Scott Tibbs
blog post
May 13th, 2004

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Solid Waste board tries to pass the buck

Tonight, the Monroe County Solid Waste Management District considers a fee of $25 per household to overcome a deficit and to help bring them into compliance with orders from the Indiana Department of Environmental Management.

Some are trying to put the blame for the problems at MCSWMD with the County Council, because the Council decided against allowing Solid Waste to double their property tax levy. There were concerns that once the levy is raised, there is no way to force the MCSWMD to lower that levy in the future.

It appears to me that the MCSWMD board (with the exception of Herb Kilmer and Jeff Ellington, who offered a plan to cut spending) does not want to make a decision on this matter, instead passing the buck to the County Council. This way, the Council would take the heat for the tax hike, rather than the MCSWMD board.

IU students should pay close attention to tonight's vote. The "fee" (actually a tax) would be levied on every household within the district. Students who rent off-campus housing do not see the cost of property taxes because they pay it indirectly through their rent. But the tax the MCSWMD wishes to enact would be paid by students as well as permanent residents.

Campus political leaders have pointed out for years that IU students should register to vote in Bloomington because local government here affects them more than local government in their home cities and towns. The decision that will be made tonight by the MCSWMD board underscores this reality.