Councilors would levy new 1% tax on Boston property owners for affordable housing, parks

City Councilors Michael Flaherty (at large) and Andrea Campbell (Dorchester) want to ask voters to approve an increase in local property taxes to help pay for construction of affordable housing and preserve open space.

At their regular meeting tomorrow, councilors will consider a request from the two to start the process towards a referendum on a provision of the state Community Preservation Act that would let the city levy a 1% surcharge on residential and commercial property in the city for "the acquisition, creation and preservation of open space, the acquisition, preservation, rehabilitation and restoration of historic resources, the acquisition, creation, preservation, rehabilitation and restoration of land for recreational use, the acquisition, creation, preservation and support of community housing."

Under their proposal, the first $100,000 of value of residential and commercial properties would be exempted from the tax, as would all industrial properties and homes owned by residents who would otherwise qualify for low-income family housing or low or moderate-income senior housing.

The council meeting begins at noon in its fifth-floor chambers in City Hall.

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Comments

Capitalize "Affordable"

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Lowecase "affordable" already had meaning. The new meaning was and is intended by politicians to confuse people.

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Tax the Suburbs that Provide Little Affordable Housing

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Places like Newton, that fail to meet the Chapter 40B threshold that a minimum 10% of local housing stock be subsidized. Boston is already well above that, with more than 18% of its housing units subsidized. This requires a regional solution. Don't penalize Boston taxpayers to compensate for suburbs that don't do their fair share. View town by town percentages here: http://www.mass.gov/hed/docs/dhcd/hd/shi/shiinventory.pdf

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considering the City just

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considering the City just raised my taxes 35% from FY 2015 to FY 2016, I think I'll pass on voluntarily adding on some more.

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Not to sound like a 1%-er,

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Not to sound like a 1%-er, but why do all current Boston homeowners need to further subsidize affordable housing? Last time I checked, all new housing developments in Boston already require 15% affordable housing units (or its equivalent $ offset).

To be honest though, any program that asks us to pay to offset lotto winners (which is how affordable housing is determined) seems absurd. There are already local, state & federal grants for 'affordable housing' developments and the city often donates the land used for those projects, as well.

In my opinion though, any program that heavily subsidizes housing for a very few (via lottery) at the expense of all homeowners is absurd. Things cost what they cost due to market demand. If Boston wanted to make affordable housing a priority, it could immediately announce large affordable-only condo projects in Roxbury, Roslindale, Dorchester...etc. (where lower land costs could potentially finance the projects without taxpayer assistance) to create additional supply. But the city won't.

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Mostly agree, except I think

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Mostly agree, except I think if the city wants to create real "affordable" housing, then it needs to Manhattanize.

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Like Chicago?

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Like Chicago how it put all the lower income/affordable housing on the South Side away from all the unaffordable in a different part of the city? This drastically impacted the quality of life by essentially purposely segregating income/classes and increased crime by diminishing diversity. Putting all new affordable property in specific neighborhoods is definitely going to replicate Chicago's problem.

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Actually

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It worked quite well - crime is contained in some parts of the city and doesn't spread elsewhere, and while Chicago is America's murder capital and violent crime rate is beyond ridiculous, most parts are perfectly safe and you don't see the tax base fleeing for the burbs.

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Land costs don't cut it

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Land costs are a relatively small chunk of the cost of new residential construction, and they're not really all that cheap in the outer neighborhoods in any case. Biggest driver is construction costs.

At the average cost of new construction in Boston, a new apartment must be able to rent for about $3/SF (think a $2000 1BR) minimum to pay for itself. A 1BR at that rent is only affordable to a couple making about $100k together - a household above 120% of the area median. So, sorry, but subsidies are an absolute necessity for new housing any cheaper than that.

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Stop turning every project

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Stop turning every project into a union monopoly and larding up construction costs with fees and required contributions to this and that 'linkage' and maybe small developers could afford to build affordable housing.

There's no reason why anything in high demand should require a subsidy.

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The real winners from this

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The real winners from this tax are the well-connected developers who build affordable housing.

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Tax rates went down from 2015

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Tax rates went down from 2015 to 2016. If your tax rate went up by 35% then your property value just shot up by more than 35%. Cry me a river.

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It doesn't do your average

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It doesn't do your average homeowner any good for their home's value to go up unless they want to take on more debt with a second mortgage, or sell immediately. Their income doesn't go up, but their monthly expenses do.

