Road maintenance tax presents an effective use of city savings


By Lucas Skye

DeKalb is giving their residents more bang for their buck regarding their garbage fees and road repairs.

DeKalb City Council recently decided to switch waste management services from Waste Management Inc. to the more affordable Lakeshore Recycling System.

This switch which will take place on Sept. 1 and will result in residents’ garbage bills being reduced from $20.61 to $16.98 a month, a $3.68 difference, according to a July 16 Northern Star article.

While a $3.68 difference may seem negligible at best, DeKalb City Council has proposed to use the savings to implement a road maintenance tax of the same amount which would generate a massive $389,121.48 in revenue. The funds are slated to be used in road maintenance and repair, according to a statement by Public Works Director Tim Holderman during the July 9 City Council meeting.

However, it seems many residents are displeased with this proposal.

“We’re somewhere between giving the roads a dollar,” said Mayor Smith. “Perhaps a little bit more overwhelming up here among our council is that we give the savings back to the residents of the city of DeKalb.”

While it makes sense that residents may favor the idea of receiving the savings gained by DeKalb’s switch to a cheaper waste management providers, a measly $3.68 pales in comparison to the total $389,121.48 that could go to improving DeKalb’s infrastructure.

By reducing the residential garbage bill while proposing a tax of equal value, residents will be receiving better roads without having pay to more than what they already were, effectively improving DeKalb’s infrastructure without incurring any additional costs to residents.

However, residents deserve to know where their money is being allocated. Therefore, the proposed road maintenance fee should be listed under a separate name as opposed to being included in residents monthly garbage bill.