Trash fee should be based on volume

Posted on October 20, 2007 | Type: Op-Ed | Author: Ted Wells
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The letter writer identifies a serious structural problem with Tucson's garbage tax, but he proposes a solution even more negative than the present system. Both the current $14 per month fee and the supplemental income tax the author proposes have no relationship to the actual services rendered by the city's collection of garbage.

Garbage collection differs from police and fire protection because it is a service where each household receives an explicit and measurable benefit.

The city could reasonably bill households for the volume of trash it collects from each. Households that produce the most would pay the most, and those that produce no garbage for the city to collect would owe no money.

This "pay as you throw" billing method would allow individual households the freedom to choose whether to use the city's garbage collection service or have their waste hauled away by a private company.

Charging households by their use is the most fair and free way for Tucson to pay for its garbage collection.

Ted Wells is a Ronald Reagan Fellow at the Goldwater Institute

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