TRASH FEE ISSUE
Please be advised that my office has been examining the actual costs for the Trash and Recycling budget in preparation for the submittal of the Fiscal Year 2012 budget. The cost of that program is funded in part from the proceeds from the sales of the orange trash bags which sell for ($1.00) one dollar each or ( $5.00) five dollars for a bundle containing five bags. The program of charging one dollar ($1.00) per bag is generating far less revenue than the cost of the program.
Below is a breakdown of costs versus revenue;
Trash/Recycling Fy11 Budget $1,949,844.55
Debt – Prin/Interest $ 285,000.00
Cost of Bags (estimate) $ 190,000.00
Total Cost of Program $2,424,844.55
Estimated FY12 Revenue $ 1,050,890.00
Total Estimated Deficit <$1,373,954.55>
As you can see, the Trash and Recycle program is costing the city $1,373,954.55 more than the revenue that is generated from the sale of the orange bags. The city is then required to spend $1,373,954.55 from the General Fund to pay for this program. If the cost of the bags were increased so that a greater amount of revenue could be raised from the sale of the orange bags then that would be less money coming out of the General Fund for the Trash and Recycling Program. The increase in the cost of the bags would allow the program to come closer to paying for itself and it would ‘free up’ reoccurring revenue from the General Fund that could be now targeted to paying the salaries and wages and avoid the potential for layoffs this year and in the future.
Therefore, I am proposing that the cost of the orange trash bags be increased so the fee is more closely related to the cost of the service.
The money generated for charging $1.00 per bag annually= $ 1,050,890.00
The money generated for charging $ 1.50 per bag annually= $ 1,576,335.00
The money generated for charging $ 2.00 per bag annually= $ 2,101,780.00
If the city were to raise the cost per trash bag from $1.00 per bag to $1.50 per bag then the City would generate
$ 1,576,335.00 in revenue and that action would mean the deficit in the trash and recycling budget would be reduced to
$ 848,509.55. That action would ‘free-up’ an additional $ 525,445.00 of reoccurring revenue from the General Fund that could be used to save jobs in other City Government departments.
If the city were to raise the cost per trash bag from $1.00 per bag to $2.00 per bag then the City would generate $2,101,780.00 in revenue and that action would mean the deficit in the trash and recycling budget would be reduced to $ 323,064.55. That action would ‘free-up’ an additional $1,050,890.00 of reoccurring revenue from the General Fund that could be used to save jobs in other City Government departments. Please review the attached supporting data so you can evaluate how the trash fee in Taunton stands in comparison to other communities.
I fully recognize that raising trash fees or indeed any fees at this time is not a popular move. However, the Governor has reduced local aid in Taunton over $ 5,200,000 over the last few years and he had reduced local aid again for fiscal 2012. The raising of trash fees may not be popular but laying off hard working city employees is not popular either.
Please consider my request to raise the cost of the trash bags in the City of Taunton so the trash and recycling program can closer to self supporting than it is at this time. That action could lead to all of us being able to save jobs in a most difficult economic climate.