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Boston could vote next year on raising real-estate taxes to build affordable housing

Mayor Menino today released his proposal for getting 30,000 new housing units built in Boston over the next seven years at a combined public and private cost of $16 billion.

Although the bulk of the units would come through easing construction of market-rate apartments, the mayor is also proposing a 2014 referendum on enacting the state's Community Preservation Act, which would let the city add a 1% surcharge on local real-estate taxes to be dedicated to an affordable-housing fund.

Menino is also proposing a $1.5-billion revolving fund to help middle-class residents stay in this increasingly expensive city.

In addition to selling off vacant city property for housing, the mayor is also proposing an increase in the linkage fees developers of large projects now pay into a BRA fund designed to build affordable housing in the city.

In the report (attached below), the mayor writes:

Boston has a smaller middle class than the state or the nation, and our middle class is increasingly squeezed as house prices rise at double the rate that incomes are growing. The middle class is being priced out of homeownership in more and more neighborhoods, and is increasingly in competition with lower-wage workers for housing in the more affordable neighborhoods.

Boston's nation-leading inventory of 52,000 units of affordable housing is increasingly at risk, due to declining federal operating support for public housing, capital obsolescence and expiring affordability restrictions. ...

In a new American economy where education is the most valuable resource, Boston is better positioned for growth than most cities in the country. Yet high housing costs could pose a serious obstacle to Boston's ability to capitalize on these educational advantages. If an unaffordable housing market drives our new graduates away to more affordable parts of the country, Boston's employers will not have the skilled workforce that they need to grow Boston's economy.

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Comments

Seems like an act more suited to demolishing a house than building it

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I firmly support the drive to build more affordable housing, but can we get off this nonsense about housing prices driving our graduates out of Boston? If that's the case, why do they all move to NYC and SF, the only places that are MORE expensive than Boston, and not Houston? Let's build affordable housing AND try to keep graduates in the city and not pretend that one will lead to the other. So, build apartments, and change the fact that is effectively illegal/impossible to open a bar in Boston.

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because at least in those cities the great expense of living at least puts you in a dynamic, 24 hour city that doesnt think "innovation" is something you put in a district with that district being comprised of ugly office buildings and chain restaurants. Boston is boring if you are young. Very very boring.

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That's what Alex was getting at.

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i moved here from SF, SF is not even CLOSE to a 24 city. The trolleys stop early, the bars close between 12 and 2. Miami or Chicago are much closer to a 24 hour city than SF. SF is a glorified suburb.

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Miami maybe is more 24 hours, but SF has many many more late night eats (and even a nightclub) that is open afterhours. But more than the late night stuff, or the bars, Im talking about an animated culture. Boston does not have that. You cant even have a god damn "hemp fest" here without ginned up controversy.

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Last I visited San Francisco I thought it was a snooze fest! Full of snotty wealthy types and everyone seemed overly concerned with themselves. The restaurants were crazy expensive and not so great. Seemed to be more of a sprawling suburb than a proper city. Manhattan and Chicago on the other hand... had a blast! Plenty to do and you get people of all types from all over the world who are more interested in what's going on in the city rather than how they look and who they are.

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I have never heard "because Boston is boring" given as the reason why a young person is moving away.

Too expensive and too cold (both climate and personality-wise), yes, because the techie ecosystem on the West Coast has more opportunity, but never "because Boston too boring".

And this notion that "they're all moving to NYC and SF" is crap. That might apply to a couple of high-profile fashion or techie types (that we read about in Scott Kirsner's column), but most of the youngins who move away from here (particularly to the NYC area) are moving back in with their parents so they can save money (or at least avoid expenses). Of course, this decision is much easier considering that many of today's helicopter parents are just fine with that.

Finally, it should go without saying that any "affordable housing" that might be built will be designed to "keep middle class families in the city" not to house recently-graduated 20-somethings. It might help slow graduate flight to the extent that lots of such families currently living in apartments in A-B and other 20-something havens will move into the new housing, but I don't think that we're talking about meaningful numbers there.

