The New Britian Planning and Zoning Board tries to implement new regulations to help the city fight blight.
In a surprising move, the New Britain city council did not pass an ordinance on Monday night that would have required landlords who own property in New Britain but live outside the city to pay a 5 percent fee.
The city council, which was expected to approve the ordinance, met until 1:30 a.m. on Tuesday to discuss the measure, which Mayor Timothy O'Brien has supported.
It would have required property owners who live outside the city to pay a one time yearly fee proposed to crack down on deadbeat landlords.
"It would be a huge tool to fight blight," Phil Sherwood, the mayor's communications director, said.
If the property turns to blight, the city would have had the power to deny the owner the right to rent the property.
The City of New Haven uses a similar model.
"It's a lot of leverage that the city has for people to clean up their properties," Sherwood said.
Dozens of property owners filled the council chamber on Monday night and many reputable landlords attended to oppose the new ordinance.
"It's essentially a tax on landlord's incomes," Aldona Baron, a property owner, said.
The mayor's office said this move was a last resort to avoid raising taxes across the board.
The new fee was expected to bring in an estimated $4 million for the city.