Trash Pickup Changes Harmful to Homeowners in Associations

The City of Charlotte’s next fiscal year draft budget proposes to stop trash service for multifamily units. Such a move would be exceptionally unfair to owners of townhomes and condominium, who pay property taxes like other homeowners.

While a Charlotte based dispute might not seem to directly impact you if you don’t live in the city, it does. Cash-strapped municipalities around the country are looking for more ways to push costs for previously provided services from the city to homeowners, often in planned communities or condominium associations. If such reductions in services become the norm in Charlotte, you can be assured they will soon appear elsewhere.

Below is a letter I forwarded to Charlotte media and elected officials as President of the North Carolina Chapter of the Community Associations Institute:

Trash Pickup  Changes Harmful to Homeowners in Associations

Included in Charlotte’s next fiscal year budget is a proposal to stop trash service for multifamily units. The city aims to reclassify multifamily projects of more than four units from “residential” to “commercial.” The end result is that taxpaying homeowners in townhome and condominium associations (or apartments) would no longer receive city trash service, whether curbside rollout or city-contracted dumpster/compactor collection.

This proposal is exceptionally unfair to owners in condominium and townhome associations. Owners of townhomes and condominiums pay property taxes like other homeowners. Multifamily and single-family owners pay both real property taxes and a $25 annual trash fee. This proposal would require owners of townhomes and condominiums to continue to pay taxes, but not receive the benefits of trash pickup. If the proposal passes, owners in multifamily developments will have to contract for private trash removal at a significantly higher rate.

This reduction in service discriminates against townhome and condo owners by using their tax dollars to subsidize municipal services for owners in single-family homes. In addition, condos and townhomes often provide more affordable housing options. This plan is inequitable to residents in multifamily communities and would negatively impact affordable housing as well as the working middle class.

Please contact (via phone or email) your City Council member and urge them to vote against this unfair proposal.  You can find your City Council member through online “Voter Info Look-Up Pages.”

For more specifics on the city’s proposal, visit the website of the North Carolina Chapter of the Community Associations Institute at CAI is North Carolina’s largest organization dedicated to building better communities with a membership that includes community association board members, homeowner leaders, community managers, association management firms, and other professionals who provide products and services to associations.

Jim Slaughter, 2016 President
North Carolina Chapter, Community Associations Institute

If you wish to contact your City Council member, don’t delay! The Charlotte fiscal budget will be mostly resolved in March and April of 2016.

HOA & Condo Associations