Tax credits in exchange for trash pick up?

At one point, thousands of condos and non-profits were getting their trash hauled by the city.

Over the years, that dwindled down to just under 200 including places like churches, pre-schools, and health centers.

But starting Jan. 31, the city is suspending the free service saying it cost too much to keep up.

“Not all condo associations were being provided with the service. Came down to an equity issue. If you provide for one, you provide for all,” says City Councilman Ernest “Ernie” Martin.

To those affected, the news was garbage. Martin listened to their concerns.

“They make a good argument. They pay the same tax rate as a person in a single family home, yet not being provided with the city services. It’s an equity and fairness issue.”

It prompted him to draft a bill to help those affected.

“Tax credits,” Martin explains, “which would allow it to be applied to annual property tax assessment.”

It would be a tax relief for condo owners equal to the cost of service no longer being provided.

Unfortunately for non-profits like Makiki Christian Preschool, the proposed bill won’t apply to them.

“We just gonna have to bite the bullet, and do what we have to do because this is a necessary service,” says director Sandra Ishihara-Shibata.

If the bill passes, a qualification system will be developed that condo owners must comply with in order to qualify for tax relief.

The first hearing on the measure will be scheduled sometime mid-January.

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