City of Jacksonville considering solid waste fee increase

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Jacksonville City Council members are considering an increase to the $12.65 a month neighbors pay to get their trash and recycling collection in order to make up for the money it owes in disposal costs.

The City of Jacksonville says it owes $31 million.

New properties are contributing to a rise in cost, which the city estimates are popping up in Jacksonville at a rate of 3-5,000 a year

You can see according to this chart, the rate hasn’t changed in more than 10 years.

“Could you do what you need to do with the money we already take from people or are you forced to take more money from people?” Chief of Staff for Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry, Brian Hughes asked the five-member special committee on solid waste.

An auditor pointed to the latter as the most practical. An ordinance that voters passed in 2010 caps the maximum rate at $18

One of those would pay back the loan in seven years by increasing the rate to $21.05 through 2029, and that would require another ordinance.

“You can see there are significant increases to get us in the ballpark of covering these costs,” said Auditor Kim Taylor.

“I think that the fees should be held to the $18 [minimum],” said Ayesha Covington. She says increased costs are the reason she was forced to sell her home.

“My homeowners [insurance] was so high, I had to have a flood policy, I had to pay garbage fees. It became more stressful for me,” she said. She also believes the rates shouldn’t be the same for all. “I think people who choose to buy those lavish homes should pay for their own garbage at another rate,” she added.

For now, council members say they’d like to see numbers crunched with that $18 cap, and explore how to possibly get the loan forgiven. “It just keeps piling up,” said council member Matt Carlucci.

That is before they consider asking taxpayers for more than they agreed to. “I think the voters and the taxpayers are overwhelmed,” Covington pointed out.

Here is the list of proposals: