Glynn County Rewards Hercules for Superfund Site with Tax Exemption
Since at least 1988, Hercules has not paid taxes on the 16-acre Hercules
009 Landfill Superfund Site. How Hercules obtained this County tax exemption
is not clear. Efforts to find minutes of the Glynn County Board of
Assessors meeting where the tax exemption was granted have been requested
but yet to be produced by the Tax Assessors Office.
Limited information was obtained concerning the reasoning behind the tax
exemption from the tax cards available in the Assessors Office. Hand
written at the bottom of the tax card was, “Exempt, this land was required
for burial of toxaphene waste.” Another tax card reads, “Exempt, required
for pollution control burial for toxaphene waste.” Other cards have a note
at the bottom. “Exempt, burial for toxaphene waste,” and “Ck exempt status
! Why (EPA).”
The tax cards told a far different story than the one Hercules told the
Glynn County Zoning and Planning Commission when they had the property
rezoned in 1974. Hercules represented that the property would be filled
resulting in the reclamation of the property for future development.
Hercules General Manager Harold Hicks explained that unusable byproducts,
basically sand, lime and silt, resulting from Hercules’ operations would be
placed in catch-basins for drying and transferred to the site periodically.
What Mr. Hicks failed to mention was that toxic toxaphene would be part of
the sand, lime, and silt. Indications are that Hercules knew full well that
toxic waste would be put on the property since they applied for and received
a permit for disposal of hazardous waste from the Georgia Environmental
Protection Division in 1975.
Currently, Hercules has leased part of what is now called the Hercules 009
Landfill Superfund Site to Nalley auto dealership for parking, taking in
income, and exempt from taxes on the property. Meanwhile, the taxpayers of
Glynn County continue to be a good neighbor, pay their taxes, and reward
Hercules for putting a Superfund Site in our community with a tax exemption.
What has yet to be answered is why Glynn County felt land was required for
Hercules to dispose of toxaphene manufacturing wastes. Many other questions
remain. Did the Zoning and Planning Commission know that Hercules intended
to dispose of toxic waste at the time they rezoned the land, or are the
representations of Hercules for the rezoning misleading? Did the Board of
Assessors approve a tax exemption for the Hercules 009 Landfill Superfund
Site? If so, what were the reasons they felt compelled to provide Hercules
a tax exemption?