Repeal University Heights Rental Tax

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Mayor Michael Dylan Brennan and University Heights City Council recently passed ordinance 2018-28 that dramatically increases the rental inspection fees from $150/year to $600/year. This amounts to an unfair tax that will cost families who rent homes in the city an extra $38/month.

The mayor and some members of city council have expressed a desire to drive renters out of the city. Part of the rationale for the new tax was to discourage rentals by penalizing families who choose to rent.  Council seems to think that renters are the cause of all the problems in the city, but this false assumption exposes their stereotypes and lack of understanding about University Heights renters.  Many of us have moved in from out of town, coming for residencies or fellowships at the hospitals, and were impressed with the charm, beauty and livability of University Heights.  Some of us are permanent transfers who want to rent for a year or two to get a feel for the neighborhoods before purchasing a home.  Some of us are long term renters who just prefer the convenience and flexibility of renting our home instead of buying.  And yes, some of us are college students who chose to live in homes or doubles instead of the dorms.

We are responsible residents who take care of our homes and are good neighbors.  If a household is causing a nuisance, we expect that it be addressed with the homeowner/tenant and law enforcement as needed. To penalize all University Heights renters for the problems caused by a few is unfair.

Renting versus buying is a personal decision that we as families make according to our needs at the time. It’s not a character flaw. It’s not an indication of the type of neighbor we are. It’s a choice, nothing more. And most people do rent at some point in their lives. 

It’s time city council drop their prejudices and their stereotypes.  Families who choose to rent houses are not troublemakers.  We are residents.  We pay income taxes and property taxes just like homeowners do.  And we vote.

It is vital that the mayor and city council hear from us that this ordinance is unfair and should be repealed.

 How you can help:

1. Sign this petition.

2. Email or call Mayor Michael Dylan Brennan and Councilman Mark Wiseman, chairman of the committee that introduced the ordinance, to express your concerns. Their contact information can be found at

3. Forward this petition to as many fellow University Heights renters as possible.

Thanks for your help!