Don’t Dump Trash Collection Fees on Nonprofits: Council

Exemption Sought From City’s Sanitation Dept.

City Council Members Jimmy Van Bramer and David Greenfield came together with numerous non-profit leadersin Astoria last Tuesday, Apr. 17, to fight the city’s effort to start charging non-for-profits for city garbage collection.

City Council Members Jimmy Van Bramer and David Greenfield joined representatives of various cultural institutionas the Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria last Tuesday, Apr. 17, to call for the Sanitation Department to exempt nonprofit organizations from being charged fees for garbage collections.

The City Council members announced an amendment to new legislation which will exempt nonprofit organizations from being charged by the city for trash pick-ups.

Van Bramer helped alter Greenfield’s legislation to include nonprofits such as public libraries, museums, botanical gardens, arboretums, memorial buildings, aquariums, zoological gardens as well as similar facilities.

“This legislation, along with the amendments I have proposed, will give many of the local cultural organizations and nonprofit groups the ability to financially stay afloat at a time when so many have already made cuts to their programming,” said Van Bramer, chair of the City Council’s Cultural Affairs Committee. “Many of these nonprofit groups attract millions of visitors each year, to ask them to spend millions of dollars on trash collection would cause a extreme economic hardship on those organizations at a time when charitable giving is at its lowest in four decades.”

Last year, the Department of Sanitation announced plans to charge groups in buildings which receive property tax exemptions for nonprofit use a service fee for trash collection.

The Bloomberg administration’s plan to charge for trash pickup will cost non-profit groups about $17 million, according to Van Bramer. He charged that the new policy proposal would have adverse effects on thousands of non-profits around the city, including colleges, churches, museums, social service groups, cultural institutions and athletic programs in Queens as well as all others throughout New York City.

“We need to do everything we can to support our non-profit organizations and cultural groups, which work tirelessly to provide vital social services for countless individuals and families and help make New York City the amazing place it is,” said Greenfield. “This short-sighted decision will have a major impact on these groups at a time they can least afford it, and could easily end up costing the city in the long run when we have to replace the services we lose as a result. These groups add to the fabric of this city and should not be taken for granted, and my bill ensures the city doesn’t turn to them for revenue when it comes to a basic municipal service.”

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