Stephen Mayo, who ran unsuccessfully for a seat on the New Rochelle City Council in the last election, has filed an article 78 lawsuit claiming the city’s new garbage collection fee is unfair and illegal.
Mayo plans to hold a press conference Tuesday morning in front of City Hall. In an interview Monday evening he said revenue from the annual fee, which was increased from $66 to $223 per dwelling at the start of the year, will be used for purposes other than collecting garbage; some of the money will go into the city’s general fund. That, he said, isn’t the way it’s supposed to work.
He said council members approved the steep fee hike in order to allow them to claim they’d held taxes below the state-imposed 2-percent cap on property tax when they passed the 2012 budget.
“Instead of going with an honest budget, they decided to get tricky about it,” he said.
The refuse fee was a sticking point during budget workshop sessions at the end of last year, but most members of council saw the increase as a necessity.
Mayor Noam Bramson said Monday evening he could not comment on an ongoing case against the city. He did say the fee was calibrated to equal the total cost of the service of picking up trash throughout the city.