The folks, who gave landlords a multi-million dollar gift this summer by agreeing that the citizens will pay for the placement of water meters ($8,000,000) on all single family home properties, have now handed another gift to other selected landlords. (Note: Since about 50% of single family homes are rented, up to half of that $8,000,000 will be used to pay for meters on income producing properties, i.e., rentals.) Click here to read my prior blog entry on this giveaway. You can also read a discussion of this issue at Eye on Whatcom (Click here to read the thread.)
Now, the city plans to spend about $500,000 of your tax money to replace private sewer lateral lines which then would come under city ownership. (Click here to read the Herald article on this subject) Again, since half of those properties are putative rentals, the city will provide another gift, this time up to $250,000, to the landlords, many of whom do not even live here.
Lest I be misunderstood, I agree in principle with this arrangement for live-in homeowners, however, I do not believe that a landlord (in the guise of a simple property owner) who is making money on her property, should get a free ride at our expense, while pocketing a monthly rental check. These money making operations (some are Limited Liability Companies, LLCs) ought to be paying a proportional share of the cost of replacement of these sewer lines.
Remember also, that these giveaways to rental home owners come from a city that told its citizens earlier this year that they could not afford to hire an additional code enforcement officer to ride herd on scofflaw landlords.