Chris Faraone examines the implications of Boston's heavy reliance on the property tax for income.
weighing in on the situation? Good article, though I didn't see any discussion of the new meals/hotel tax. I assume it's not helping as much as we hoped.
I'm not sure what the point is. If Prop 2 1/2 had not passed, and property tax rates had been increased dramatically in the intervening years, would things be much better now?
Faraone quotes the tax burden on a single family house in Boston as $4000 per year, which fails to account for the residential exemption -- that cuts this number roughly in half. That's misleading of Faraone, to say the least.
Because of the residential exemption, Boston homeowners pay substantially lower effective residential property tax rates (per $1000 valuation) than the suburbs.
I have a single family house in West Roxbury and pay more than $4000 a year is real estate tax even with the residential exemption.
In Roslindale, and pay a lot less than $4,000 in real estate tax with the residential exemption. I'm betting your house is a lot bigger.
Has the amount been determined for FY2012 yet?
Comes out in December when they refigure the tax rates which are always conveniently announced right after the elections!
The Steve in the article is me
The meals tax is an independent revenue stream of about $20 million - exactly as expected. However, even if we could magically turn it into $100 million it would not reduce property taxes by a penny. You can only accomplish that 2 ways a) city council votes against the automatic annual increases (which they have never done) or b) the city can hold an "underride" vote - the opposite of an override - I know it hasn't happened in Boston and quite honestly I've never heard of any community doing that.
Notwhitey - the main point is that if we hit that levy ceiling the city has to lay off 500 people a year in perpetuity unless we can come up with about $75 million per year in some other type of tax. Given that total compensation for city workers has been increasing about double the rate of inflation for over a decade, that'll probably be a hard sell to taxpayers. Somewhat dependent on the current round of collective bargaining - but to balance the budget even now we have to tell the unions that we can only afford a 1-2% annual COL increase for the foreseeable future. Good luck Mr. Mayor.
[ City Seal. City of Boston. ]
BOSTON CITY COUNCIL – CENTRAL STAFF BUDGET DIRECTOR
Under the supervision of the City Council President and Staff
Director, the Budget Director will be responsible for:
• Reviewing and analyzing departmental financial and operational
performance of programs and measurementdata; and
• Estimating the impact of programmatic and policy actions on
expenditures and operational performance; and
• Analyzing and developing annual city departmental budget preparation
and analysis; and
• Researching issues across departments or governmental agencies; and
• Researching other issues of interest to councilors and draft
reports and assisting with special projects;and
• Providing staff support for assigned committees, including the
scheduling of committee hearings,working with T.V./Video operator to
ensure successful broadcast, attending hearings and preparing notes
andcommittee reports; and
• Supervising Assistant Budget Director; and
• Performing other duties as assigned by the Council President or
In coordination with the Staff Director, the Budget Director will be
• Reviewing all Council financial functions, including budget and
program outcome measure development,weekly payrolls, contract
and vendor payments; and
• Ensuring Council compliance with all applicable city
ordinances/policies and state statutes related tocontracting and
financial reporting; and
In the absence of Staff Director, the Budget Director shall coordinate
activities of the Council’s Central Staff,including supervising
members of Central Staff.
Minimum Entrance Requirements:
• Three years of professional experience in management, program or
budget analysis or program administrationor management
• Bachelor’s Degree with concentration in finance or business
management or equivalent required. Master’sDegree in Public
Administration may substitute for some years of experience.
• Knowledge of management principles and practices, methods and
techniques of program evaluation,governmental fiscal management
• Ability to prepare and analyze budgetary and financial matters;
analyze systems and procedures; define or identify management
problems and recommend solutions; prepare clear and concise
statistical and evaluationresearch reports.
• Working knowledge of Massachusetts General Laws, City of Boston
charter provisions relating to City Counciland Mayoral powers and
duties, City of Boston Ordinances and zoning regulations is preferred.
• Intermediate understanding of Excel required.
• Excellent interpersonal skills, ability to exercise good judgment
and focus on details as required by the job.
• Excellent financial analysis, research, and writing skills.
• Boston residency required upon hire.
Salary Range: $63,600-$84,800
Submit resume and cover letter via the City of Boston Career Center
Closing Date:September 7, 2011