Monday, February 19, 2018

Answer Line: Yes, yard waste is OK in trash cart, but ...

Dec. 9, 2016 at 11:19 p.m.

QUESTION: Is it OK to put yard waste in one of the city-supplied trash containers as long as there is a note on the front of it saying "yard waste?"

ANSWER: I can give you a qualified yes.

You could rent one of the black-lidded landfill carts and mark it as yard waste so the contents will be sent to the compost site, but you can't put garbage in that can. You technically could use your existing black-lidded trash cart for yard waste on some occasions and trash at other times, but you must clearly mark it as yard waste. If it's not clearly marked, it will be considered trash and taken to the landfill, said David Simmons, the city's sanitation and fleet services manager.

You may not use the blue-lidded recycling cart for yard waste. Simmons said the recycling carts are for only plastic, paper and metal cans.

Your other options for yard waste are to put it out as trash to be sent to the landfill, place it loosely in a personal container marked for yard waste to be sent to the compost site or put it in paper yard waste bags placed at the curb to be sent to the compost site.

Q: My appraisal notice the past two years has included something for a Gregg County Emergency Services. What is that?

A: Your letter says you live in Liberty City, which tells me you must live in the relatively new Gregg County Emergency Services District No. 2.

Voters in your neck of the woods approved formation of the district in November 2014. It essentially created the ability to collect property taxes to support the Sabine Volunteer Fire Department. The News-Journal reported during that election that the new district encompasses Liberty City and a portion of the county that falls within a mile of Gladewater and Kilgore.

Liberty City voters, by the way, approved the measure by a vote of 832-438.

A board of commissioners oversees the district and sets the tax rate each year. Its regular meetings are at 6 p.m. on the third Tuesday of the month at the Sabine Volunteer Fire Department at 736 Wilkins Road, according to the website for the emergency services district.

ANSWER LINE FOLLOW-UP: A reader questioned the answer I previously gave about whether the IRS has a set percentage that it takes off the top of prize winnings, such as those on game shows. I just wanted to respond to say that this week I confirmed with accountant Carmela Davis that there is no set percentage off the top, or windfall tax, of such winnings. It becomes part of your income, and different kinds of winnings or losses (in the case of gambling, for instance) could trigger other deductions and credits.

— Answer Line appears Thursday and Saturday. Email questions to, leave a message at (903) 232-7208 or write to P.O. Box 1792, Longview, TX 75606.



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