Will Strongsville Start Charging for Trash Pickup?

Mayor says lots of other cities are billing residents for weekly rubbish collection


Mayor Tom Perciak raised the idea of charging residents for rubbish collection, but said Strongsville has not reached the point where it will start billing -- yet.

The mayor, speaking at a hearing on Strongsville's 2013 budget, called the $2.3 million trash fund "a huge amount of money."

"I can see why most municipalities around us are looking at this in a whole new light and started passing along the cost to residents," Perciak said.

Communities including Brook Park, Berea and Parma Heights now charge for curbside refuse pickup, he said.

"We've stayed away from that and we plan on staying away from that if we continue to rev the engines of economic growth," Perciak said.

Income tax collection is up 4.6 percent this year over 2011, according to Finance Director Joseph Dubovec. 

Strongsville, in the middle of five-year contract with Republic Waste, will not see its trash hauling costs increase next year.

But Perciak said if the city's business growth stagnates, charging for trash collection is something Strongsville will have to consider.

"This is a hot potato," he said. "It's a red flashing item we've got to keep our eyes on."

Beth Meter December 07, 2012 at 01:05 PM
Strongsville is getting ridiculous. It's no longer a nice city to live in. Taxes are out of control. Traffic is out of control. There is no land being untouched by developers. Let's keep building strip malls that sit empty. With all of the development going on, my taxes should be lower. After all, we have the mall. What a joke. The city is taxing everything and anything they can think of. Why not add more?
Linda W December 07, 2012 at 01:38 PM
We are still licking our wounds over the taxes for the new middle school and before the ink dries we are threatened with a charge to pick up our trash? That's just garbage (pun intended).
Jeff Chen December 07, 2012 at 01:47 PM
I cannot make the connection that if "city's business growth stagnates, charging for trash collection is something Strongsville will have to consider." Paying for service is reasonable but what's the link to trash collection.... The city already taken a cut on water and sewer (via administrative fee that have to pay to Cleveland) with an increase in revenue, will we see a cut on Rec Center membership fee that has been on increase every year? I like the Mayor but I simply don’t understand the logic (may be the Patch is holding something back due to space). If the city needs growth, get the school system better among the neighbors should be the first priority.
Dr. Roseann M. Cyngier December 07, 2012 at 02:05 PM
Charging for trash sounds like a bad idea. There will be those who hold back trash because they can't afford it, then rats/cock roaches may become bigger problems in this city.
Debbie Palmer December 07, 2012 at 02:35 PM
Jeff, the mayor was saying that Strongsville's business community generates enough tax revenue now that the city can afford to pay for trash collection. But if the business district (and the tax base) stops growing, the income tax revenue will also decrease, and the city would have to find new ways to bring in cash -- like charging for services like garbage pickup.
Ralph December 07, 2012 at 03:22 PM
In my crystal ball I see averting refuse charges by forcing residents to purchase special trash cans that Republic Waste will use to automatically pick up. This would lower RW labor costs because there will only be a driver manning the truck. Of course if the darn ball would show me winning lotto numbers, I wouldn't care about increases.
lyn December 07, 2012 at 03:31 PM
PRIORITIES! Let's spend our money wisely. Look at the hit homeowners are taking. Water and sewer going up. Real estate taxes will now be going up. And, don't forget about all those electric heat homeowners whose bills are going to drastically be increasing. And we have many aging homeowners - those who will be living on fixed incomes. Pretty soon you will be facing a city of homeowners who are struggling to keep their homes - so they may fall to neglect. Be very careful of how many times you keep coming to us - it might backfire. Again, spend our money wisely! And, if comparing to cities that do charge, also compare to cities that don't - that is, those cities who are able to manage their tax dollars better, for the benefit of all its citizens.
tom December 07, 2012 at 05:36 PM
I have an idea. Charge everyone the same RITA tax rate. Did you know residents who work in Strongsville get a big break? You better make everyone pay the same rate before charging for garbage pickup.
lyn December 07, 2012 at 09:20 PM
tom- Everyone who lives in Strongsville DOES already pay the same tax rate.
sportsman December 08, 2012 at 12:29 AM
they need the money to pay for the welcome to strongsville sign on 71
Tom Brennan December 08, 2012 at 12:55 AM
People who live AND work in Strongsville pay a lower RITA tax rate than those residents who work outside the city. I'm not totally up on the exact numbers, but I believe it is a .25% credit reduction that was approved by council about a decade ago as a TEMPORARY measure. That same distinguished body, with Mayor Perciak's urging, turned that RITA tax credit reduction into a permanent measure a couple of years ago. I invite anyone who knows the exact details to elaborate even further. I also believe that this is one of those ongoing issues that many Strongsville residents are clueless about.
