Trust Fund Honesty

Photo courtesy Coosa River Basin Initiative.

About the Hazardous Waste and Solid Waste Trust Funds

  • These "Trust Funds" were created in 1993.
  • Money for these funds comes from the tipping fees that we pay at landfills and the $4 fee charged when we purchase a set of new tires.
  • These fees have generated $469 million for the state.
  • Unfortunately, using those funds for their intended purposes is left to state elected officials.
  • Of the $469 million collected, about 40 percent ($193 million) has been used to fund other portions of the state budget.
  • As a result, the state has a backlog of hazardous waste sites needing cleanup and dozens of illegal tire dumps in need of remediation.

The Georgia Constitution, as currently written, does not allow legislators to “dedicate” fees collected by the state to their intended use—whether to clean up environmental waste sites, fund teen driver programs or support training for peace officers. The fees collected are placed in the state general fund for allocation by state legislators as they deem fit, even though the bill creating the fee may say differently. GWC wants to see programs like the Solid Waste and Hazardous Waste Trust Funds receive the fees due so that EPD can clean up tire dumps, leaky landfills and contaminated properties.

HR 158 proposes an amendment to the Georgia Constitution that would ensure fees dedicated to a specific purpose are annually appropriated for that purpose. If the resolution passes, the amendment will be placed on the election ballot in November 2018 for consideration by state voters. Let’s help restore trust in our government and ensure that important state programs are properly funded by passing House Resolution 158 during the 2018 session of the General Assembly.

The Georgia Water Coalition and Georgians for Trust Fund Honesty are working with elected officials to make sure the money collected is used for its stated purpose.  You can help.  This issue will be on the ballot in November - "Shall the Constitution of Georgia be amended so as to authorize the General Assembly to dedicate revenues derived from fees or taxes to the public purpose for which such fees or taxes were intended?” Read the amendment here

Trust Fund Fact Sheet - Click here to download

Above the Waterline: Restoring the trust in state government
by Sally Bethea