The Albany Common Council voted 9-4 to add trash fees to property owners of small apartment buildings.
"I don't necessarily think that it's going to affect my financials per day, but I would be passing along the fees to my tenants," said Anthony Catalano, an Albany property owner.
Mayor Kathy Sheehan's 2016 budget includes $1.5 million in revenue from landlords like Catalano paying for trash removal in two- to four-unit apartment buildings. On Monday night, after more than an hour of discussion, the common council voted the trash fees into law.
"And it is possible that the landlords are going to raise the rent, hopefully not at such extreme rates as we're hearing," said Council member Leah Goldby, who voted yes.
Under this new law, landlords of Albany apartment buildings with four or fewer units would have to pay $180 a year per unit for trash removal. Each building would get one free unit, which means single-family homes have no fees, and the highest fee would be $540 for four units.
This would mean an extra $15 a month per unit, and Common Council member Judd Krasher called the law "blatantly discriminatory" because he says it targets the poorest people in the city.
Common Council member Mark Robinson agreed and says it's his constituents in the Fifth Ward that can't afford this.
"I'd like one of my colleagues to stand up here and say 'I spoke to my constituents and they agreed that this trash tax should be passed,' " said Robinson. "I'm waitin' for one of you all to say that."