New Britain Leans on Landlords

The city is adding fees for landlords to help fund social programs.

Rents in New Britain have doubled the last ten years, so Mayor Tim O'Brien says landlords should be able to absorb easily a new $12/month fee per unit.

:"It's not a tax," he said, "it's a fee for the costs that the landlords are already costing the taxpayers of New Britain.  Without that revenue, it means that something else would have to get cut to fund the services they're soaking up."

The way O'Brien sees the city's new landlord licensing laws, apartments and their tenants depend on police, firefighters, and code enforcers. so if the landlords pay more for those services, the city government can afford to hire new police officers and fund after-school programs for children.

"The afterschool program is a wonderful opportunity for kids to get a nurturing, educational environment.  It's a place where they can be safe and be learning all at the same time," he said.

By February, landlords who don't live in the buildings they rent must obtain licenses.  To do that, they have to reveal their names.   City government inspectors can pursue the landlords more easily if they don't keep up their properties, O'Brien said.

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