Pay As You Throw Had To Go – Revisited

by Steve MacDonald

In April of 2011 I wrote about trying to institute Pay As You Throw in Merrimack.  Seeing as this comes up every year, I figured it was time to re-post it.  One point I would add; If any division of the town government intends to continue making a case for costs/burden related to actual use they should be prepared for an all out assault on school taxes (you are still taxing the elderly, childless, and parents with kids out of school), Hydrant fees (we all pay them but who ever uses them), and much, much, more.

by Steve MacDonald – Originally posted on April 22,2011

trash bagThe Merrimack Town Council bent to the will of the voters and scrapped plans to institute a pay as you throw program.  That would have required residents to buy special bags for trash at $1.00 or $1.50 per bag, and you could only use those bags at the town dump.

But we’ve been warned.  This is an issue that will be revisited. Or so we have been told.

Well, screw that, let’s look at it now.

According to the Town this program could save taxpayers 0.19 cents/1000 off the tax rate.  Let’s just pretend it will do that.  If I do some back of the envelope calculations I would save (.19x 250) about $48.00 on my tax bill.  Money is money and who am I to complain, you ask?

Well, if I can manage to only generate 48 bags of trash over the course of a 52 week year (or only 32 if I use the family size bag) then I brake even. Sure, it’s less than one bag per week for a family of five, but lets not be negative.  The end result is the institution of a program whereby the town contracts to buy bags, pays the bill, distributes the bags to local merchants, who sell them to the willing townsfolk, (and then send that revenue back to the town), while the humble townsfolk use these bags to dispose of their refuse, no one misplaces, loses, destroys, or embezzles anything, cue chirping birds, rainbows and Gregorian chant.

This is government efficiency in action.  I can either use the existing tax system to pay the 0.19/1000 on my tax bill that results from passing on pay to throw, or involve an entire (error free) supply chain, constructed by my benevolent municipality, with a new product, and new rules, and many middle men, that will actually cost me at least twice as much out of my pocket per year to use.

Yeah.  Saves me money?  I see that now.

 

Here is the link to the original

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