Opinion: Jersey City Council At Large Candidate Elvin Dominici on Proposed Water & Waste Pick Up Tax

Jersey City Council at Large Candidate Elvin Dominici provided the following editorial opinion in a letter received by Hudson TV regarding the City Council’s proposed, new law pertaining to a water and solid waste pick up tax:

Article: The Chronicles of the New Water and Waste Pick up Bill.

By Elvin Dominici

The lack of independent leadership on our city council is financially hurting the residents of our city. The responsibility to be a public servant has been unseen from the majority of this body for the last eight years. This is a fact based on their track records and their priority for developers over the wellbeing of the residents of our city.

 At the July 2021 Jersey City Council Meeting, council members are getting ready to approve a water and solid waste pick up tax, which adds on to the current financial stress impacting most residents due to the coronavirus pandemic. As affordability is one of the main issues affecting our Jersey City residents, the lack of independent leadership and advocacy of some of our current city councilmembers clearly displays that they are always aligned with the will and pleasure of the current administration and totally forgot their duty to advocate for the prosperity of all our residents.

 The new water and solid waste tax is a reality which will bring another nightmare for the Jersey City household’s financial budget. The advocates of this new bill are indeed not concerned with the financial struggles our Jersey City families are facing with high numbers of unemployment, small businesses closing, and the lack of funding of our public schools.

 As per the statement on the City website: “Jersey City has traditionally provided garbage collection to the residents and businesses of the City through a private vendor retained by the City pursuant to a public contract. In August 2020, the City awarded a contract for garbage collection to Regional Industries, LLC. In January 2021 the garbage collection contract with Regional Industries, LLC was assigned to the JCMUA. Pursuant to the assignment of this contract, the JCMUA will now bill residents and businesses directly for garbage pick up, similar to the way that water and sewer services are billed.”

 This change by the current administration has increased the cost of expenses for Jersey City homeowners by $10-$15 million on an annual basis. In some cases, homeowners may pay an additional 50% in fees due to this new water and solid waste tax. Even with this increased tax, many residents are witnesses to how inefficient the waste collection has been in the last 5 years, including poor garbage pickup services as our streets and neighborhoods are filthy. With all this in mind, our municipality still managed to renew the contract and add an additional tax to our residents.

 Our residents deserve leadership who will advocate on behalf of the residents over the wants of the current administration. It is irresponsible for our residents to pay additional taxes during a life altering pandemic. This additional tax stress on our residents will be around $300 dollars per household. I urge fellow residents to speak up at the next city council meeting against this unneeded additional tax burden.