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Seriously

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Mine went up 48%. The largest increase in my neighborhood. I guess the local politicians know who votes against them quite well...

Housing is already affordable. That's why people own or rent housing in the city of Boston. The notion of "Affordable Housing" is to let people who can't afford to live here live here. While we're at it we should have "Affordable Mercedes" and "Affordable Filet Mignon" since it just isn't right that some unfortunate souls can't afford these items.

In the real world people who can't "afford" to live here will find housing where they can afford it. Yes, that does mean the cost of service labor will increase since those those who do those tasks will be in greater demand. Do you know what that is called. Yes, wage growth. That is what is necessary to combat income inequality.

It's called economics. Unless you "feel the Bern". Then you can just artificially increase the minimum wage and wish it away.

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Are you

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Are going to try to convince us that trickle down economics is actually good for the middle class next?

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Yes and No

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Yes, not everyone can afford to live in premium places, and that's fair. Not everyone should.

However, there's a certain amount of allowance for economic diversity required in any particular housing market. Many career paths and life paths have phases with high pay and low pay, and the city needs all of them to function.

Undergrads become med students, who become medical residents, who become doctors at area hospitals. The city needs all of them, and they all can afford different qualities of housing. But all of them would suffer greatly if they had to drive 90 minutes to New Hampshire twice a day, and Boston would suffer greatly without them.

A functioning city needs all kinds of different people, and if people have to move too far away from the city to be able to work in it, they'll just find jobs closer to the homes they can afford.

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It's frightening how much "JP

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It's frightening how much "JP Resident's" view comes up in the comments on here. Why can't all the poor people just move to Fitchburg or Springfield or Albuquerque? Do we really need fast food workers, teachers, security guards, or artists living in Eastern Massachusetts at all?

Income-restricted housing can be part of the solution, along with increasing the overall housing stock. But doing nothing is just going to turn Boston into Blade Runner with triple deckers by 2030.

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Boston Runner

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I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Space savers on fire off the shoulder of Centre St. I watched Dot Rats gather in the dark near Widdett Circle. All those moments will be lost in time, like teahs...in...rain or Babe fuckin Ruth's piano. Time to die.

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Really, you think housing is

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Really, you think housing is affordable? I know software engineers who cannot afford to buy a house in this market (let me dumb it down: software engineers make a decent amount around here). Your logic is flawed - if we were complaining about people not being able to afford living in Weston, yes, that is more like driving a Mercedes. Being able to afford living in the biggest city in New England - hardly the same.

Do you know what's going to happen to the city and the local economy if lower-income people who (for example) package/transport/cook your food, service your car, sell you groceries, or teach your kids start moving away?

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Which tax went up 48%? From

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Which tax went up 48%? From what % to what %? What is this tax on?

Maybe instead of whining about them "knowing who votes against them" you should RUN against them, or actively support a candidate that is running against them. Get involved instead of just complaining and you might actually see a difference... but then you'd have to get up and do something, and that sounds hard.

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They raised your taxes BY 35%

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They raised your taxes BY 35% or TO 35%?

Specifically which tax was this?

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Or, the mayor could just

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Or, the mayor could just raise the property tax rate by 1% from $11.00 to $11.11, with extra money going to the DND and Parks budgets.

What's the point of adding a fixed tax to a variable tax, when you're free to set the tax every year anyway?

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I don't know whether Boston

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I don't know whether Boston is hitting the Prop 2 1/2 ceiling or not, but I doubt that you get a free pass around Prop 2 1/2 by structuring a 2nd property tax alongside your regular property tax.

Either way, it's a program funded by property taxes which is limited by Prop 2 1/2.

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You're right. 2 1/2 is the limit.

It covers the size of increase year to year. Individual properties can go up more or less, depending on 'fair market value' ie, not a foreclosure.

If you want to override it, you need a yes vote of the citizens of the community.

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This will distort the housing

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This will distort the housing market even more by kicking the middle in the gut. The rich can afford to pay, the poor get subsidized, and the middle gets bled dry.

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I just don't go ahead and

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I just don't go ahead and raise my teens rents cause my property taxes go up.

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I don't think that's true.

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I don't think that's true. Today's metro Boston rents are driven by demand, not by cost. Rents have risen so steadily the past 25 years, that few places rent for the bare minimum to cover the mortgage.

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This is utter BS

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As someone who makes to much to qualify for gov subsidies but struggles to remain in Boston, this is utter BS.

