Unpaid Bills

Billing Process Overview
Assessment Process Overview
Legislative Hearing Process
Frequently Asked Questions


Billing Process Overview

  1. Haulers mail out invoices on the 5th day of the first month of quarterly service. You should see your quarterly garbage bills in January, April, July, and October. The quarterly bill sent out in January covers the 1st Quarter of service (January through March).
  2. Each quarterly bill is due on the 25th of the billing month. In order for your hauler to receive payment, it must clear your bank or financial institution by the due date.
  3. If your hauler does not receive payment by the due date, the hauler may apply a late fee of 5% of the original invoice.
  4. If your hauler does not receive payment by the end of the second month of quarterly service, the hauler may apply a second late fee of 5% of the original invoice.
  5. If your hauler does not receive payment by the end of the third month of quarterly service, the hauler may apply a third late fee of 5% of the original invoice.
  6. At the end of the quarter, all unpaid bills are turned over to the City for assessment. Your hauler can no longer take payment for that quarter.

Assessment Process Overview

If a quarterly garbage bill is not paid in full at the end of the quarter, the remaining balance of that quarter’s bill (including any late fees that were added) is turned over to the City for assessment. Once the balance is turned over to the City, your garbage hauler cannot take payment for that quarter. If you wish to pay the garbage bill before it is assessed to the property, you must pay the City of Saint Paul Assessment Office.

  1. The City of Saint Paul Assessment office will send you a delinquent account notice. The notice will be titled, “INVOICE AND FINAL NOTICE OF DELINQUENT CHARGES.” The notice will include the due date (30 days from the issue date) and a brief description of the charges due. Payment can be made with check or credit card. Payment cannot be made over the phone. You can find instructions to pay at www.stpaul.gov/assessments.
  2. The delinquent account notice will include a process to dispute your bill if you believe you were charged in error.
  3. You will also have an opportunity to dispute the bill at a legislative hearing before the bill is assessed to the property.
  4. If the City of Saint Paul Assessments office does not receive payment for the outstanding garbage bill and the charge is determined to be valid, the bill will be sent to Ramsey County to be assessed to your property. If a bill is assessed to the property by Ramsey County, it will incur additional administrative fees.

If you have general questions about the assessment process, you can contact the assessment department at 651-266-8858.


Legislative Hearing Process

If the City of Saint Paul Assessment office does not receive payment for the delinquent charges by the due date on the INVOICE AND FINAL NOTICE OF DELINQUENT CHARGES, the City will send out a second notice, titled “Public Hearing Notice Ratification of Assessment.”

  1. The notice will include the scheduled date, time, and location of your legislative hearing. The notice will also include a webform URL to enter your stated reason for appeal to be presented during your legislative hearing. You will receive this notice approximately three weeks before your legislative hearing date. If you need assistance filling out the legislative hearing webform, you may call the City at 651-266-6101 and a representative can assist you.
  2. During your hearing, the legislative hearing officer will make a recommendation on the validity of the assessment. This recommendation will be provided to the City Council for their approval of the final assessment roll.
  3. If you disagree with the legislative hearing officer’s recommendation, you may attend the City Council hearing to dispute the recommendation. The date, time, and location of the City Council hearing will also be listed in the Public Hearing Notice Ratification of Assessment.
  4. The City Council will either approve or remove the pending garbage assessment for your property.
  5. The approved assessment roll will be sent to Ramsey County.

Frequently Asked Questions

My hauler says I don’t owe anything. Why is the City sending me notice of a delinquent charge?
When an unpaid bill is turned over to the City, your garbage hauler will zero out your account. When your hauler looks at the account balance, they will not see the amount that has been turned over to the City. When the next quarterly invoice is issued, that will be the only balance owed to the hauler. Because you did not make a payment for the previous quarter, you are now responsible for paying the amount owed to the City. 

I already paid my bill and I don’t think I owe this balance to the City.
Depending on when you made a payment to your hauler, you may still be responsible for paying the delinquent charge to the City:

  • If you made a payment to your hauler after the end of quarterly service, that payment was unable to be applied to the unpaid bill for that quarter. Once the unpaid bill is turned over to the City, your garbage hauler cannot take payment for that quarter. Instead, the payments made to your hauler would be applied to the next quarter’s bill. You are still responsible for paying the delinquent charge to the City.
  • If you made a full payment on your invoice (including any late fees) to your hauler before the end of quarterly service and believe the delinquent charge was issued in error, please send an email to garbage@ci.stpaul.mn.us. Public Works will investigate the issue with your garbage hauler directly.

I recently purchased the property. I did not use garbage service during the quarter with the delinquent balance. Am I still responsible for paying the delinquent charge to the City?
Yes. The City charges the delinquent balance to the property, not the owner. Because the previous owner left a portion of their bill unpaid, the new property owner is now responsible for the unpaid amount. You can try to contact your title company to recover the outstanding amount the previous owner failed to pay, but you are ultimately responsible for the unpaid bill.

Can I dispute the charge because I don’t want garbage service?
You will have the opportunity to speak at a legislative hearing if you would like to dispute your delinquent charge. However, under citywide garbage service, all residential properties up to four units are required to have a garbage cart and receive garbage service for each dwelling unit. There is no option to opt out of citywide garbage service.

When are the late fees applied?
If the invoice goes unpaid, a late fee of 5% of the original invoice may be applied at the end of the first, second, and third month of quarterly service.

Do I have to go to a legislative hearing?
You are not required to attend your scheduled legislative hearing. You can attend the hearing if you wish to dispute the delinquent charge because you believe it was issued in error.

What happens if I do nothing?
If you do not dispute your bill or attend your scheduled legislative hearing, the City Council will approve the assessment. The approved assessment roll will be sent to Ramsey County for inclusion on your property tax statement. You will see the delinquent charges, as well as additional service charges, on your next property tax statement. The City will add a $2.50 assessment charge onto your outstanding amount to cover the cost of assessment administration.