Trash Fee vs. Property Tax Hike -- What's The Impact?

Debate continues in City Hall over what would be a better budget move – a $300 flat trash fee for every Philadelphia household, or a 12 percent property tax hike?

The Nutter administration has proposed the trash fee as part of their plan to fill at $150 million projected budget gap. Councilman Frank DiCicco has proposed the property tax hike instead, saying it would provide more protections for seniors and low-income families and could be a tax write-off.

Here are some numbers on how the two proposals would affect the average Philly family:

According to data the administration provided to Council, the average tax bill in Philadelphia is $1,146. So a 12 percent property tax hike would mean an average increase of $137.52. That’s a lot less than $300.

Councilman W. Wilson Goode, who requested the information from the administration, said a property tax bill would be more fair.

“I believe the trash fee should be dead, because of how regressive it is,” Goode said. “There’s no way I can support a flat $300 fee.”

The administration has said they’re willing work with Council to figure this out. Council members huddled this morning with experts from the local economic consulting firm Econsult, as they try to determine the best way to balance the city budget.

Some have questioned the property tax proposal given the city’s well documented problems at the Board of Revision of Taxes. The Philadelphia Inquirer has published a series that describes a history of mismanagement, inaccurate assessments and political patronage at the agency.