"Donut Holes" Causing Rift Between Businesses and City Council
By Jana Coleman
Posted 10:35 AM February 23, 2010
"Donut holes" are creating a rift between some Richland County businesses and the city of Columbia.
Donut holes are parcels of land surrounded by Columbia's city limits that do not pay city of Columbia taxes.
The Columbia city council wants to annex these parcels. The city says the property taxes from these parcels will bring in about $267,000 a year to pay for services like police and garbage collection.
Thomas Bacon, owner of Shuman Owens Supply Company, is not willing to pay taxes to the city for services he does not need.
"Right now I am in Richland County and we have their law enforcement and fire services. We don't use city trash because we throw things away in bulks and even though we have city water, we aren't on city sewage." Bacon says.
City council member and mayoral candidate Kirkman Finlay admits there is a perception problem the city has to work hard to overcome.
So far the council has only sent letters asking the business to petition to become part of the city.