cur-mud-geon: anyone who hates hypocrisy and pretense and has the temerity to say so; anyone with the habit of pointing out unpleasant facts in an engaging and humorous manner
Village Administrator Dave Schornack is thinking that we may need to institute a garbage pick-up fee and is looking at some changes to the pick-up schedule for recycle items. The recycle pick-up could be moved from weekly to bi-weekly in order to cut costs. The pick-ups would be automated requiring new bins that can be lifted and dumped mechanically.
Trustee Dean Wolter, to his credit, says we should exhaust all other options for cost cuts before we even begin thinking about a fee for garbage pick-up.
This subject was covered in a much earlier blog when last we were confronted with similar issues. Since that time much has happened to our economy and to our tax situation. Governor Doyle, of course, did us the large favor of increasing garbage tipping fees several times over as part of his last budget. That will ultimately hit us in the pocketbook when we renegotiate the contract renewal and/or take bids from competing pick-up services. This is a very real cost of doing business for them, and, as we all know, taxes imposed on companies are paid for by the customers of those companies.
Among my problems with this are these:
- garbage fees are not part of property taxes and, therefore, are not deductible.
- fees are typically used for services used only be some of the citizens thus imposing the cost on those who use the service. We all use garbage pick-up services and our village property taxes now cover those costs (except for a couple of condominium associations that pay their own costs).
- fees are too often used by politicians in order that they can claim they didn't increase taxes when they run for re-election.
- just because other municipalities seem to have gotten into the swing of imposing fees across the board (such as Milwaukee's snow removal fee), Germantown has no need to follow suit.
Finally, Menomonee Falls did go to bi-weekly pick-up of recycle items and paid the expense of the new bins that were required. That seems to have worked out without a lot of hew and cry from the citizens although there were some initial concerns.
If there proves to be no other viable alternative to an increase in garbage pick-up costs, such as offsetting reductions in other areas, then, and only then, we need to take the hit as part of property taxes so that, at least, these charges will be deductible as tax law currently stands.
The Curmudgeon Blog today is titled "Pelosi Cheat Sheets".