PAYT - A better Idea

Moderator: The Merrimack Volunteer Moderators

PAYT - A better Idea

Postby Ken Coleman » Fri Feb 18, 2011 8:16 am

Here is what I understand about the PAYT issue;

The Transfer station does not have enough commercial users, so it runs a big deficit

The town is short revenue and the PAYT will close the revenue gap at the Transfer Station and in fact generate a profit for other town activities.

Instead of a general tax increase to cover the shortfall, it has been decided to use a PAYT system so that the people who use the Transfer Station bear all the cost (and if I understand correctly will help the town further by generating a profit).

Here are my issues with this;

If we do just charge the users, I think the Transfer Station should only charge enough to break even.

PAYT is labor intensive. People will be needed to sell the bags or tags and in addition people will have to be checking to insure that bags that are not tagged are not used. I know some say this can be done with existing staff, but I do not believe it. In addition it becomes more of a hassle for all of us to use this system.

Here is what I would propose:

Instead of PAYT, the town would charge once a year to get a sticker to use the Transfer station for residential customers. The amount (which could be paid when taxes are due) would cover JUST the amount needed to make the Transfer Station Break even.

Recycling WOULD be encouraged as with a break even only charge, the town could make it clear to the users that the more recycling done, the lower the sticker charges would be the next year for everyone.

One a year fee, No hassle getting bags or tags, Recycling encouraged, and only the users pay for the service. I think this would be a much better plan.

Regardless of who pays, if we do not make government efficient, in the end it hurts us all.
Ken Coleman

"The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results” Ben Franklin
Ken Coleman
 
Posts: 1146
Joined: Fri Nov 22, 2002 8:49 am

Re: PAYT - A better Idea

Postby RBarnes » Fri Feb 18, 2011 8:40 am

Ken Coleman wrote:Instead of PAYT, the town would charge once a year to get a sticker to use the Transfer station for residential customers. The amount (which could be paid when taxes are due) would cover JUST the amount needed to make the Transfer Station Break even.


Ken, let me first state that I agree with you. This is actually what I suggested when PAYT was first discussed.

A slight twist on this idea could be to use something like a punch card where you pay X amount for the equivalent of 10, 20 or some fixed amount worth of cans. If you dump more you have to buy more cards. Since we already have someone in the trailer by the entrance any time I've ever gone to the station it wouldn't require additional people, just a slight change in duties of those already there.

Any way you look at it though, some level of fee should be associated so condo owners and home owners who opt not to use the facility aren't being forced to subsidize the expenses of others.

That said though I wanted to comment on two points you make.

The Transfer station does not have enough commercial users, so it runs a big deficit


The station doesn't have any commercial users. Buckley was the last of the commercial haulers to still use it and even he has since stopped.
As it stands right now 100% of the cost of running that facility is put on our property taxes and last time I saw the budget books the figure came in around $1.6 million a year and that was before adding in all the hidden costs associated with it that were broken up in other parts of the budget. My guess is right now we're spending between $1.8 and $2 million a year for a facility that only services 1/3 of the town.

If we were to assume every one of the 4500 stickers is a unique home using the facility (which we know isn't the case) it would cost over $350 a year just to break even using the lowest figure of $1.6 million.


The town is short revenue and the PAYT will close the revenue gap at the Transfer Station and in fact generate a profit for other town activities.


Unless I heard wrong PAYT was expected to generate $600,000 a year which at that rate wouldn't even cover the cost of the facility. It only lessens the burden on the rest of town but doesn't alleviate it.
$DO || ! $DO ; try
try: command not found
User avatar
RBarnes
 
Posts: 6852
Joined: Mon Mar 31, 2003 1:21 pm
Location: Merrimack

Re: PAYT - A better Idea

Postby TonyRichardson » Fri Feb 18, 2011 8:56 am

Shut it down and the cost goes away and we realize the savings of any overhead costs involved with it.

You can contract with a private hauler yourself for anything you can do at the TS.

It will never "break even" without a subsidy unless you mandate its use.

Mandating its use will be the most unpopular action of all.
Liberalism - What happens when emotional reactions are confused with and substituted for facts and reason.
TonyRichardson
 
Posts: 358
Joined: Fri May 22, 2009 6:01 pm

Re: PAYT - A better Idea

Postby RayWhipple » Fri Feb 18, 2011 8:58 am

Tell me if I am wrong but did I hear mention that the cost to haul away the trash was expected to go up? If so then no matter how we look at it right now it is going to cost more to run the TS. There has been talk about contracting out and so forth. Has anyone actualy done the leg work to see what it might cost the town to contract trash removel? I am really interested in ACTUAL figures. Lets compare the cost/savings of each idea instead of what we are doing. We all can throw figures around but we need REAL figures. Lets call some of the companies and see what it might cost, if any to the town. Thats my 2 cents worth. Any tony, we can't just "Shut it down", the towns are required by law to provide some sort of service to the town's people for trash removal. Change the law first.
"Government exists to protect us from each other. Where government has gone beyond its limits is in deciding to protect us from ourselves. " ~President Ronald Reagan.

http://www.newt.org/
User avatar
RayWhipple
 
Posts: 236
Joined: Thu Apr 15, 2010 10:27 am
Location: Merrimack NH

Re: PAYT - A better Idea

Postby Ken Coleman » Fri Feb 18, 2011 9:02 am

Tony,

If you look at MANY other post of mine, I always have favored shutting it down.