Now if we substituted "build new housing" for "open a bar" in the post above, we might be on to something.

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But in the past year I can count no less than 5 people who are in their 20's who have moved to NYC to pursue lives. They are people in music and design who feel stifled here. You can choose not to believe it and maybe Boston should just give it up an accept that is is a giant campus for those who work in the medical and educational fields. Thats not a terrible fate, but it does diminish the attractiveness of the city for the young in favor of the older more conservative slices of our society.

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Ok, now that makes a bit more sense. Feeling "stifled" in two very particular areas (I hope it works out for them in NYC, because if not, where are they going to go, Milan?) is understandable. Not every city can be a hub for every profession or pursuit.

But why do you suggest that work in the medical (and particularly life sciences) and educational fields the exclusive domain of the older and more conservative?

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I've known people who've moved to NY/LA for specific job fields, more education, or just to fuck off and find themselves for a few years. But not everyone does. There's a few industries where it's a requirement.

Most of my college friends and post college firends have left the state and they've gone to the south/southwest (few to VT, Colorado) chiefly because the cost of living allows them to raise a family in middle class comfort. Pay isn't much better or worse (cost of living adjustments went away with pensions), but when you can buy a home for 1/2 the price as in Mass with a 15-20 min commute...

And no, this isn't a Boston problem. It's a Massachusetts problem for anyone without work/a commute out around Springfield or Hartford.

Boomer wealth is only going to be around as long as they are, especially when their children are setting up families 1000's of miles away.

When prices are up 100% over 8 years, wages haven't kept up, and the town passes a new bylaw requiring 3 acres to plop a house down; don't be surprised when little Johhny can't afford to raise a family close by.

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In my experience, though only 2 years out of BU, is our actions is based more on work/education-on-that-field than how exciting SF/NYC/LA/Miami. If I base from what I see from my peers from BU, high school, and others met somehow from other schools is we are not moving to NYC because it's the exciting city as a primary reason. Instead, it's because that person majored in Finance. The same goes for other majors going to respective hub cities (thus a good chunk of people I know who majored CS and pre-med remain in Boston - though I do want to know some keeps plans to go to other cities if the circumstances arrives).

The other major pattern to leaving the state is they go back home to the parents (also apply to my HS acquaintances who went to college, thus home is here). It's not contradicting the above because the difference I'm noticing is they are having trouble finding a job in their field.

Going by that, I think retention for MA matters more with jobs (and things cheap enough for quality of life) than excitement (at least until we really see the economy picks up). If excitement was the bigger determining factor, more of us would be going to Miami. The bigger reason some peers are going to SF is because they found a job there. The niceness of the city is a side benefit.

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I spent my entire 20's here and loved every second. Well, not every second, I didn't have many friends at the age of 20 here. But it's not Boston's fault that I didn't have friends.

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sadly they move to Kentucky...

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A quick way to get this going would be for Menino to start being a proponent of height, the Goverment Center garage people just lopped off a bunch of floors, and in the Fenway a developer was mocked by Menino for proposing to build a residential building as tall as the one across the street. Allowing height at the aquarium garage would be beneficial for increasing housing, even if Menino has some personal disagreement with the developer. Emerson recently backed off a plan too. If developers could know they can build tall in Boston, especially downtown and in dense neighborhoods, a lot more housing could be created. When was the last project that was proposed that Menino didnt get the developer to shrink? We need a mayor to stand tall and make the case to residents that density is good for the city (i.e. be a leader).

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Whee r gunna git u suckahs!

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There is a problem about building high structures in boston, the main complaint is that tall buildings create shadows to their abutters, and there is a law about this subject.

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Sounds logical: raise taxes on people, give tax breaks to corporations such as Millennium Partners.

http://www.bizjournals.com/boston/real_estate/2013...

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So we are going to make the city less affordable for those of us that pay taxes to make it more affordable for those that do not.

And the fat guy wonders why the non-politically connected members middle class are getting squeezed out of the city?

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Raise already outrageous housing costs another 1% to make the cost of housing less outrageous. I see no problem here.

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Affordable to whom?