josette lebron December 08, 2012 at 03:04 AM
yes to all Beth Meter said , Strongsville has been my home since 1960, it was call a village,yes we need it stores and restaurants but so many?we need a mayor to do control damages ,taxes, traffic, etc-etc
lyn December 08, 2012 at 02:16 PM
Again, all residents pay the same tax rate. But, yes, basically - those who live and work here get 100% credit for doing so. And those who live here but work outside of the city get credit for 75% of the tax withheld by their employer. Each city determines what amount of credit. they give to those who work outside of the city - some give only 25% or 50%.
lyn December 08, 2012 at 02:23 PM
Also, employers outside of the city may be withholding at a much lower rate, maybe half. So, naturally those employees will be paying a balance due at tax time since they did not have as much withheld as those living here.
Bob December 08, 2012 at 03:10 PM
Bob December 08, 2012 at 03:27 PM
Was 100% reciprocity now down to 75% reciprocity except for the mayor's buddies, i.e. Catan's, Kalinich, etc... who all work and live within the city. Thanks. Now pay for garbage. Don't think so. We can all just dump our garbage on the mayor's double lot property at the corner of Saratoga and Falmouth. :)
lyn December 09, 2012 at 07:07 PM
So, that might be part of the reason the streets in that area were redone, while the curbs continue to disappear on my street and the holes just get stuff shoved in them - and that lasts for only a shot time. Just one more case of city improvements going to those who they want to see benefit, and too bad about the rest of us poor slobs.
Tom Brennan December 12, 2012 at 02:56 PM
Lyn, I think you sort of splitting hairs. Yes, all Strongsville residents are taxed at the same rate, but depending on the city of employment, credit towards that rate varies. But considering this .25% credit reducction brings approximately $4 million per year into city coffers, I would have to believe that most of those who work outside the city are paying up. At the same time, I'm sure there are many who have no idea the situation was ever different. In 2004, Perciak's first year in office, he convinced council to pass this reduction as a three year temporary measure. In 2007, it was then renewed as another three year measure, still supposedly temporary. In 2010, an ordinance was passed once again, but this time around the credit reduction became permanent. And Mike Gallagher, now our representative on the Cuyahoga County council, was a member of those first two versions of city council who approved this temporary measure. When he ran for the county position, he proudly proclaimed that he had never raised taxes during his tenure in Strongsville. Well, maybe not technically........
lyn December 12, 2012 at 06:28 PM
There is a big difference when someone says that people are taxed at a lower rate vs. being taxed at the same rate but getting a different credit based on certain criteria, that criteria being whether or not you are working within your resident city or another city. It is misleading to those reading these comments to imply that a certain few individuals are being given a tax break. As many times as I disagree with the powers that be here in the city, I do not disagree with this. The alternative is to RAISE the tax rate for ALL citizens to over 2%, and no one wants that. Again, what Strongsville does is no different than other communities in the RITA system - some to a lesser degree, some to a much higher degree. People too often comment on taxes merely because they write a check without knowing why or how that amount is calculated.
lyn December 12, 2012 at 06:39 PM
If one gets 100% credit for taxes withheld for their resident city, that is like an incentive for working within your home city - keeping jobs here, which is good for the city.
Mary Schu December 13, 2012 at 09:51 PM
How about another sushi place or nail salon? We need more of those. I don't think on one very corner is enough!
sportsman December 14, 2012 at 06:51 PM
there is a lot of fat at city hall and building dept. that can be cut
John Wells December 14, 2012 at 11:55 PM
....... and service dept., and recreation dept. But those are the places the mayor can hire friends. He can;t give away jobs at police and fire as easily thanks to pesky civil services rules, though he tries. i heard he eliminated a PD position at the station and gave it to one of Tom Patton's son in laws.
sportsman December 16, 2012 at 03:14 PM
lets not forget the schools there policy is family and friends THATS A FACT
Lisa January 03, 2013 at 02:06 PM
I moved to Strongsville with my family for a nicer and SAFER place to live. With all the taxes and fees they like to charge and school levy almost every year I believe it is time to relocate. I wouldn't mind as much but when Strongsville mall is looking like, what was once a beautiful mall, (North Randall Mall) that is an indication of what Strongsville city will be in a few years! Obviously, looking at Parma and North Randal hasn't taught Strongsville anything!


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