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Brighton Journal | 24th February 2020

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Are Students Costing Sussex Councils Millions?

Are Students Costing Sussex Councils Millions?
Hannah Midgley

Exemption from paying council tax for students is reportedly costing Sussex councils £11 million. People are calling on student landlords to pay up for council tax after figures have shown their exemption is costing the public purse a pretty penny. Figures have increased, but not because there are more students taking up family homes in the area, simply because the council has raised the cost of tax in the area.

A councillor for Brighton & Hove, Michael Inkpin-Leissner, has said that it would not be fair to charge students for council tax, however landlords benefiting from large profits ought to fork out a proportion of council tax.

The University of Sussex have always commented on the matter, arguing that students have helped to contribute more than £200 million to the city’s economy, which is more than would be rebated through council tax. They’ve also said that making students poorer is not the solution to local funding issues.

Out of all English councils, Brighton & Hove is the most affected, with £9.4 million of potential council tax uncollected in the current financial year. That’s nearly double what it was 10 years ago in 2007.

An independent councillor for Stanmer & Hollingdean, (popular areas amongst students), has said: “It would be unfair for students, who work so hard and have to take jobs to get by, to pay but I think landlords who make a lot of money, £500 a month for a small room, could be approached to pay a little.”


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