Trash Tax Contrary to City Study - Gag Order on Trash Companies

As part of the Council Budget Committee presentation during the March 2010 Council meeting, Staff proposed a $53 per residence "Trash Tax" (below), raising about $100,000.

At the April 2010 City Council meeting, the City Engineer said the trash trucks are damaging the roads and a trash tax would help pay for the damages.

Damage to roads is caused by shifting hillsides, tree roots, residential traffic, stormwater runoff diverted to city streets, construction vehicle traffic, irrigation runoff, trash trucks, and other factors.

The stage was set for the tax in the Franchise Agreement (excerpt below) approved by the City Council in 2008. That agreement says that a Franchise Fee of up to 10% can be imposed by the City Council by Resolution, without going to residents for a vote. It also forbids the waste haulers from protesting the imposition of the tax, a "gag order". It's not only residents that the City Council doesn't want to hear from.

However, in late 2007, a Study contracted by the City to determine how much damage is done to the roads by trash trucks determined the annual value was only $28,000 (excerpt below). See the Study here

No explanation was offered by City Staff or Officials as to why they are proposing to tax residents for almost 4 times the amount of the actual deterioration to the roads caused by trash trucks.

It is unclear if the trash haulers will also add an administrative charge for collecting and processing the tax or will raise rates to do so.