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November 24, 2015
Albany Times Union
Mayor Kathy Sheehan's 2016 budget appears poised to pass next week without the legislation needed to enforce $1.5 million in revenue from a controversial new trash fee.
"It just needs more time," Councilman Joe Igoe, chairman of the law committee, said Monday after two hours of debate failed to yield consensus on how the fee should be imposed -— citywide or just on smaller rental properties.
The committee adjourned without taking any action, all but guaranteeing the law cannot pass next Monday at a special meeting called to adopt Sheehan's $180.6 million budget by the Dec. 1 deadline.
Legally, the spending plan and the law imposing the fee do not need to pass at the same time. But if the $1.5 million in trash revenue stays in the budget, as appears likely, city lawmakers will be forced to agree on the mechanism to collect it or face a shortfall next year.
Sheehan is calling for a $180 annual per-unit fee on rental properties between two and four units to help cover the city's estimated $4.5 million trash collection costs.
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