Kittanning andlords vow legal action against proposed fees
Landlords packed council's meeting room on Monday to object to a plan to raise fees on residential rental properties.
Last month, as council looked for ways to trim the 2013 budget, members discussed raising the annual license rental fees and inspection fees which landlords are required to pay. A rental license is currently $50 for the first rental unit and $5 for each additional unit. Landlords also are charged a $25 inspection fee whenever a renter moves out.
Council has not decided what the increases would amount to but have suggested raising the additional unit fee from $5 to $25.
The group of landlords brought a signed petition to council saying they would seek legal action against the borough should the fees be increased. Several spoke up and said they felt it was unfair to single out a select group.
From a show of hands, of the 20 or so landlords present at the meeting, seven were borough residents.
President Chris Schiano argued that increasing fees was not unreasonable.
“If we don't do this we'll have to raise garbage fees and taxes again,” said Councilwoman Kim Fox, adding that there have been cuts in funds for streets, codes enforcement and police departments to prevent any tax hike.
Some of the landlords argued that it was more a matter of principle and less about paying a fee increase. Several spoke up and said they felt it was unfair to single out one group.
Comments became heated as the discussion veered into how to tackle blighted rental properties and how difficult renters and irresponsible landlords should be held accountable.
Some agreement was reached when landlord John Kunst suggested that rather than single out landlords, council should look into asking all borough businesses to pay an annual fee.
“Raise them on all businesses,” said Kunst.
He said that many landlords are struggling to break even.
Councilman Mike Rosenberger agreed that Kunst presented a good solution.
“It may look like we're picking on you,” he said, and mentioned the current budget constraints.
“We're not out of trouble yet,” said Rosenberger.
Schiano thanked the group of landlords for coming to the meeting.
“We understand how you feel,” he said. “We have not adopted the ordinance yet.”
Brigid Beatty is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-543-1303 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Rayburn businessman honored for charitable work
- Kittanning Elks turns into museum during Fort Armstrong fest
- Dying trees removed from Ford City park
- Armstrong bridge repair more costly than expected
- Judge rejects proposed sentence for Leechburg sex offender
- Rural Valley day care opening in former American Legion building
- Manor woman trains blood-tracking dogs with hopes of helping state hunters
- Heavy rains pour through Armstrong County
- Kittanning considers restricting dock access
- West Mahoning toddler run over by pickup truck
- Mayflies making Ford City roads slick for drivers