Riverside Board of Supervisors - Photo courtesy of Rivco.org

The Board of Supervisors Tuesday approved imposing special assessments totaling $2.65 million on thousands of Riverside County residents’ property tax bills to collect unpaid trash collection debts.

According to the Department of Environmental Health, 5,323 residents in unincorporated communities owe the county’s four waste haulers for rubbish pickup and disposal services in 2021.

Amounts in arrears range from about $125 to $6,300 per customer, according to the proposed special assessment roll.

Environmental Health Director Jeff Johnson requested the public hearing Tuesday for the supervisors to approve the assessments, which they did by unanimous voice vote, tacking the overdue sums 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,” Johnson said. “The mandatory collection of solid waste and the payment for the collection is critical.”

No ratepayers appeared before the board to explain their circumstances or appeal for waivers.

In the past, petitioners have presented appeals to the board based on the fact that they oversee their own waste disposal and shouldn’t be on the hook for the waste haulers’ costs. Sometimes, properties are also under lease, and the owners aren’t responsible for paying trash disposal charges.

The special assessments will include an additional $77-per-parcel charge applied to delinquent bills to cover the cost of public noticing and county staff time.

According to Johnson, residents can avoid paying the supplemental charge by satisfying their obligations in full on or before July 22.

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