Your contempt for me notwithstanding, I don't think shutting it down will happen this year. This is just a better idea than PAYT.

Ken
Ken Coleman

"The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results” Ben Franklin
Ken Coleman
 
Posts: 1146
Joined: Fri Nov 22, 2002 8:49 am

Re: PAYT - A better Idea

Postby RBarnes » Fri Feb 18, 2011 9:34 am

RayWhipple wrote:Tell me if I am wrong but did I hear mention that the cost to haul away the trash was expected to go up?


Yes, that's what was said. Our current contract ends in 2012 at which time our tipping fees will most likely go up. I think we currently pay around $140 a ton.

RayWhipple wrote:There has been talk about contracting out and so forth. Has anyone actualy done the leg work to see what it might cost the town to contract trash removel?


When the station first opened we did contract out. The town found it was cheaper to purchase our own trucks and take over the trash removal ourselves. At this point we own the trucks.

The real cost associated with it is the tipping fee we have to pay when we dump it in its final resting place. That fee is the same whether we get the trash there or some 3rd party gets it there.

What makes it worse is that our amounts are so low. When the original contract was figured they estimated that ALL the Merrimack trash would be dumped in the station. Since the haulers aren't using it the total volume is far lower then originally anticipated and with more volume would come more of a discount... with LESS volume as we see comes higher costs.

RayWhipple wrote:Any tony, we can't just "Shut it down", the towns are required by law to provide some sort of service to the town's people for trash removal. Change the law first.


Actually Ray, as I pointed out to Dennis in another thread, towns are NOT required to provide service only assure access to service. A 100% free market solution would meet the requirements of the law and get our town out of the trash business. I have to run but I'll look the law up and post it here a bit later.
$DO || ! $DO ; try
try: command not found
User avatar
RBarnes
 
Posts: 6852
Joined: Mon Mar 31, 2003 1:21 pm
Location: Merrimack

Re: PAYT - A better Idea

Postby Tim Tenhave » Fri Feb 18, 2011 9:45 am

Ken Coleman wrote:Here is what I understand about the PAYT issue;
The Transfer station does not have enough commercial users, so it runs a big deficit

The town is short revenue and the PAYT will close the revenue gap at the Transfer Station and in fact generate a profit for other town activities.


No Ken. The commercial user tipping fee is set to cover the entire cost of the commercial user trash (employee costs, capital costs, fuel, tipping fee at next landfill).

The TS runs at a cost to the taxpayers because the residents can use the TS without paying any fee except for what the residents pay in their tax bill. Note that the Commercial and Industrial taxpayers pay for the TS but are not allowed to use it.

Ken Coleman wrote:Instead of a general tax increase to cover the shortfall, it has been decided to use a PAYT system so that the people who use the Transfer Station bear all the cost (and if I understand correctly will help the town further by generating a profit).

Here are my issues with this;

If we do just charge the users, I think the Transfer Station should only charge enough to break even.

PAYT is labor intensive. People will be needed to sell the bags or tags and in addition people will have to be checking to insure that bags that are not tagged are not used. I know some say this can be done with existing staff, but I do not believe it. In addition it becomes more of a hassle for all of us to use this system.


PAYT should cover the entire cost of the TS for those who are allowed to use it.

But, since the Town is going to allow free disposal of yard waste, free disposal of large bulky items, and operate a recycling program, there will be some cost reflected back to the taxpayers (Note: all property taxpayers - condos, single families, commercial, industrial, and just land owners with no improvements).

Tim
Tim Tenhave
 
Posts: 558
Joined: Thu Nov 21, 2002 8:18 pm

Re: PAYT - A better Idea

Postby RBarnes » Fri Feb 18, 2011 10:00 am

Ray, found the RSA, its RSA149 M-17. Here's the wording:

"Each town shall either provide a facility or assure access to another approved solid waste facility for its residents. A town may choose whether to include any associated costs in its tax base."

The town is not required to run or pay for solid waste.
$DO || ! $DO ; try
try: command not found
User avatar
RBarnes
 
Posts: 6852
Joined: Mon Mar 31, 2003 1:21 pm
Location: Merrimack

Re: PAYT - A better Idea

Postby Ken Coleman » Fri Feb 18, 2011 10:25 am

Tim,

My point is that PAYT is a bad way to collect revenue, even if it is just from the users.

