Clay County residents voice opposition to stormwater fee

Many say it would only benefit certain people who live in county

CLAY COUNTY, Fla. – Some Clay County residents are outraged over a proposed tax, saying it only benefits certain people who live in the county.

There was a public hearing Tuesday night on a stormwater maintenance service rate of $60 per tax parcel. The maintenance would only cover certain parts of the county, and many said they aren't OK with paying for it.

"I'm sitting here looking at hotels and apartment buildings and I'm thinking, OK, we have an apartment building here that's going to be paying the same that I'm going pay. But there's 200 to 300 residents in that apartment, aren't going to pay a dime," said Charles Hodges, who lives in Clay County.

"Where do our taxes go? I'm an old woman in my late 80s with my husband. We are on a very, very small fixed income. So, I'm begging you, I'm humbling before you, before my God, that this does not pass because it will really burden me to the extreme when the taxes are so high already," said Sandy Ridnick, a Clay County resident.

RELATED: Concerns raised over proposed Clay County stormwater fee

These residents were not alone. Gavin Rollins is a county commissioner who is also against the tax proposal. He said he was not surprised by the number of people who attended the meeting to voice their opinion.

The board decided it would vote no on the proposal Tuesday night. 

"They saw that this many people came out and they are passionate about it," said Tim Elswick, who is against the proposal.

If passed, the money from the tax would be used to manage stormwater and reduce flooding, among other water-related issues. But some residents say their neighborhoods wouldn't benefit and that the tax only impacts unincorporated Clay County taxpayers.

The issue is expected to be discussed again in September.

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