Commissioner ending Erlanger tax early in Walker County

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LAFAYETTE, Georgia (WDEF) – Great news for residents living in the northern part of Walker County.

For two years now, they have been paying a “bonus” tax to fund the money the county owed Erlanger Health System.

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They called it the Public Health Facilities and Services fee.

It was supposed to pay off the debt to Erlanger from running the old Hutcheson Medical Center.

The Fee was supposed to last three years, but on Wednesday, Commissioner Whitfield announced it will end a year early.

“We project we have collected enough from the Public Health Facilities and Services fee over the past two years to meet our obligation to Erlanger at the end of this tax cycle,” said Whitfield.  “This means the fee will not be charged on your next tax bill!”

For the average $100,000 house, that will save residents $140 off next year’s tax bill.

The history of the fee goes back to a 2017 court ruling.

A federal judge ordered Walker County to pay Erlanger $8.7 million.

Instead of everyone paying the extra debt, the Commissioner imposed the special fee on areas that Hutcheson served.

“Dealing with this debt has been a tough chapter in our shared journey,” Whitfield added.  “I thank our citizens for the sacrifices made during this difficult time in our history.  Today, we turn the page.  Today, we start our own chapter in Walker County history.”

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