WALNUT RIDGE, AR (KAIT) - After the Walnut Ridge City Council recently decided a rental property would be considered a business, they are no longer responsible for rental property's cleanup.
"We changed the privilege licenses rates and fees for rental properties where it is now a business," said Mayor Charles Snapp. "We are trying to keep taxes as low as we can so we have to work efficiently."
Now as a business, rental property owners are responsible for throwing away extra trash that cannot fit in the residential garbage cans.
"We purchased a new garbage truck and cans for residents," said Snapp. "Because the city no longer will pick up trash outside of the cans, it affects the people in the business of rental property."
Snapp said they see these issues mainly after a tenant has moved out.
"When tenants no longer live at the rental property homes, the owners pile everything left behind on the street," said Snapp. "We have found mattresses, old chairs, and old bags of clothes sometimes piles 10 yards in front of a property. It takes workers hours to clean that up."
Snapp said owners expect the city to clean it up when that is not going to be the case.
"We decided that it is a business therefore that is a business expense," said Snapp. "The $12 a month for that trash can and your household trash does not constitute the residents paying their tax money to clean up business property."
Snapp said a solution is for rental property owners to do what they can before the city gets involved.
"They need to haul that trash to the landfills themselves because if the city has to do it, they will be issued a warning from code enforcement where they will have a certain amount of days to take care of it. If not, then they will be charged $100 per hour, per worker it takes to clean it up."
Snapp said their main goal as a city is to use taxpayer money as efficiently as possible without any sign of misuse.
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