Make me pay more to live here (where I grew up) to help people struggling less. And yes, people working less and getting help from the gov aren't working as hard as those trying to manage it on their own.

The people who will be hit the hardest by this will be the working class.

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Yes

But the Bernie Sanders crowd will tell you to hush and remember your white privilege.

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No....

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...Bernie Sanders ideals would dictate that GE pay its fair share of taxes to live in our city instead of getting yuuuge gubment subsidies to come here (with their ginormous job growth of net 100 jobs their bringing! gasp! wow!) and the middle class property owner would be able to continue to afford living in the city they invested in, on their own.

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No under Sander

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Anyone making a living would see an increase of 2.2% plus. Additionally he'd tax your retirement investments.

If you support the guy support him, but dont lie about what his plan is. Not that it would ever pass the house or the senate.

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Can you point me to that?

Additionally he'd tax your retirement investments.

Is that true? I looked around and couldn't find this anywhere.
Can you give me a link that explains Bernie's plan for this?

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Am I understanding it right?

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Am I understanding it right? It's a 1% increase in the levy. So if your taxes are $3000/yr the increase will be $30?

Not a huge amount but is it enough to even cover the additional bureaucracy needed?

FWIW I'd pay that to have shoveled sidewalks in a heartbeat.

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There is nothing that

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There is nothing that prevents you from paying more taxes than what you owe. I suggest you select the higher rate when you file ur taxes.

Somehow I doubt ul do that.

But you can always send in extra money to the city of Boston.

Again, I doubt ul do that freely

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Well your "uneducated ars"

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Would be competing more so for a job which would pay less. Freshman supply and demand.

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if people

are still competing for a job that pays less and we get more affordable housing as a result anyway, i call it a win

more housing, cheaper living right? supply/demand?

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Curious.

Why "...as would all industrial properties..."?

Is this typical thinking for this sort of property tax?

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New tax on Boston property owners

We lose at least a hundred million dollars a year (no one but the developers know the real loss) in development tax breaks based on phony "blight" declarations the BRA grants on mayor's orders, falsified property assessments our Assessing department provides to the developers, and falsified income data the developers file with the state. The Council knows nothing about most of these, because unlike the review process in other cities, our Council has been cut out of the review loop on most of these, and has no information even on the few they get to vote on.

That's what they should be looking at. When big developers pay their taxes, we can think about levying more burdens on homeowners, tenants, and small businesses. Of course, it's easier to talk about increasing our taxes than to investigate the mayor's tax-break racket. After all, who can refuse to pay more for "affordable housing and parks."

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Why not just give a little 0

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Why not just give a little 0.1% bump-bump-a-bump to property taxes on valuable office/corporate properties in the city and end up with far more scratch than this proposal would racket up by targeting middle class folks who actually live here?

Have these clowns ever played SimCity?

Oh yeah, ahahahahahaha...

*jumps in helicopter and flies out over the sky-line, cackling*

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As a small, Boston resident,

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As a small, Boston resident, owned business looking to purchase a small office I think that is a horrible idea. The commercial property rates are sky high and really prevent small businesses from owning the property their business is in. Now every time the lease is near the end we worry if we can stay or is our landlord going to sell to a developer who will not renew our lease. It's also one of the big reasons Newbury St is like every mall in America.
The city should make the large share of commercial property owners who don't pay taxes to pay their share.

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Can I Get That Day of My Life Back?

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I wish I knew this was your position before I made a jerk out of myself by standing at the Kent School campaigning for you all day. That's a big mistake I'll never make again. I can't say I wasn't warned (right ML?). Why not cut back on some city spending to get the money you're looking for? Stop handing out free everything to the current non-contributors to the tax base. I guess you need some cash to make this Widett Circle thing come to fruition.

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Open space?

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What does that mean specifically? Are they worried that suddenly Franklin Park is going to be rezoned for development? In my experience, this means people get used to vacant lots in their neighborhoods, or surface parking lots and they don't want more traffic and neighbors so fight development. That's not a good thing usually.

There's a lot of open space in Boston between the Emerald Necklace and various MDC properties (SW corridor, Esplanade, etc...)

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More affordable housing means

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a full employment act for the JP Neighborhood Development Corporation and others like them. But how would they make more parks? A lot of neighborhood open space used to be housing (in Roxbury, for example), and it would be nice for the neighborhoods to have housing there again. This seems pretty vague, except for the part about affordable housing.

