight a fire varies with the size and complexity of the structure, even a flat fee would need to be indexed against something. Otherwise, some would pay more than their fair share, others would pay less.

What is a "Special Purpose Fire Tax District"?

Code of Laws §6-11-1610 defines a special purpose district as a district created by an Act of the General Assembly or pursuant to general law and which provides any governmental power or function including, but not limited to, fire protection, sewerage treatment, water or natural gas distribution or recreation.

How much will becoming a tax district cost me?

If a property owner occupied the dwelling, the tax would be $100 for every $100,000 of assessed property value.

Non-owner occupied residences would be $150 per $100,000 of assessed property value.

What are the benefits of being a special tax district?