The D.C. Council voted Tuesday to give a $60 tax credit to owners of condominium apartments and cooperatives to offset the cost of paying private haulers to remove their trash.
The vote was the result of a decade-long lobbying effort by condominium owners, who said the city's policy of providing free trash removal to private houses in the District as well as for apartments with fewer than four units was unfair to condominium and co-op owners. Condominium and co-op owners have always had to hire a private company to remove their trash.
For many years the city was helpless to change the rules because the annual appropriations legislation approved by Congress contained a provision barring the city from providing trash removal from buildings with more than three units. Congress lifted the ban in 1988.
Council Chairman David A. Clarke (D) has introduced bills virtually every two years for the past decade requiring the city to provide free trash pickup for condominiums, but each bill died in committee.
City officials say the city doesn't have enough garbage trucks to collect the trash of condominiums and co-ops. The Department of Public Works estimates that providing trash collection to condos and co-ops would add $3 million annually to the city's public works budget and that start-up costs would be $8 million.
The tax credit idea was viewed as more feasible, said Adam Maier, a legislative analyst for council member Nadine P. Winter (D-Ward 6), who sponsored the legislation.
The $60 tax credit would apply only to owner-occupied units. Shareholders of co-ops would receive a $60 credit for each unit in the co-op. The tax credit would adjusted each year for compensate for inflation.
The legislation requires approval of the mayor and would take effect after a 30-day period of congressional review.