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what am I missing?

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what's wrong with full employment at JPNDC? they do good work...period.

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Combining this discussion

Combining this discussion with an earlier one, why not put the 1% increase toward the city shoveling sidewalks?

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Because homeowners could hire

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Because homeowners could hire someone to shovel their sidewalk for a hell of a lot cheaper than a 1% increase in property tax, for one.

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Douche move

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Give GE a huge tax break and screw the middle class homeowners.

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Fine

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But i want all the Universities to start paying their fare ahare too.

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Give my property tax already

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Give my property tax already got raised almost 20% from 2015-2016, and the war chest of money the BRA is supposedly sitting on for "affordable" housing that developers have bribed them with to get out of the requirement, this seems pretty stupid. Also, why are industrial properties except? Technically How about a 1% city income tax to fund the MBTA expansion to Boston neighborhoods and to pay for more maintenance on the areas of the T that serve Boston?

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how about other cities and towns do their share FIRST?

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Boston provides almost 1/5 of the affordable housing in the entire state.

Before we ask Bostonians to pay more for affordable housing, how about we ask more from the cities/towns that DON’T provide affordable housing?

Chapter 40B asks all communities in the Commonwealth to make 10% of their housing affordable. Only 44 of 351 cities/towns do so. Why isn’t it a requirement? The only “penalty” is supposed zoning relief when affordable housing is proposed, but these towns put up expensive legal fights, making it near impossible.

I’ll vote for a CPA tax once I see that every city and town in MA also does their share.

Affordable housing inventory: www.mass.gov/hed/docs/dhcd/hd/shi/shiinventory.pdf
(2014, best I could find)

Cool map: www.massaffordablehomes.org/mahamap.html

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Because Brookline, Newton,

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Because Brookline, Newton, Weston, Milton, Wellesley, Lincoln, Concord, Lexington, etc. want to dump 'those people' on Boston and not take care of their own less fortunate.

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Hold on

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Lincoln is 40B compliant, one of the 44 communities that are.

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so are concord (10.4%) and

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so are concord (10.4%) and lexington (11.1%). Somerville is not though (9.7%).

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Thanks

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I will pulling Lincoln out of my brain. I was reading recently about the development of suburban Boston, and the author noted how the town has been able to maintain it's "rustic" charm (it really does have a bunch of farms and whatnot) while massing affordable housing in a few places, keeping sprawl from happening as best possible.

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Think about it. What is

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Think about it. What is Boston's housing share of the entire state? (your maps says 270,000 housing units) The reason you have 0% affordable units in places like Petersham, Royalston, New Salem, Savoy, etc. is because they have about 500 housing units TOTAL, each... and in some of those towns the roads aren't paved and there are very few jobs to be had - you have to DRIVE elsewhere. Which brings me to the next point - if someone needs affordable housing, they most likely need to have access to public transit.
OBVIOUSLY, the affordable housing is going to be where there is decent public transit (big cities like Boston, Worcester, Lowell; Amherst, Hadley, Holyoke - those three thanks to the 5 colleges) and higher housing AND population density. It makes no sense to have 50 affordable single-family houses on 2 acres each in Savoy or Peru. And it makes no sense to build apartments in those towns either.

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Public transit isn't so good

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Public transit isn't so good in Lowell. The buses generally run hourly until 6 pm, and don't run on Sundays. And there's the one commuter rail station, which isn't within walking distance of anything, and doesn't help you unless you work in downtown Boston.

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Wow, they give themselves a

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Wow, they give themselves a raise then want to tax all of us who didn't get a raise. I am still waiting for them to make the city council a 4 year term to save the city money. I voted for Flaherty every single time but he lost my vote for life.

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Because their taxes ARE going up

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The tax rate is not the same as tax payments.

Yes, you're correct about the tax rate, but that has nothing to do with what people actually pay in taxes - especially in a year like this, where the city did its state-mandated tri-annual revaluation.

Due to Prop. 2 1/2, we're basically playing a zero-sum game here: The TOTAL amount of taxes the city can take in each year from existing properties can't increase by more than 2.5% a year, more or less. What that means is that when the city revalues property, if somebody's property has skyrocketed in value, their taxes will go up, while somebody whose property doesn't appreciate all that much will see their taxes go down.

People in South Boston are getting hammered on taxes because their property values are escalating like nobody's business.

