LOWNDES COUNTY, Miss. (WCBI) — It’s a problem that plagues counties across the state to the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars.
But when it comes to a solution, the answer is less clear. A bill to allow counties to sell properties with unpaid trash fees at annual tax sales died in the Hopuse this year.
But whether to support the bill next year sparked debate among Lowndes County supervisors today. Supporters say the bill would give counties a strong tool to collect fees from people who blatantly ignore them.
Opponents say the process would amount to illegally condemning the properties.
“I think this adds teeth to the law and will make them pay their garbage bill. It’s just a crying shame there are some people out there who just absolutely won’t do what’s right,” said District 1 Supervisor Harry Sanders.
“The law already is rigid enough. This would make it borderline imminent domain,” countered District 4 Supervisor Jeff Smith, noting people could lose their homes because of mistakes made by their children or other relatives.
The law already allows counties to without renewing vehicle licenses from people who have overdue trash bills.
Lowndes County charges $12 a month for trash pickup. But it, like many other counties, has hundreds of thousands of dollars in unpaid bills.