City Cracks Down on Trash Bill Scofflaws

A Pennsylvania city is planning to publicly identify people who haven't paid their trash bills and place liens on their properties as it tries to recoup $7.8 million in outstanding garbage fees.

The Times-Tribune reports Mayor Chris Doherty says the city is going to be very aggressive in the collection effort. It marks the first time the financially distressed city will pursue liens for delinquent garbage fees, some of which date back 14 years.

"They'll get notices in the mail warning them their property will be liened and they'll be given a time period to pay" Doherty told the paper. "Most people in the city follow through on their civic duties."

City figures show delinquent fees total more than $7.8 million from 1999 to the present.

Treasurer Christopher Boland says that out of 20,700 trash bills sent out last year, 5,900 went unpaid.

Annually the city garbage fee is $178 per household – unchanged since 200, according to the Times-Tribune.

Doherty says the city hired a new firm to collect delinquent garbage bills in February 2012 and that it's made great strides.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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