People who live in small houses on out-of-the-way streets in remote sections of Roslindale are seeing modest increases or even decreases because their houses are going up in value much more slowly (ask me how I know that).

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If you taxes are going up by 40%......

Then your property should be worth a hell of a lot more and if you refinanced you should save a bunch of money on the front end, maybe even make some money.

So while you may be baying 7.5K a year in taxes in 2016 compared to 5k a year in 2014, your property if you wanted to sell it is probably going to make you 100K-250K on that sale, and maybe a few hundred bucks off your monthly payment if you refinanced.

Long story short, if you are paying 40% more in property taxes, you made a great real estate deal with your property, you should be happy.

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Building more public transit would create more ......

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Access to the current affordable housing around the city that is less desirable since it isn't on transit lines ( like the entire length of Blue Hill Avenue). It would be more effective to focus on improving access to public transportation than trying to build affordable housing in what are the most expensive areas of the city to build in. And the first thing to do would be to make the Fairmount Line a rapid rail line instead of a commuter rail line. once enough public transportation capacity is added the cost of real estate overall inside the city would drop since you are spreading demand around to different neighborhoods instead of such high demand in a small number of neighborhoods. Why isn't this part of what the 1% tax increase is being proposed for?

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Why isn't this part of what

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Why isn't this part of what the 1% tax increase is being proposed for?

The state controls what real estate taxes a city can impose. This particular tax is being done as part of the Community Preservation Act.

Funds collected under the Community Preservation Act can only be spent on:

  • Open Space
  • Historic Preservation
  • Affordable Housing
  • Outdoor Recreation

So, this money cannot be spent on public transportation.

One thing to remember about the Community Preservation Act is that a municipality receives matching funds from the state. These funds come from deed recording fees that everyone pays. So, property owners in Boston pay deed recording fees, which go to fund these programs in other municipalities because we are not part of the Community Preservation Act.

So, as it stands, we pay a fee that goes to fund playgrounds and parks in Newton because they have this tax. If we also pay the tax, we'll begin to get the fees we pay going towards parks in our own city. Not going to pretend that is pretty, but it is how it works.

More information about the Community Preservation Act from the eternal advocate of the law.

Details on how the CPA currently transfers money from Boston to other communities in this Harvard Kennedy School report from 2007.

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so does this mean

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that money currently in the city budget for those 4 things, which would now receive a dedicated stream of revenue, would be reallocated to budget items without a dedicated revenue stream?

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City Council sever ties w/ outofdate stenograph services vendor?

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Should Boston City Council sever its ties with the usual grandfathered in out of date stenographic services vendor for a new vendor with more up to date technology/software ? Imagine a more interactive Boston City Council encouraging greater civic engagement with its Agendas. Gathering public feedback, comment, suggestions, questions in response to the remarks of City Councilors from the Stenograph Record can be facilitated using mechanisms like http://universalhub.com

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more taxes

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If all the residents of the city teamed-up and incorporated, then we could get the same tax breaks as GE! I think it is also ironic to see our council members worried about open space and parks, while the folks over at the BRA are constantly approving developments that further congest the city & tax (no pun intended) an already aging infrastructure. Typically, part of the developer's costs of such projects, like the recently proposed ones in West Roxbury have allocations that are supposed to go towards more affordable housing, not to mention green space improvements. Let's not forget the amounts collected (off the tax rolls) that all our esteemed universities contribute in lieu of taxes... where does the money really go? Anyone for a 1% property tax to help-out the T?

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Property tax earmarked for

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Property tax earmarked for transit improvements IN THAT NEIGHBORHOOD would be amazing. Start saving for extending the orange line, rapid-transiting the Fairmont, signal improvements on the green....

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Logistics before funding

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I'd be okay with this if there was some kind of hard, established plan to actually use the money. What will most likely happen is it gets passed, the money gets collected, stuck in a fund somewhere, and nobody knows what it's doing or if anything's happening with it. The BRA already has a fund that developers pay penalties into that's supposed to go towards affordable housing that does NOTHING and has no accountability attached to it. This is just going to be the same thing, except run by the city, so the two agencies couldn't even pool it together.

And open space, what exactly does this mean?

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Because Politics Means Never Having to Say Enough

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Maybe they should have raised this tax to pay for their raises?

Seriously though - the budget has increased 3.8% a year for the past 10 years - about twice the rate of inflation. How is it that these city's councilors can't make the city's ends meet? Did we just give those monster raises to people that are so incompetent that they can't get by on twice the income increase that every other company/household in America is managing with?

