Proposed New Tax Districts Could Support Neighborhood Projects in Greene Co.

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Shawn Haynes, owner of Blue Ridge Cafe Shawn Haynes, owner of Blue Ridge Cafe
Blue Ridge Cafe, Greene County Blue Ridge Cafe, Greene County

Greene county leaders are trying to get residents on board with paying more taxes for improvements and upgrades that would personally benefit them.

The idea is to have people pay more taxes than they are supposed to, but specialized tax districts would pave the way for people to take control of the services or upgrades they want in their own backyard.

The state law that makes this possible explains that the purpose is to provide “additional, more complete, or more timely government services in a specific geographic area, rather than the locality as a whole.” 

Property owners in a certain area would have to petition the Greene County board of supervisors for the benefit. 

"We want to be as proactive as we can. In this case we're being responsive because we've had several property owners and home owner's association representatives and business community representatives approach the board and our staff about the possibilities,” said John Barkley, Greene County Administrator.

The group proposing would need 50% or more of those owners on board to get the ball rolling.

The group would then agree to pay extra taxes, but the money would be directly allocated to the proposed project.

Options include infrastructure upgrades, a new road, sidewalk, and lighting.

"At least this way it might give us more of an input about where the money is spent," said Shawn Hayes, owner of Blue Ridge Cafe.

State law requires a public hearing, which is expected to take place May 24 at 7:30 p.m. at the county office building. 

That is when the county administrator says they'll make the specialized tax district pitch to residents and the business community. 

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