The Athens Municipal Water Authority hears annual Lake Service Fees called AMWA taxes quite often. To clear some confusion, here are some differences between AMWA property taxes and annual Lake Service Fees.
Who Pays What?
Property owners that live in the corporate limits of the City of Athens are the only people who pay AMWA property taxes. These taxes mainly pay for water development (water wells), upgrades at the water treatment plant, maintenance at the dam and intake, and the administration of AMWA.
Residents who own property that abuts AMWA property at the 448 msl, on Lake Athens, pay annual Lake Service Fees. These fees give Lake Athens residents access to AMWA’s property between their own and Lake Athens. AMWA owns the land between the Lake and the 448 msl, as this land is a flood plain. These fees also allow residents the ability to pump water from Lake Athens for irrigation, and the ability to have a boathouse on Lake Athens. These fees are NOT taxes.
Do I have to Pay Any of these Fees?
If you live in the corporate limits of the City of Athens, AMWA property taxes are mandatory. These taxes insure that Athens will have a water supply for decades to come.
Lake Athens Service Fees can be optional. If you do not access AMWA property below the 448 msl or the Lake, do not pump water from Lake Athens, or have a boathouse, you may not have to pay annual Lake Athens service fees.
Only 15% of Lake Athens residents are in the corporate limits of the City of Athens (74 of 486 properties on Lake Athens that pay Lake Service Fees). These 74 properties are the only Lake Athens residents that pay both AMWA property taxes and Lake Service Fees. These properties are confined to what AMWA refers to as the P A Taylor and Impala Point subdivisions (some street addresses of FM 2495, Bayshore Drive, and Impala Point Drive).
If you live on Lake Athens and do not live in the corporate limits of the City of Athens, you only pay Lake Service Fees, you do not pay AMWA property taxes.