The Board of Supervisors Tuesday set a June 29 public hearing to consider whether to impose special assessments totaling $2.51 million on thousands of Riverside County residents’ property tax bills to collect unpaid trash collection debts.

According to the Department of Environmental Health, roughly 4,900 residents in unincorporated communities owe the county’s four waste haulers for rubbish pickup and disposal services in 2020. Amounts in arrears range from just over $100 to — in one case — as much as $66,000 per customer, according to the proposed special assessment roll.

Environmental Health Director Keith Jones requested the public hearing for the board to approve the assessments, which would be tacked onto delinquent payers’ property tax obligations.

“The regular removal of solid waste from residential properties is a basic sanitation practice that protects both the environment and the public,” Jones said. “The mandatory collection of solid waste and the payment for the collection is critical.”

The hearing will provide residents a platform to argue their cases against assessments before the board, offering specifics about mitigating circumstances, including how the public health shutdowns may have impacted their finances in the past year.

If the supervisors authorize the special assessments, an additional $74-per-parcel charge would be applied to delinquent bills to cover the cost of public noticing and county staff time. According to officials, residents can avoid the supplemental charge by paying their bills in full on or before July 23.

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