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Cincinnati Garbage Fee Charter Amendment (November 2011)

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A Cincinnati Garbage Fee Charter Amendment measure was on the November 8, 2011 ballot in the city of Cincinnati which is in Hamilton County.

This measure was approved

  • YES 34,173 (51.81%)Approveda
  • NO 31,789 (48.19%)[1]

This measure sought to amend the city charter so as to ban a monthly garbage collection fee from being implemented. This measure was placed on the ballot through a successful petition drive, supporters were able to submit 7,497 valid signatures to the county elections office. The City Manager had tried to impose a monthly garbage collection fee, but the city council rejected it. Supporters of this measure sought to ensure that another Manager would not have the option to try and impose this fee.[2]

The Cincinnati Regional Chamber had not endorsed this measure, noting that they felt that this was a bad policy and would limit the ability of elected officials to do their jobs.[3]

Text of measure

The question on the ballot:

Be it resolved by the people of the City of Cincinnati that a new Article of the Charter is hereby added as follows:

Section 1. The City, including its various Boards, agencies and departments, shall not assess, levy or collect any tax or general assessment on real properties, or against the owners or occupants thereof, for the collection, transportation or disposal of trash, garbage, waste, rubbish or refuse.

Section 2. Nothing in this Article shall prevent the City, including its various Boards, agencies, departments and commissions, from doing any of the following: (i) collecting other taxes and otherwise permissible funds in the general fund and using those revenues, in part, for providing a service of the collection of trash, garbage, waste, rubbish and refuse, (ii) imposing assessments on specific properties that have properly been determined to be a nuisance for the removal of trash, garbage, waste, rubbish or refuse, (iii) imposing criminal or civil sanctions for littering, or (iv) renting dumpsters and other trash collection devices to commercial property owners and charging fees for such rental.

Section 3. Any ordinance enacted prior to the passage of this Amendment that contravenes the foregoing is void. After the enactment of this Amendment, the City shall not enact or enforce any ordinance that contravenes the foregoing. In the event that any provision of the Article is found to be unconstitutional or impermissibly in conflict with state or federal law, only such provision found to be unconstitutional or impermissible will be stricken, and the remainder of this Article will remain in full force and effort.[4][5]