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1% of what?

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Just want to double-triple-confirm here:
Is this a 1% tax on the *assessed value of the property*? Or a 1% increase on the actual tax bill amount (which is what I read it as)? Because the latter I would support, but the former ... no effing way.

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Developer "incentives"?

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While a 1% tax hike for homeowners for a worthy outcome of more affordable housing etc. seems like a fair enough price to pay for those of us who are fortunate enough to own homes, I continue to wonder why the developers who are marketing the zillion dollar condos and rental units continue to receive corporate welfare that is called tax incentives. The marketing tools used to sell these properties are quick access to public transportation, public parks, high end restaurants etc. The taxpayer is subsidizing the MBTA debt and is now being asked to contribute yet more to keep our city vibrant and attractive to the folks who are displacing so many from their homes. GE, Millenium Partners et al could go a long way in making a dent in the T's financial woes. Just sayin'

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But what about

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tenants of properties in Boston whom will likely have landlords pass that off on to them. Many of which are already having a hard time not being priced out of neighborhoods.

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Decrease development costs and dubious increases

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1. Speed up the permitting process. ISD continues to take unreasonably long amounts of time to issue long form building permits.

2. Eliminate details. These details are paid by developers (and utility and governments as well). They are an unecessary drain on the cost of building (besides a legal form of graft).

3. Is the development process genuinely competitive? In some areas it's not. Guarranteed wages through union contracts prevent wage competition. While this does not favor union members it favors decreasing the costs of building housing. Are developers acting in a competitive environment or is the development process itself solidified by guarranteed costs (details, union rates, permitting costs and developer's profits) that there is room for competition?

4. Determine where the monies raised from rentals for yearly registrations is going. Is this money used to improve ISD? See item 1 to answer that question. Therefore where is this money going to?

Why this 1% bump is dubious.

Walsh, BRA et al. have demonstrated have no interest in historic preservation. Destruction of the Home for Little Wanderers and the upcoming destruction of the Old North Avenue bridge demonstrate this point.

What is the plan for directing the extra funds? None other than vague claims of improving this or that. What prevents the funds from being used for election year improvements: repaving roads that don't need repavement and calling that historic preservation? Pouring money into replacing sidewalks that are fine and claiming that is improving open spaces?

Considering that many home owners took a hit on their incomes by having to pay more in absolute dollars in their property taxes the timing of this suggestion suggests the Coucilors are tone deaf to the needs of constituents who will be hit by first the increase in property taxes - that includes home owners and renters in buildings where the property taxe is already at full boat (landlords who are making a profit will not sacrifice the profit to pay additional taxes - they will increase the rents, and possibly by a larger per centage since the point is to earn a profit).

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I want to expand on my

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I want to expand on my previous post (2nd anon up top--2/9 at 626).
So yes, of course the tax increase is due to the City finally getting their acts together and assessing properties at their actual market rate.
and yes its great my home has increased in value, but it does me no good unless I try to sell. And it doesnt end up helping if Im trying to buy another home anyway.

But here is the important issue, the City is receiving 25 to 40% more funding for many, many, many areas of the City. Why is nobody talking about this increased revenue and how the City plans to use it. and why the F are they trying to ask for MORE and not being called out on it???!!!

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Voting is closed. 13

Assessments

Yes! Exactly, anon. They're already getting more from us because home values have gone up. And now they want even more than that. I don't think they can be trusted with more.

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Voting is closed. 13

So making it more exoensive will make it cheaper.

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Help me understand this. By raising the cost of owning a home will make it cheaper to live here?

We pay an enormous amount in taxes already. While some may say well then you must be rich, it's just not true.
I haven't moved in years but my neighborhood has increased in value tremendously. It's a double-edged sword. We're happy to have a nice nest egg, but the taxes are becoming unaffordable. I don't want a Florida of CA system but I think relying on the property tax is regressive and hurts long term residents who find themselves in gentrifying neighborhoods. . I'm all for increasing the housing supply but this is not the way to do it.

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Voting is closed. 16

It's $30 a year on average

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(from what I read)

That works out to less than $3 a month. If you have a mortgage, your escrow goes up to cover insurance and taxes. Would you really notice the extra $3 a month?

Now, what that money would really do, that should be the issue. And, of course, if it is really just $3 a month on average.

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Voting is closed. 16