Ken
Ken Coleman

"The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results” Ben Franklin
Ken Coleman
 
Posts: 1146
Joined: Fri Nov 22, 2002 8:49 am

Re: PAYT - A better Idea

Postby TonyRichardson » Fri Feb 18, 2011 10:33 am

Ken Coleman wrote:Tony,

If you look at MANY other post of mine, I always have favored shutting it down.

Your contempt for me notwithstanding, I don't think shutting it down will happen this year. This is just a better idea than PAYT.

Ken


My post wasn't a dig at you Ken.

I did not intend it that way or for you to take it that way.

I've said the exact same thing in a couple of the other active threads about PAYT.

I was against the TS before it was built, and my position has not changed.
Liberalism - What happens when emotional reactions are confused with and substituted for facts and reason.
TonyRichardson
 
Posts: 358
Joined: Fri May 22, 2009 6:01 pm

Re: PAYT - A better Idea

Postby MMK » Fri Feb 18, 2011 11:05 am

RBarnes wrote:
Any way you look at it though, some level of fee should be associated so condo owners and home owners who opt not to use the facility aren't being forced to subsidize the expenses of others.



How about we sell Pay as you Learn tags at a cost of $20K that parents need to buy to educate their kids.

You people balk about the pennies it costs the "condo owners and homeowners who opt not to use the facility" who are "forced" to subsidize the expense of others. . . .

What about those of us who consciously choose not to have children? We're forced to pay to educate yours. . . .

My taxes would be 1/3 of what their are now if the schools were user fee based.
MMK
 
Posts: 419
Joined: Mon Apr 11, 2005 4:32 pm

Re: PAYT - A better Idea

Postby Ken Coleman » Fri Feb 18, 2011 11:08 am

Tony posted,

I was against the TS before it was built, and my position has not changed.TonyRichardson



Me Too!

Ken
Ken Coleman

"The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results” Ben Franklin
Ken Coleman
 
Posts: 1146
Joined: Fri Nov 22, 2002 8:49 am

Re: PAYT - A better Idea

Postby RD » Fri Feb 18, 2011 11:15 am

MMK wrote:
RBarnes wrote:
Any way you look at it though, some level of fee should be associated so condo owners and home owners who opt not to use the facility aren't being forced to subsidize the expenses of others.



How about we sell Pay as you Learn tags at a cost of $20K that parents need to buy to educate their kids.

You people balk about the pennies it costs the "condo owners and homeowners who opt not to use the facility" who are "forced" to subsidize the expense of others. . . .

What about those of us who consciously choose not to have children? We're forced to pay to educate yours. . . .

My taxes would be 1/3 of what their are now if the schools were user fee based.


Education of children is a completely different animal. You can't compare the two. We all benefit greatly by the education of children, whether we have any or not. I'll agree with you about adults. Once you have a basic K-12 education, should you want to further your education, you should pay as you learn. But the basic education of minors, again, benefits all of us.
"If you think teachers are your enemy, you should probably reassess who you think your friends are." - Chris Larson
RD
 
Posts: 5689
Joined: Wed Jan 07, 2004 3:49 pm

Re: PAYT - A better Idea

Postby MMK » Fri Feb 18, 2011 11:20 am

RD wrote: But the basic education of minors, again, benefits all of us.


Please elaborate on this one RD. . . .
MMK
 
Posts: 419
Joined: Mon Apr 11, 2005 4:32 pm

Re: PAYT - A better Idea

Postby RD » Fri Feb 18, 2011 11:31 am

MMK wrote:
RD wrote: But the basic education of minors, again, benefits all of us.


Please elaborate on this one RD. . . .


I don't think I can explain it better than Dr. Phillips:

Norman Phillips wrote:
The education of children is a definite benefit to everyone because they will take over as each of us age. I or my wife may benefit from the education of YOUR children if our children are not so placed as to help. For example, your children may have built on their public education to become nurses or doctors. Without their public education ( i.e. K-12) they could not have become nurses or doctors ( or lawyers??? or scientists??? )

The removal of trash generated by a particular household is not a benefit of the same importance to the future of our town, state and country. AND, THE DISTRIBUTION OF TAXES IS NOT PROPORTIONAL TO THE AMOUNT OF TRASH GENERATED, whereas the property tax, being proportional to the value of the property, has the equity of being proportional to the value of that property.


viewtopic.php?f=2&t=869&start=45#p17607
"If you think teachers are your enemy, you should probably reassess who you think your friends are." - Chris Larson
RD
 
Posts: 5689
Joined: Wed Jan 07, 2004 3:49 pm

Next

Return to Solid Waste, Landfill & Recycling

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests

cron