Chicago COA’s City Trash Rebate

This blog may come two years too late but this is still a relevant issue.

Chicago Skyline

Chicago Skyline

The City of Chicago has been reimbursing condo owners $75.00 every year since 1985, due to the fact that their city haulers are unable to retrieve trash from condominium buildings. Thus causing condominiums to hire their own waste haulers.  Now, this wouldn’t be such a big deal, but the city trash fees are incorporated into the citizen’s taxes.  This means the condo owners are essentially paying double for trash removal services.  However, in 1985 the city established a garbage rebate for condominium owners, where condominiums were reimbursed $75.00 for every unit in the building.  So, everything works out.  Until now, or technically two years ago.

Mayor Rahm Emanual was trying to do away with the City of Chicago’s Garbage Rebate, in order to help the city’s budget deficit.  Now, from all of the petitions and blogs on the internet on this topic, I can tell you that condo owner’s in Chicago were not happy.   Which, why would they be.  How is this a fair way to fix the city’s budget deficit?  This puts a burden on only a certain segment of the city’s population. How is it morally right to force condo owners to pay for a city service that they are not actually provided on top of the actual service they are provided and pay separately?  Why would the city not look for a way to fix this that affects all of the city’s citizens or none of the citizens?

Luckily for condo owners, or current condo owners at the time, there were simply revisions to the rebate.  The revisions are as follows: If the condo owner was currently being reimbursed, their reimbursement was continued.  If the owner had not been reimbursed then they had to apply for reimbursement by January of 2012.  And for the COAs, the city now only reimbursed for occupied units.  The only stipulation on the new rebate plan was only current condo owners received the rebate, and any new condo purchasers after January 2012 did not receive the garbage rebate.

So it worked out for the current condo owners, but what about those condo buyers who didn’t close until February 1, 2012?  How is it fair to make them pay double for a service they are only receiving once? How would you handle a situation like this?

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