Last week the City Finance Committee approved imposing a new fee (a.k.a. tax) on recycling. The matter will now go before the full City Council Tuesday, April 19th.
The annual $50.00 fee should not need to be imposed, as the reason we pay property taxes is for basic city services. For me it is the principal of this matter, and not the fee amount.
This new fee has not even been enacted and council members, such as tax sponsor Alder Furman, are suggesting more new taxes to come so as to have unlimited sources of new revenue, (unlike your income). “This will only get worse,” he said, saying the 2023 budget will need to be even more clever with how it addresses budget gaps.
During the finance committee debate, the supporters/city staff said that the new fee has to be a flat fee per property, not number of bins, and with no opt out; or, otherwise, the city would be encouraging people not to recycle.
Given that Mayor Rhodes-Conway made the unprecedented move of replying to constituent emails to defend her recycling tax, she must be concerned that city residents can defeat this. Already, three of the six alders who co-sponsored her recycling tax have withdrawn their names as co-sponsors!! In other words, even if Madison taxpayers have already done so, please contact your alder and all the council to express your opposition.
WORT news reported on this recycling fee and asked for an interview. The story starts at about the 14-minute mark. I provided the balance about the role of property taxes and basic services. I find it interesting that the report did not entertain one idea or foster a viewpoint about cutting city government and programming. Just taxing more.
Click on the link below, then click the audio archive for Wednesday, April 13th. (My gain should have been higher on the soundboard as it sounds like I am a low talker.)
I must admit when the mayor talked about ‘putting on thinking caps’ in this news report I did gasp upon hearing it. I swear that those words from an adult outside of a first grade class is remarkable. But her term in office falls under the snarky-phrased term remarkable, too.
My bottom line is too many at the city level have cast this debate about recyling instead of the way certain taxes are to pay for certain projects in a city. With news media playing to the same tune as the ones promoting this fee there is no doubt the measure will pass Tuesday night.
The consequences for alders at election time next year, well, that is a promise many will carry until balloting in the spring elections.
And so it goes.