At the urging of Mayor Darla Clark, the City Council has removed a controversial proposed landlord business license fee from the budget that would have paid for a city rental housing inspector.
The fee, which had upset landlords as well as tenants, was in the mayor's original 1996-97 budget proposal. But council members pulled it during ongoing budget workshops then reinserted it earlier this week, citing landlords should be assessed along with other business owners.But Clark told the council last Thursday that she wanted to decide the issue "without extraneous issues confusing the matter."
She recommended the city study how other Utah cities regulate rental properties to ensure compliance with city codes and how the Legislature might change business licensing revenues.
The proposed license fee would have paid the costs of hiring a housing inspector to monitor rentals for health and safety concerns. City officials said they had received complaints about rental conditions, which landlords said were exaggerated.
The proposed fees were set for a $10 annual business license for all residential rental buildings and an annual $15 per-apartment permit fee for all rental buildings larger than triplexes. A one-time $10 application fee was also a part of the proposal.
The amounts were developed to make up the more than $100,000 difference between revenues and expenditures after the council fine-tuned the proposed budget.
Clark said there is enough of an increase in projected property tax revenues to balance the $54 million budget.