Rental fees highlighted as Rochester council approves $ 509.4 million city budget

“We’re talking about a plethora of other fees to be concerned about,” said the owner of Matik Management and president of the Rochester Multi-Housing Association.

The city’s $ 509.4 million budget includes fee increases for missing inspection appointments and for re-inspection of properties that fail first check, but Hill said the biggest concern is putting planned implementation of late compliance fees, which could range from $ 100 to $ 500 for homeowners who failed to make changes in a timely manner after an inspection.

RELATED: 8 Things to Know About Rochester’s 2022 Budget Proposal

She said frequent inspection delays could result in the imposition of no-fault owner fees, which would penalize a struggling industry.

“The past two years have been an extremely difficult burden for many homeowners. This industry has been hit like no other due to COVID-related restrictions, ”she said, noting that restrictions related to the old moratorium on evictions could persist next year.

Taryn Edens, the city’s housing and outreach services manager, said the imposition of fees, as well as potential new charges for people renting property without a rental certificate, should be delayed until September.

She also said that the department changes reduced inspection delays and that any future fees would be waived if it was determined that city staff was the cause of the late compliance, related to a city inspection. city.

What happened: Rochester City Council has passed a city budget of $ 509.4 million for 2022 after holding its annual budget and tax hearing.

Why is this important: The annual spending plan includes a property tax levy of $ 86.8 million, which is a 6.5% increase over the approved levies of $ 81.5 million for 2020 and 2021.

And after: The approved 2022 budget will be used as a benchmark for the creation of the 2023 city budget.

While Hill did not address property taxes, council members raised issues with the 6.5 percent levy increase, which will add $ 5.3 million to the overall property taxes the city collects this. year.

“I have definitely been a vocal opponent of this large increase for months now,” said Molly Dennis, board member, joined by board member Shaun Palmer in opposing the budget.

Rochester City Council member Molly Dennis speaks at a city council meeting on August 2, 2021. John Molseed / Post Bulletin

Rochester City Council member Molly Dennis speaks at a city council meeting on August 2, 2021. John Molseed / Post Bulletin

Earlier in the budget process, Dennis said it was staff’s duty to come up with options for potential cuts, but on Monday she said the board has a responsibility to find cuts and asked fellow members council to delay the decision for at least a week.

“There are a lot of areas where we could have cut unnecessary spending,” she said, highlighting consultant fees and past property sales, but not suggesting specific future reductions.

Council member Nick Campion criticized opposition to the budget after months of discussion.

“I think it’s a pretty big abdication of the responsibility to vote against the budget and not come forward with a single meaningful change that could be executed by the board,” he said. “It’s unprecedented in my time on the board.”

Rochester City Council member Brooke Carlson speaks at a city council meeting on August 2, 2021. John Molseed / Post Bulletin

Rochester City Council member Brooke Carlson speaks at a city council meeting on August 2, 2021. John Molseed / Post Bulletin

Council chairperson Brooke Carlson said a tax cut would likely require cuts to parks, libraries or public safety budgets.

“We are investing in these best services which make us a much appreciated community that people need to live in safety,” she said, citing support for the passed 5-2 budget.

Rochester City Administrator Alison Zelms said the budget continues to cut spending by more than $ 3 million and builds on available federal bailout funding to ease current economic challenges related to COVID-19.

“Steps taken over the past four years to improve the budget process have increased understanding, transparency and now provide the platform for more intentional planning through the first-ever creation of a two-year budget document,” she added in a statement following the council’s decision.

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