January 29, 2014 12:00 AM

Georgia’s fees are just taxes in disguise

There’s a dirty secret that’s not so secret anymore. The fees Georgia residents pay, such as the hazardous and solid waste fees, civil penalty fees, hazardous substance fees and brownfield fees that have accounted for, according to the Association County Commissioners of Georgia, more than $165 million since 2004 (2013 and 2014 totals are estimates) are not directed to their stated purposes. Of that total, the areas where the money is supposed to go -- the Hazardous and Solid Waste Trust Funds, the Emergency 911 Assistance Fund, Peace Officer and Prosecutors Training Fund, Indigent Defense program, Driver’s Ed Training and Judicial Operations Fund Fee -- have only received $63 million. What happened to the other $102 million? It went straight to the state’s general fund.

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