Jonesboro City Council takes first step to add trash service to tax bills

JONESBORO — Home and land owners could soon see sanitation services tacked on to their annual tax bill.

Cost for yearly trash pickup is $180 for homeowners in Jonesboro.

But even those with empty lots zoned residential or vacant homes will still pay for trash service.

City businesses could also be required to use the sanitation services.

Resident Carl Helton manages 10 duplexes in the city, many of which are vacant.

He expressed his disappointment to the Council during public comment.

“It’s a burden on the citizens and tax payers,” he said. “Put it on the ballot and let people vote on it.”

Resident Geneva Peach said she didn’t think requiring people to pay for the trash service was a good idea either.

“Empty houses shouldn’t have to pay,” she said. “It’s going to be hard for low income people to pay all at once.”

Councilman Bobby Wiggins also opposed the idea.

“I would like to see the vote put off and let citizens vote on it,” he said. Additionally, he said it should be advertised more to get more people to comment on it.

Despite opposition, Council voted to consider adding the service to tax bills, with Wiggins voting against it.

It’s only the first step, however.

Council will now need to create and adopt an ordinance.

Councilwoman Pat Sebo said it’s not a done deal at this point.

“There’s lots of details,” she said. “We still have to pass an ordinance that could stay strictly residential.”

The city has about 700 trash pick-up customers.

During the July 8 work session, Mayor Joy Day said that by adding sanitation services to tax bills “we would have about three times as many customers.”

Day said the Council will have something ready for the Aug. 11 meeting.

“They want this because it generates revenue,” Helton said. “It’s a tax.”