It's common knowledge that taxes pay for basic amenities, like education, police, firefighters, and economic development, but there are other areas your tax dollars go toward, too, like bridges, criminals, and trash.
If you live in Roanoke City, you're paying for all of them, and it isn't cheap.
After digging through the city's payment registries from January to May 2013, we've highlighted a few things you might not know your tax dollars pay for.
One of those areas is housing young criminals.
The city spent more than $440,000 on its portion of the Roanoke Valley Juvenile Detention Center.
The detention center's expenses are shared with Botetourt, Franklin, and Roanoke counties, and the city of Salem.
Since it only holds people for six months or longer, the city must also find a way to house juveniles who are in for a shorter stay.
That lead to Roanoke City spending about $49,000 in taxpayer money to send those juveniles to the city of Lynchburg, which runs the closest short-term facility.
Another area we focused on is bridge maintenance and repair.
The Star City spent more than $37,000 on bridge maintenance and engineering. In February alone, more than $25,000 was spent.
According to the city, it is required by law to make sure bridges are regularly inspected.
You also might not know that your tax dollars pay for trash to be picked up at condominiums throughout the Star City.
According to Roanoke Assistant City Manager Sherman Stovall, the city reimburses different condominium associations for trash removal since they aren't included in the city's trash pickup route.
In all, from January through May, nearly $21,000 was spent on the reimbursements.
According to the payment registries, the pickup cost varied from more than $9,000 in April to around $1,000 in May.