Ed. note: Post updated to clarify that the ruling was only on the poles between 2005 and 2009.
The Massachusetts Appeals Court ruled today that Verizon does not owe Boston $5.3 million in back taxes on its poles and wires over a four-year period.
The court said 150 years of telephone-related legislation in Massachusetts has consistently excluded overhead wiring along public ways from the personal-property tax - even as legislators have let cities and towns tax wiring that snakes under public ways.
The question became moot for future years in 2010, when the law was changed, city officials say.