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New Britain Approves Landlord Fee

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At New Britain City Hall, landlords and tenants protested the city council's decision to collect about a million dollars a year in new fees from the owners of apartment buildings. The proposal also contained anti-blight measures. Photo by WTIC's Matt Dwyer.

At New Britain City Hall, landlords and tenants protested the city council’s decision to collect about a million dollars a year in new fees from the owners of apartment buildings. The proposal also contained anti-blight measures. Photo by WTIC’s Matt Dwyer.

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It was standing-room only at New Britain’s city council chambers Thursday night, as a boisterous crowd of landlords and tenants turned out to show opposition to a $150 per unit fee on the owners of apartment buildings.

The council approved the fee.

Council Assistant Minority Leader Jamie Giantonio says the proposal unfairly targets landlords.

“The for sale signs are going to be rampant throughout this town, because once the landlords start selling their properties and moving out, the law of supply and demand is going to drive everyone’s property values down,” Ginatonio said.

But New Britain Mayor Timothy O’Brien says the fee protects homeowners from additional property taxes, while preserving services.

“[Landlords] want home owners to pay so they can make some profit.  At a certain point we need to have some balance, and it needs to be fair,” O’Brien said.

The fee is expected to bring in almost a million dollars a year, as the city deals with a budget shortfall of about 4-million.

The proposal also includes provisions the mayor says will help the city deal with blighted apartment buildings.

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