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Trash the proposed rate increase for Trash

November 20, 2019

The City of Phoenix is in financial trouble and needs more money. Some of us are not surprised about this condition since the city has failed to solve its fiscally bankrupt pension issue and continues to waste billions on expansion of the uneconomical light rail. Meanwhile, it pays its bloated staff an average total annual compensation of more than $100,000. To make up for these unwise fiscal decisions they need to get more money wherever they can. Recently they increased the rates for water service and increased fees for Uber and Lyft rides at Sky Harbor. Now they want to increase trash pick up fees. We should oppose this.

If the City of Phoenix really wants to help residents rather than simply increase their own revenue, they should allow more competition rather than increasing fees. When I was in high school in Minneapolis, I purchased a broken down 2 ½ ton dump truck, got an engine from a junk yard, hired the kid next door, and went into the trash business. (The signs on my truck said, “My business is going to the dumps” and “If your trash is not becoming to you, it should be coming to me.”) I charged fifty cents a can (they were small then) and was the richest kid in my class within only a few weeks.

I realize that rules and regulations are much stricter now and the example I have provided above is not a realistic solution today but picking up trash is not rocket science and the general idea of allowing more competition does make sense. We do not need ANOTHER fee increase in Phoenix. Let’s rely on markets and innovation rather than bigger government.

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