Fee Added to Property Taxes in 6 Arkansas Counties

LITTLE ROCK, Ark.- Starting this year, every property owner in the Ozark Mountain Solid Waste District in Arkansas has to pay an $18 fee.

Jerry Honaker, who lives in Omaha (Boone County), says, "I was curious to know exactly what that fee was. Why am I being charged something I've never used?"

The solid waste district includes Marion, Baxter, Boone, Carroll, Newton, and Searcy counties, and the board is made up of mayors and county judges.

In 2005, the district issued $12 million in bonds to purchase a landfill in Baxter County, but many counties didn't even use it. 

In 2012, the board voted to default on its bonds and close the landfill.

Berryville Mayor Tim McKinney says, "I'm mad about it too. There's a lot of mistakes made from the time they bought this until it went into foreclosure."

Bondholders sued the board, and a court issued the $18 a year fee.

"To pay off those bonds and to pay for the closure of the landfill," says McKinney.

The court's reasoning was the district could have charged businesses and property owners for making trash service available, whether they used it or not.

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