Macon-Bibb County residents are now receiving their first annual garbage bills in the mail.
The first bill, mailed out last week, is for $300 and covers payments from the final three months of this year through the end of 2018. Starting next September, property owners will pay a yearly $240 fee that will be a line item on property tax bills.
Homeowners may be able to avoid having to making a one time payment in future years if their mortgage company agrees to add the fee to the escrow, thus allowing monthly payments.
"I can budget $20 a month ... instead of worrying about receiving it every quarter and writing a $60 check, which is what we used to do," Macon-Bibb County Tax Commissioner Wade McCord said.
Also, anyone can make smaller payments prior to the bills being sent out, which means they won't have to pay the full amount at one time, he said.
The switch from $60 quarterly payments to annual billing was not met without some controversy. Some Macon-Bibb commissioners said it was unfair to place the burden of annual bills on residents.
This summer, Mayor Robert Reichert vetoed a quarterly payment ordinance that had reversed an earlier decision to move to yearly bills.
The new payment method has the goal of increasing the percentage of collections since it will be attached to property tax bills, which routinely have a higher payment rate than garbage bills, county officials have said.
The Tax Commissioner's Office has a variety of ways people can make payments, including at the Tax Commissioner's Office, over the phone and online.
Stanley Dunlap, 478-744-4623