We are told that Waterville’s proposed “pay-as-you-throw” trash program will help taxpayers by being more “equitable” in spreading the cost because then everyone will be paying simply for what they use. Taking a closer look at that argument, we see:

• There is no proposed reduction to the tax rate, so apparently we will continue to pay what we already spend on trash in addition to $2 per trash bag.

• This is a for-profit alliance whereby a private corporation will start reaping profits of $0.35 per bag from the citizens of Waterville, and the city will make a staggering profit of $1.65 per bag. Again, we’ll still be paying no less in taxes, but now we’ve created yet another revenue stream off the backs of the working people and the elderly in Waterville (not to mention the discussion of another tax increase funding a new highway exit).

• If this is about equity, what do we say about those of us who have children in private school, or how about those who have no children in the public school system? Should we charge additional service fees to those families on a per-child basis? What about police usage? Should neighborhoods with more calls be billed at a higher rate? Of course not.

• We also have been told by some city councilors that now renters will have to pay their fair share, which is part of the equity in the program. Erik Thomas, however, in a comment at www.onlinesentinel.com, noted, “I do pay taxes … through the rent I pay to my landlord.” If that is the case, then renters already pay their portion of the trash. Which is it?

All things considered, pay-as-you-throw is starting to stink.

Nicholas IsgroWaterville

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