You Asked: Is the county’s free garbage pickup indeed free?

Franklin County’s 1 percent occupational tax is levied on both salaries and wages of employees and net profits of businesses that operate in the county. The county enacted the occupational tax in 1987, after losing more than $300,000 in federal revenue sharing, according to Franklin County Treasurer Susan Laurenson. A reader posed a question about […]

Franklin County’s 1 percent occupational tax is levied on both salaries and wages of employees and net profits of businesses that operate in the county.

The county enacted the occupational tax in 1987, after losing more than $300,000 in federal revenue sharing, according to Franklin County Treasurer Susan Laurenson.

A reader posed a question about whether the county’s garbage pickup is indeed free after Franklin County Judge-Executive Huston Wells referred to household pickup as a perk while explaining the 2018 county tax bills at a fiscal court meeting last month.

“Our occupational tax ordinance — in fact, all of our ordinances — do not designate which funds will be spent where,” Laurenson told the State Journal.

The revenue, about $4.3 million per year, goes into the general fund, Laurenson said.

According to a 1983 county audit report, the general fund covered $131,000 for garbage disposal. This was five years prior to curbside pickup replacing dumpsters that were placed at central collection points throughout the county.

After household garbage collection was adopted in 1988, garbage disposal costs were $391,000.

Over the years, garbage costs have ballooned.

“Household waste collection is a general health and sanitation service provided to Franklin County residents at a general fund cost of $1.46 million per year,” Laurenson said.

The city also collects an occupational tax at a rate of 1.95 percent on employee salaries and net profits of businesses.

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