PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Over the objections of the mayor, Philadelphia City Council has given preliminary okay to a $200 annual property tax rebate for condominium owners, because some use private trash haulers.

The Nutter administration says it does pick up trash for some condo buildings once a week — just as often as other homes in the city.

But other condo owners went before City Council’s finance committee arguing that they have no choice but to use private haulers that arrive more frequently — and they deserve a rebate on their property taxes to compensate (see previous story).

Councilman Bill Greenlee questioned streets commissioner Clarena Tolson:

(Greenlee:)  “Obviously you don’t want people putting out hundreds of bags (of trash) — that wouldn’t be good for anybody.  So how could you service these people?”

(Tolson:)   “We’re servicing approximately 3,700 (condo) units now.  Seventeen-hundred receive (trash pickup) by dumpster, so they don’t put out bags at the corner.”

And Rebecca Rhynhart, the city’s budget director, said the rebate could cost the cash-strapped city government upwards of $6 million a year.

Despite that, the committee okayed the rebate plan and sent it to the full Council for a vote, perhaps later this month.

Reported by KYW City Hall bureau chief Mike Dunn

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