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18th Jul 2018
Liverpool City Council is looking for ways to ensure student landlords "pay their fair share" towards local services by forcing them to pay business tax.
Currently students are exempt from paying council tax and student housing is also exempt from business rates, which could change if councillors in Liverpool get their way.
The council wants to find a method to force them to pay business rates, with local authority members unanimously backing the plan.
Councillors Nick Small and Laura Robertson-Collins put forward the motion. Councillor Small said that a Government grant currently provided to compensate for the loss of council tax income from students is being phased out, making it necessary to plug the shortfall.
There are concerns however that the plans could lead to the raising of student rents and even reduce the quality of student accommodation on offer in the city.
It's argued that landlords will simply look to recoup this extra tax be increasing their rents and therefore the tax will hit the poorest students hardest.
Andrew Goodacre, chief executive of the Residential Landlords Association said: "This is yet another example of landlords being treated as little more than cash cows by those in power. I hope the government will share our concerns and put a stop to this unfair tax on students who are already paying through the nose for their education."
The council now plans to establish a working group with the university as well as student and landlord representatives to look over the proposals.
18th Jul 2018
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