Spartanburg city dispute with public works could affect your tax - WSPA.com

Spartanburg city dispute with public works could affect your tax or water bills

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SPARTANBURG, S.C. -

A fight between two government entities could end up costing you more money.

The Spartanburg Commission of Public Works pays the City of Spartanburg $1.4 million a year in what's called a dividend payment.

But that agreement expires in June.

The commission made a new offer, an offer apparently not good enough for the city.

Water customer Dominque Thomas says her monthly water payment is high enough.

"Sometimes I pay maybe $50, $60 a month," Thomas said.

With rates increasing almost every year, she said news of higher bills is discouraging.

"Resolve this because nobody wants to pay more in taxes or more on water so let's just come and meet in the middle."

But both sides remain far apart.

"We're entitled to it because we own it," Mayor Junie White said.

The city paid for the century-old water system and continued to fund its growth beyond the city limits.

So it expects something in return.

"It's going to have a tremendous effect on the core services of the city," White said.

A public works commissioner told 7 On Your Side that the system is selling less water but costs remain high.

"We went through the same recession that the city and everyone else went through," commissioner Linda Bilanchone said.

She believes the new offer they made to the city is generous.

"It's not $1.4 million, it is $1 million though and that is the best we can do and we think it's pretty darn good."

City of Spartanburg put out numbers about how this debate could affect a typical household.

If public works had to raise revenue by $1.4 million - your water bill would go up about $12 a year.

If the city had to increase funds by $1.4 million - a home valued at $150,000 would pay an additional $63 a year, according to the city.

The commissioners say they want an agreement with city council. And they say if the city wants certain services it'll need to find that money on its own.

The city already has a web page up.

One of the public works commissioners said she was caught off guard by the city's publicity campaign but the commission will have its own materials online soon.

If there's no agreement by June, the payments will stop all together.

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