Convinced that Baltimore's intention to charge city businesses for getting rid of trash is just a quick way to make up for money to be lost when the beverage container tax is repealed, local restaurant owners intend to fight the idea tomorrow at City Hall.
City Council bill No. 1259 is being called a recycling incentive designed to generate an estimated $4.5 million in revenue for Baltimore by council leaders supporting the measure.
But Steven S. George, the general manager of Haussner's Restaurant on Eastern Avenue and a board member of the Restaurant Association of Maryland, said the legislation would unfairly burden city businesses and has come "as a total surprise to the business community."
County businesses that use city incinerators will not be taxed, although Baltimore County is considering a similar measure.
"The City Council is sneaking around behind everybody's back to get this thing passed as quickly as possible," Mr. George said.
"They're penalizing businesses to pay back a political promise to make up for the container tax," he continued.
Mary Pat Clarke, the council president, has said that businesses will be able to reduce the proposed 10 percent surcharge on all trash-hauling bills by recycling.
Mr. George said that he would be happy to recycle most of the waste generated by Haussner's but that there are few recycling centers available to handle large amounts of paper, glass and plastic.