Establishing Procedures for Special Tax Districts
Other Than Street Light Districts
Unified Development Code
The Oconee County Unified Development Code (UDC) provides under Section 1235 for the creation of special tax districts for the purpose of providing water systems, sanitary sewer systems, street improvements and drainage improvements. These tax districts are contemplated as voluntary (initiated by request of 2/3rds or more of the property owners within an existing subdivision or area).
Creating Special Tax District
- The interested party ("applicant" such as a homeowners association, etc.) contacts the appropriate department head and requests that the process be initiated. The appropriate department heads are as follows:
For water & sewer tax districts – Oconee County Utility Department (OCUD) Director (706-769-3960)
For road and drainage improvements – Public Works Director/County Engineer (706-769-2937)
- The department head will investigate the technical feasibility and preliminary costs for providing water service to the subdivision or area in question.
- The department head will investigate the potential level of participation within the proposed service area.
- The department head will coordinate the preliminary request with the office of the Oconee County Board of Commissioners.
- If the department head determines that the tax district is a practical option, he/she will prepare an estimate of:
- Engineering costs
- Construction cost
- Amortization cost for financing
- Other applicable costs
- The department head will prepare a petition showing the service area and cost estimates and signature blanks for property owners of all parcels in the proposed district.
- The applicant is responsible for obtaining signatures on the petition for 2/3rds of the property owners within the proposed tax district. For each tax parcel, all parties on the deed of record must sign for that tax parcel to count towards the 2/3rds required number of parcels.
- The department head verifies 2/3rds with the tax records.
- The department head advertises the petition for consideration by the Board of Commissioners.
- The Board of Commissioners approves or denies the request.
- If approved, the department head and finance director coordinate the necessary steps for implementing the improvements.
- When the improvements are completed, the department head advises the Tax Commissioner and Tax Assessors Office to begin taxing parcels in the district, (for the prescribed amortization schedule).
- Upon completion of a water or sewer systems improvement, the property owners can set up accounts with the OCUD. The property owners are responsible for connecting their homes or buildings to the OCUD water meter or sewer line tap which is normally located at the street right-of-way line. Note that all customers which connect to the Oconee County Water or Sewer System pay a one-time meter and connection fee or sewer fee (based on current rate structure) at the time the meter is installed or the sewer line is connected. This is a one-time fee separate from the annual tax. The one-time fee is for the meter or tap and associated costs as opposed to the annual tax which is for amortization of the engineering and installation costs of water lines and hydrants or sewer system in the right-of-way. By law, the annual taxes must be levied and collected on all lots within an approved tax district. This is true whether or not the lot owner signed the petition or connects to the county water or sewer system.
For water and sewer service, monthly fees are charged by the Oconee County Utility Department in accordance with the published rate schedule.