City Councilor Mark Ciommo (Allston/Brighton) and Mayor Walsh are proposing a measure that could save the average Boston homeowner $300 a year in property taxes, which the city says it can pay for thanks to the local construction and real-estate boom.
Under a measure sponsored by Ciommo last week, Boston would increase the tax exemption for people living in their own homes from 30% to 35% of their homes' assessed value. If approved by the City Council, the greater exemption would start being reflected in third-quarter tax bills sent out at the end of this month.
The proposal could particularly help homeowners in areas such as South Boston that have seen skyrocketing tax bills due to the rapid rise of property values in their neighborhood.
The announcement comes a day after Walsh proposed a measure that could make it harder for landlords to boot tenants for strictly economic reasons.
In a statement, Walsh said:
The City of Boston has been rapidly growing and expanding over the past few years and it's paying off. Whether they've lived here for decades or just moved in, our residents are the foundation to this vibrant and thriving city. We're happy to let Boston homeowners keep a little more money in their pockets come tax season with this increase in the residential exemption.
The mayor's office adds:
A historically strong business and real estate climate in Boston has resulted in record new tax revenue growth, producing $75.5 million in growth to the tax base due to new construction and properties being added to the tax base, the highest amount ever produced by the City in new growth.
The city gained the ability to increase its exemption in a bill signed last week by Gov. Baker. The mayor's office says the move will not cut city revenues, because the bill lets the city shift the reduction in homeowner tax burdens to other taxpayers, such as the owners of commercial and industrial property.
According to the mayor's office:
Increasing the residential exemption will keep Boston's taxes competitive with other communities, as the average residential tax bill in Boston will fall 38 percent below last year's statewide average of $5,247.