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Editorial: Pittsburgh Landlord Fee an Unnecessary Burden

Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto has proposed a new fee on landlords to help enforce scofflaws. An editorial by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, however, argues that the math behind the fee doesn’t add up.
November 27, 2014, 1pm PST | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette editorial board writes about the city's recent efforts to revive a 2007 ordinance "requiring landlords to pay a fee and submit contact information for themselves or their property managers." The 2007 ordinance was challenged by courts and never enforced, but Mayor Bill Peduto has made twweks and reintroduced a similar fee.

The editorial notes that the new incarnation of the fee makes improvements from its predecessor but still contains flaws: "The biggest problem is the fee. It’s too high, at $65, and it would require annual renewal. That won’t break the bank of a person who owns a handful of apartments, but if there is no cap, a landlord with 500 units would have to pay $32,500 a year, every year."

The editorial argues that the city has not made a sufficient case for the price of the fee—the original fee was $12, and wonders if more of that cost shouldn't be a burden taken on by offenders.

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Published on Thursday, November 20, 2014 in Pittsburg Post-Gazette
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