Thursday, April 15, 2004

Even More Taxes in GR

Wow, the Grand Rapids City Commission is at it again. Yesterday they discussed increasing our property tax even more for the city's trash program. Apparently the city's Refuse Collection Fund is going to have a deficit if they don't both increase fees and increase everyone's taxes.

The refuse collection portion of the fund costs $5.9 million and the property tax brings in $4.9 million. The sale of garbage tags only produce $3.1 million in revenue. So it looks like we, the taxpayers, and subsidizing every bag of trash, because the city loses money on trash collection.

My question is this: why does the city even run a trash collection service? There is a wide selection of trash collection companies in town and they're all pretty reasonable. And the best part: you only pay if you use them! Right now, everyone in the city gets to pay for trash collection they don't necessarily use. You pay for your own private trash collection service? Congratulations, you get to pay twice; the company who collects your trash and a property tax for the city's trash collection. It's time to privatize the city's trash collection service, reduce the property tax levy that pays for that service, and let those who use the service pay for it.

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