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Sullivan commissioners mulling new transaction fee

January 8th, 2014 11:09 pm by J. H. Osborne

Sullivan commissioners mulling new transaction fee

BLOUNTVILLE — Sullivan County commissioners are considering charging county residents a new fee on multiple types of transactions at county offices.

The money raised by the new fee would go to help cover costs of longtime archiving of county records.

It isn’t the first time such a fee has been discussed in Sullivan County, but this time the effort has made it to a written proposal up for consideration by the full Sullivan County Commission as early as Jan. 21.

That’s when a resolution to implement the fee — sponsored by county commissioners Bill Kilgore, Dennis Houser and Michael Surgenor — will come up for first reading by the GOP-dominated commission.

So far, the proposal isn’t getting much support at the committee level.

It has been discussed this week by two of the commission’s three primary committees, and each voted to take “no action.” 

Commissioner Dwight King, who made the motion Wednesday for “no action” from the commission’s Administrative Committee, said the new $5 fee on various permits and licenses is “just another burden on taxpayers.” 

Commissioner Pat Shull, who seconded King’s motion for “no action,” said he does not like the concept of imposing a new fee to fund the county’s archival maintenance needs.

“I would rather we would appropriate the money for what we need ... rather than nickel and dime our citizens,” Shull said.

Commissioner Baxter Hood said he sees it as “justified” to nickel and dime for this fee, which he said most county residents won’t pay very often based on his own experiences with using the listed licenses and permits.

Shull noted that the resolution does not indicate how much money the new fee would raise or estimate how much money the county needs it to raise.

Surgenor said that information is available and will be provided to commissioners.

As written, the resolution now calls for a new $5 fee to be added to the current charges county residents pay for: marriage license applications, beer permit applications; notary public applications, vehicle titles — including replacement titles, business license applications, building permit applications, rezoning requests, zoning variance applications, stormwater permits, driveway permits and road cut permits.

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