Troubling “Tipping Fee” Language Included in Governor’s Proposed Budget

September 18, 2020

Troubling language has been introduced in the Governor’s proposed budget revisions that seeks to implement a new solid waste disposal fee, or a “tipping fee,” for each ton of solid waste received at a landfill.

Budget Item 372 E proposes the following:

E. The Secretary of Natural Resources, in consultation with the Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry, shall study and develop a plan to require landfill operators pay a solid waste disposal fee, or a tipping fee, for each ton of solid waste received at the landfill. Such fee shall be in addition to any fee established by a locality pursuant to § 15.2-2159, Code of Virginia. The plan shall include recommendations for the amount and structure of any proposed fee, and recommendations for use of any revenue that may be generated from such fee. The plan shall be submitted to the Governor and General Assembly no later than November 1, 2020.

VACo has long held a position opposing the imposition of a state fee, tax, or surcharge on water, sewer, solid waste, or any other service provided by a local government or authority. More specifically, VACo has historically opposed the imposition of a tipping fee, including previously introduced bills dating back to 2004 (HB 1462 (Dillard)).

Many counties are reliant on their landfill host agreements in order to generate revenue that is critical to their budgets. The adoption of a new tipping fee would significantly and detrimentally impact the operations of localities across the Commonwealth and impose even greater financial burdens than those they are already enduring in the time of COVID-19.

VACo has expressed opposition to this language to the Senate Finance and Appropriations Committee and the House Appropriations Committee. VACo members should contact their Delegates and Senators sitting on these committees to express their opposition as well.

VACo Contact: Chris McDonald, Esq.

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