Construction-equipment behemoth Caterpillar has consistently been the top taxpayer of the county for the latter half of the 2010s and now 2020. 

Caterpillar was No. 1 on a list of the top 10 taxpayers of Oconee County released by Oconee County Tax Commissioner Jennifer Riddle. The company, which located here in 2012, had its property assessed at $44.39 million and paid about $503,900 in property taxes.

No. 2 on the list is “PPF AHP OFF 1305 Jennings Mill Road,” the LLC that owns the property that houses Piedmont Athens Regional’s Oconee Health Campus. The healthcare facility opened its doors in April 2017. The LLC listed on qPublic had its property assessed at $19.09 million and paid about $442,600 in property taxes. 

No. 3 on the list is “UP Athens Ridge SPE,” which is the LLC that owns Athens Ridge Apartments off Macon Highway near the Clarke County line. The LLC had its property assessed at $18.42 million and paid about $427,200 in property taxes. 

No. 4 on the list is Epps Bridge Centre Property Co., which is the LLC that owns the Epps Bridge Centre shopping center. The LLC had its property assessed at $16.89 million and paid about $377,800, which was lowered from an original bill of about $391,800. 

No. 5 was Walton EMC, which had its property assessed at about $13.66 million and paid about $317,150 in property taxes. No. 6 was Georgia Transmission Company, which had its property assessed at $12.06 million and paid close to $282,000 in property taxes. 

No. 7 was Benson’s Inc, which had its property assessed at $8.94 million and paid about $172,700 in property taxes. No. 8 was The Markets at Epps Bridge, which is the LLC that owns the shopping center where Trader Joe’s is located. It had its property assessed at $8.94 million and paid about $153,800.

No. 9 was Georgia Power Company, which had its property assessed at $5.77 million and paid about $140,300in property taxes. 

No. 10 was TT of Athens, Inc., the company that owns the property where the Mercedes-Benz of Athens dealership sits. It had its property assessed at $5.9 million and paid about $137,000 in property taxes.

It should be noted that both Epps Bridge Centre and Athens Ridge are a stone’s throw away from the Athens-Clarke County line, while Caterpillar straddles the line and pays Athens-Clarke County, rather than Oconee, for sewer hookup.

In other news, the 2020 property tax deadline is Nov. 30. The Oconee County Tax Commissioner service hours have changed due to COVID-19. 

In person customer service hours are Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 2:45-4:15 p.m. Business hours are Monday through Friday: taxes from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and tags from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The office is closed daily from 1:15-2:30 p.m. for lunch. 

For more on this story, see the Nov. 12 edition of The Oconee Enterprise, on sale now at convenience stores and grocery stores and newspaper boxes throughout Oconee County. To subscribe, call (706) 769-5175 or visit the tab on our website. 

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