More property taxes headed our way

Did you know that almost 255 of St. Paul residents live in poverty? About 2 out of 5 households pay more than 30% of their income for housing. [MNCompass.org]

graph of income
Saint Paul households by income MNCompass.org

Yet our city leaders are comfortable with the idea of a 17% property tax increase if we vote NO on the trash ordinance. You would think that there would be a way to modify the trash contract if St. Paul votes against it so that we can continue with receiving the services that we are paying for instead of having to buy the contract out.

The 17% property tax increase from the city is in addition to the 4.75% property tax increase from Ramsey County.

I find it frustrating that the city has shown so little leadership that their voice is being drowned out by the “vote no” group. Many cities have organized trash collection.

There are benefits to such a system but St. Paul managed to devise a system that isn’t working for people like my neighbor who lives in a home zoned as a duplex. He has to have 2 carts but he only needs one, because he isn’t using his home as a duplex. There are other examples where people have to pay for more service than they need.

The cost of our current collection system is higher than the cost for the same service in Minneapolis, Bloomington, St. Louis Park and Maplewood. Bills from the trash collectors are only part of the cost, the rest of it is paid for with our property taxes. Our cost went up by $4 a year for a cart that is half the size as what we used to have.

In Minneapolis, I would be paying $20 a month less for the same cart and weekly pick up AND yard waste and organics collection would be included in the service.

Our regular hauler used to pick to yard waste but now they won’t unless we pay an additional $120 which we could easily afford if our property taxes weren’t so high. 🙂

Our elected leaders and representatives don’t seem to understand that there are limits to how much St. Paulites can pay for property taxes. That is sometime that should be taken into consideration when we vote next week.

If we vote “yes” on the trash ordinance we lose and if we vote “no” we lose but at least we get to vote on November 5th. This is what the issue will look like on the ballot:

Should Ordinance ROD 18-39, entitled “Residential Coordinated Collection”, remain in effect for residential trash collection in St. Paul? Ordinance 18-39 creates new rules for the collection and disposal of trash and payment for trash service; and requires that certain residential dwellings have trash collected by a designated trash hauler. A “yes” vote is a vote in favor of keeping Ordinance ORD 18-39. A “No” vote is a vote to get rid of Ordinance ORD 18-39. 

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