Friday, July 6, 2012

Trash Fee For NYC Nonprofits?

New York City council members plan to oppose a measure by Mayor Michael Bloomberg that would impose a garbage-collection fee on nonprofits, universities, and religious organizations.

The measure, which was included in the city's recently approved $68.5 billion budget, would raise $17.2 million in revenue for the city but requires the permission of the City Council. According to a report in The Wall Street Journal, that doesn't seem likely to happen.

Councilman David Greenfield (D-Brooklyn) has indicated that a majority of the council's 51 members oppose the legislation. He has already introduced legislation barring the Bloomberg administration from instituting a trash fee, and claims he has support for the bill from 31 council members.

The idea of the trash fee originated in May 2011, when Sanitation Commissioner John Doherty informed the council that his department was considering it. The hope was that this fee would give organizations an incentive to recycle items rather than using the garbage. It would also take taxpayers off the hook, as they currently foot the bill for organizations' garbage collection.

Most of the opposition from the City Council comes on behalf of small organizations. Critics say that the proposed fee could have a negative impact on these institutions' operations. David Zigun, executive director of Coney Island USA, told The Journal that the fee amounts to a tax, and that his organization -- which is currently dealing with a deficit -- would have to lay off employees as a result.

You can read the full story in The Wall Street Journal.

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