By Aneesa Grant, The Tacoma True Citizen
Starting April 1, 2023, Tacoma residents and businesses will see a new charge of 6% on their solid waste bills to fund and expand community cleanup programs. The programs include Coordinated litter, debris, and graffiti cleanup services, trail maintenance, maintenance and replacement of public trash cans in business districts, cleanup at and around encampment sites, more staff to proactively address issues in the community, bill credit payment assistance to ease the burden on low-income households, and opportunities for the community to inform Tidy-Up Tacoma programs and services.
According to Mayor Victoria Woodards, “We want to ensure that everyone encounters an environment that reflects the pride and care that the community has for Tacoma. This funding will allow us to be more responsive and proactive in keeping Tacoma a beautiful, clean, and litter-free city that makes for a more welcoming and inviting community for all.”
The excise tax is expected to generate approximately $7 million in two years. A residential customer with a 60-gallon garbage container can expect $3 per month added to their bill. The City Council enacted legislative authority to implement this new tax as part of the 2023 – 2024 biennial budget.
Council Member John Hines said, “keeping our streets clean and business districts welcoming through Tidy-Up Tacoma will go a long way in achieving those goals,” which include the City Council’s goals around health, community safety, and building belief and trust.
The community will play an essential role in determining where and how the City will focus Tidy-Up Tacoma efforts. In person and online engagement opportunities are scheduled to begin in July 2023. To learn more about Tidy-Up Tacoma community cleanup programs, visit cityoftacoma.org/tidyup or call (253) 502-2100.