Palm Coast City Council Breaks Trash Talk Promise

In December, Palm Coast City Council members said they would revisit the 10% franchise fee on commercial trash haulers. They apparently have no plan to do so.

Palm Coast, Florida – February 13, 2009 – A Palm Coast city ordinance that would charge commercial trash haulers a franchise fee equal to 10% of their revenue was passed early last year. Due to inequities in the code against small construction and debris (C&D) haulers, it was not enforced until the city council could amend the ordinance. Council members passed the amendment on December 2nd but instructed the city manager to place the 10% franchise fee on the next workshop agenda for reconsideration. Two months later, nothing has been done.
Members of both the Flagler Home Builders Association and the Chamber of Commerce addressed the council to express their concerns about the franchise fee citing the following:
  • The fee adds to the cost of doing business. It will simply be passed on to the customers of the commercial haulers; shop owners, mall operators, restaurants, etc. who must absorb the increase or pass it on to their customers. An identical franchise fee charged to residential haulers had resulted in a comparable fee increase to customers.
  • The added costs of doing business will act as a deterrent to new business and job creation at a critical time for the local economy.
  • The justification for the fee (tax) is insufficient. The city claimed that haulers’ large trucks caused extra wear and tear on city streets. When questioned, they could not provide any documentation supporting that claim. Nor could they provide justification for charging haulers while not charging other commercial road users (UPS, FedEx, etc.)
  • The city could provide no estimate of the revenue expected from the fee.
Voicing support for the comments from the audience, council members passed the amended text with instructions to the city manager to revisit the 10% fee at the next council workshop (story). At the time, commended the council members. Apparently the commendation was premature. The issue seems to have been swept under the rug.
The city is looking for new ways to raise revenue. They are reluctant to raise taxes, so they substitute fees, especially those on businesses. But remember, businesses don’t pay taxes; they simply collect them from their customers, just as they cover other costs of doing business. And don’t be fooled by the word "fee." If it’s levied by the government and is not voluntary, it’s a tax, plain and simple.
The council was "on camera" when they promised to revisit the franchise fee issue. They apparently changed their minds while "off camera." We should not allow them to get away with this. Ask you council member to follow up on their commitment and air this issue in a public forum. Meanwhile, I withdraw my commendation.
3 replies
  1. Lou
    Lou says:

    Let me see if I understand

    "But remember, businesses don’t pay taxes; they simply collect them from their customers, just as they cover other costs of doing business." by Toby)

    Businesses dumping employees by the millions……(U.S. Department of Labor)

    We the taxpayers provide services to businesses at the taxpayer’s expense? (PC City Council, County, State and Federal Government)

    Is there something strange with this system?

  2. JohnBoy
    JohnBoy says:

    City Council

    It’s really time to throw all of these idoits out of office once and for all. These locally politicans are not different than those who represent us at the state and federal levels. All are self serving and IMHO on the take from businesses, developers, attorneys, lobbysts and other politicans.

    New law should be passed than none with more than a high school education is allowed to run for office. The MBA’s, JD, Phd’s, etc. have screwed things up at all levels, kindergardeners couldn’t do worse.

  3. Gail Neufeld
    Gail Neufeld says:

    Waste-Pro is a waste

    Get rid of Waste-Pro!! They’re not nearly as dependable as Waste Management! And, they’re unresponsive.

    Please don’t use my name!! Sign it "G"

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