San Diego City Council Moves Add New Tax Amidst Rising Costs

August 11, 2022

For more than a century, free trash pickup has been available to many San Diegans thanks to a municipal code known as the “People’s Ordinance”.  The long-standing code came from 1919 and has provided many with the benefits of trash pickup and disposal. However, it has now been moved to amend it, effectively getting rid of this service for many San Diegans, replacing it with a new “tax” instead. This during an inflationary spiral and rising costs, California already being the highest in many taxes in the nation. In a statement put out by the San Diego County Grand Jury, the reason for why the city wants to drop the fees onto its residents is simply that it cannot afford it. “It is a costly program that the City of San Diego can no longer afford.” But according to other statements given out by Democrat Council President Elo-Rivera, this isn’t entirely true.

According to President Elo-Rivera, the ordinance “impedes progress toward our Climate Action Plan goals,” a plan by modest estimates to cost $236 million over the 6 years back in 2018, before the pandemic and before an inflationary spiral where prices have since skyrocketed. The new fee would shift the burden of payment onto single-family households, which includes many renters. The new amendment comes amongst a slew of new charges including the SDG&E fees for electricity which has the highest rates for the county and the new gas tax which hit in July.

Opponents of the bill claim that “politicians at San Diego City Hall are now using the term ‘free garbage collection,’ to justify their goal of implementing a new tax on San Diegans.” Elo-Rivera however claims it is not a new fee, stating “it would simply make cost recovery allowable.” An odd way to say that single-family households will pay for it. The proposal was voted for by the council in favor of 7-2. Being a new policy, it will still be up to vote by the inhabitants of San Diego and will be on the ballot in November.

Photo Credit: KPBS


San Diego County Grand Jury – People’s Ordinance Report

SANDAG Climate Acton Strategy

Climate Action Plan Implementation Cost Report for County of San Diego