Monday, February 28, 2011

Ending Free Trash Pickup

First, the idea that San Diego residents get “free trash pickup” is nonsense. The service is performed by city employees and so residents pay for it through taxes; it is free only in the sense that residents do not pay a separate fee for it as residents of most major cities do. Be that as it may, the Mayor is proposing to end the service to homes that are located within homeowner associations which have their own private streets.

The subject is bit complicated, but suffice it to say his suggestion is entirely legal. If it goes forward, my city trash pickup will be discontinued, because I live in one of those associations, and we will have to contract with a private company at a cost, probably, of about $20 per month. How do I feel about that?

Well, I have been advocating for tax increases, and I have no particular problem with the city taking steps to balance its budget. To be saying that taxes need to increase and then object to paying what amounts to a tax increase when it is imposed would be stupid. I do stupid things from time to time, but I try to avoid it.

The argument is made that I pay the same city tax as people who live on public streets and receive trash pickup from the city, and that making me contract with a private company for that service while paying the same amount of tax is unfair. Nonsense. By that logic I should be paying a far smaller tax because I have no children in the public schools. I should have my city tax reduced because I've never had a house fire and required the services of the fire department. You get my point.

There’s no such thing as a free lunch.

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