Politics & Government

Apartment owners plead for city to keep picking up their trash

(6/6/97. CHAPMAN). Sanitation Equipment Operator, Joe Wallace, uses the mechanical arm to grab and dump garbage on his truck, during pickup service in Charlotte. The city won the bid to continue picking up trash. GAYLE SHOMER/STAFF
(6/6/97. CHAPMAN). Sanitation Equipment Operator, Joe Wallace, uses the mechanical arm to grab and dump garbage on his truck, during pickup service in Charlotte. The city won the bid to continue picking up trash. GAYLE SHOMER/STAFF

Apartment owners asked Charlotte City Council on Monday to not eliminate their trash service, saying the possible change would raise rents and would affect low-income residents the most.

City Manager Ron Carlee has proposed a property tax rate increase of a little less than 1 percent. That would raise about $4 million and would pay for 50 new police officers.

But Carlee gave council members two other options if they don’t want to raise taxes.

The first option would be to increase the annual garbage fees paid by all homeowners. The other option would be to eliminate trash service for apartments, which would save about $3 million a year.

The city has said apartments could be seen as commercial property, and the city generally does not pick up trash for most businesses.

But the loss of service would not be offset with a property tax reduction for the apartment owners. They have said they would have to pay for garbage pickup on the open market, and those costs would likely be passed on to their tenants.

“This would shift expenses to apartment renters,” said Ken Szymanski of the Greater Charlotte Apartment Association. “Please consider the majority of Charlotte’s very low-income residents live in multifamily rental housing. Our burgeoning Latino population is far more likely to live in apartments.”

Mike O’Sullivan, of Homeless Services Network, said the elimination of trash collection for apartments would “hurt efforts to end chronic homelessness.” 

Council members will hold a budget workshop Wednesday.

Steve Harrison: 704-358-5160, @Sharrison_Obs

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