Monday, June 08, 2009

More Taxes for Barberton

Landlords are always a good target. They generally fit the bill of being small businessmen who provide a service that most people look down on. Since they have their capital tied up in assets that can’t be picked up and moved, they are sitting ducks for this type of proposal.

Essentially, the proposal is for a $40.00 per unit annual fee, possibly to pay for an inspector or two to go around and find violations for which the city can fine the landlords. If – somehow – your properties come out clean for three years, the city will graciously reduce the fee to $20.00 per unit.

Given that incentive structure, and the need to drum up revenues via writing up citations to generate fines, I wouldn’t count on getting clean inspections on all of your units.

Now $40 per unit isn't that much. Especially in a town like Barberton, stuffed to the gills with luxury housing, country clubs, and Bentley dealerships. For the small time landlord, it's just the city seizing a pretext to take another bite out if his hide.

From the landlord’s perspective, it might be useful to itemize the bills for their renters: For example, a $600 per month rent could be broken out into rent, property taxes, city fees, etc., etc., etc., just to make it clear to the renters that there’s no free lunch.

Probably an eye opening experience for most renters.