Phoebe to continue voluntary payments to Dougherty County on tax-exempt property

Chairman Chris Cohilas told commissioners that Phoebe will continue to pay Dougherty County a V-PILOT this year. / Mary Green

At their meeting Monday, Dougherty County commissioners reviewed the county's tax digest for 2018 and received a big announcement about money that will now continue to come into the county.

Chairman Chris Cohilas told commissioners that Phoebe will continue to pay Dougherty County a voluntary payment in lieu of taxes, or V-PILOT, on property owned by the hospital that is currently tax-exempt.

When Phoebe acquired the Phoebe North property, they signed a five-year agreement with the county to pay an annual V-PILOT, starting in 2013. That agreement ended at the end of last year.

Now Phoebe will continue to make that payment this year for $573,000.

Cohilas said it was important for Dougherty County to make this request from Phoebe for this money.

"This is a payment that is in recognition of the fact that the Palmyra purchase removed property from the tax rolls that was there and producing and helping generate revenue to offset taxes for the taxpayers," he said.

Phoebe said once they bought the Phoebe North property, they didn't want the fact that it was going from a taxable property to a tax-exempt property to create a burden on the tax base or taxpayers. Public Relations Manager Ben Roberts said that's why they are continuing to make this payment to Dougherty County.

"We like to be a good corporate citizen," he said. "We pride ourselves on that, and if we can help the county in that way and help the local taxpayers in that way, then we are certainly agreeable to continuing that V-PILOT."

Roberts said that including this year, the total amount Phoebe has paid through the V-PILOT agreements with Dougherty County is about $3.7 million.

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