Rental property owners are finding a nasty surprise in their mailboxes this month: a bill with a hefty fee increase for city trash collection in 2021.

From: City of Philadelphia website

And we’re getting an earful from landlords who say the city’s timing couldn’t be any worse.

The city is boosting its Refuse Collection Fee from $300 annually to $500, an increase of 67%. This is a fee that unfairly targets landlords, as it doesn’t apply to properties that are 100% owner-occupied. The city gives landlords the option of paying in two, $250 installments. But that’s of little comfort to our members.

This is not the time for the city to dramatically increase any of its fees or taxes on financially-strapped rental property owners. Some landlords are already having to shoulder a heavy new burden as a result of lead paint laws that are beginning to take effect.

And then there’s the pandemic. Some landlords have not seen full or even partial rent payments from tenants in many months as a result of the city’s recently enacted Emergency Housing Protections Act, which appears (as of this writing) to be headed toward an extention into 2021. 

On one hand, the Philadelphia Department of Revenue says it wants to work with landlords in getting overdue bills paid. Then, on the other, the city is raising fees 67%!

The city’s website says the trash collection hike follows “many years of staying fixed at the same amount” and “is an affordable option that replaces often much more costly private haulers.” 

But the point remains: now is not the time. Hapco Philadelphia is urging its members to let their city councilmembers know that this is another financial burden we collectively cannot afford.

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