Boston's housing market by and large isn't "affordable" to people who make a median income because so much of it is rental property and so little new construction is happening except in the ultra-luxury end of the market.

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1.5 billion to make 50k middle class units.

that divides out to $300k a unit, base price, assuming before developer/realtor markup, etc. I bet these sell for at least 500k, if not 600+

Same story as Menino's "affordable innovation apartments that recent grads will be able to afford". At 1700+/mo, I imagine you'd need to make at least 60k to scrape by, if not more. Most entry-level positions seem to pay about 35-50. makes perfect sense.

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Boston desperately needs thousands of affordable rental units. Talking about buying a home to someone who has been living paycheck to paycheck for years is ridiculous.

And my rent is $1750, the cheapest rent I could find in the city. I live in a 2 bedroom with my 3 kids. I sleep on a sofa, so does the eldest kid. Our combined family income is $1956/month from SSDI. We eat from the food pantry, use public transport, go nowhere, do nothing other than watch TV.

Oh, and I don't qualify for foodstamps, tanf, subsidized housing etc. because I make too much money. I really NEED to have affordable rentals available to me.

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If you are on SSDI and don't work just why is it you need to live in the state's most expensive city? Proximity to healthcare? Otherwise you should look into places like Lowell if you want city living on a better budget. You also should quality for many programs. I see and know plenty of people that make more money than you do and are on assistance.

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Proximity to health care is one issue - cost of a car in outlying areas is another. It is difficult to live even in places like Lowell without a car.

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How in the world is $1,750 the cheapest rent for a two bedroom you could find in the city? I was paying $1,300 for a two-bedroom in JP, and I know people who rent in Roslindale for less than that.

And I haven't even looked at prices in East Boston or Dorchester, which I am sure are cheaper on average than JP or Rosi.

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Or walk a half mile to a bus, that's pretty usual.

$1300? Seriously? How many years ago was that? I don't even think a 2br in Medford anywhere near transit has gone for that in less than 15 years. My 2br in Arlington Heights rented for $1300 when we left - in 1998!

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I lived there 2011-2013. It also came with an off-street parking space.

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Where was the nearest public transit?

What was your relationship to person you were renting from (including knowing a relative of the person you rented from)?

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But whatever I don't live there anymore.

It was across the street from the Murphy Playground/Mission Hill school, so right in between Forest Hill and Green, and the 39 bus ran up South Street.

I had no prior relationship or connection to the landlord, I just answered an add on Craigslist.

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he/she had a special relationship with the landlord to keep rent down?

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Renting from a friend's parents? Or your uncle?

That sort of thing is generally how you get rent that cheap. Sounds like somebody just got really lucky in this case.

Which doesn't mean that same landlord would have even rented to a person on SSDI with three kids ...

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There are elderly landlords of 1-2 properties out there who value other things besides more income. The mortgage is long paid off so they don't need high rent income, especially if they don't have kids wanting the money. These landlords value good, trouble free tenants they like, who don't complain or want lots of maintenance, perhaps even taking care of minor things themselves. Do the landscaping and snow removal etc..

Its harder to find these landlords. Word of mouth, local papers, or the Globe are more where they will put ads, not craigslist. They don't want to put much effort into finding tenants, so listing with a Realtor is attractive. The problem with Realtors is they get more commission the higher the rent and push for higher rents, even if the landlord isn't greedy.

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This is exactly my situation. Been here since I moved to Boston. Rent remains at $1400 for a 2BR in Brighton near the B Line, off street parking, laundry in basement, guest bedroom & ample storage in the attic.

I'm basically helping them save away for the grandkids to go to college.

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The Community Preservation Act Law...if a 1% surtax is added by popular vote, the law reads that 10% must be spent on each: affordable housing, openspace, and historic preservation. 5% can be used for overhead to run the program, so that leaves 65% to be divided between the 3 programs. What I'm saying is there is no guarantee that the 1% CPA tax will go toward affordable housing.

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In Cambridge, the lobbyists for the affordable housing nonprofits make sure they get the maximum subsidies from the CPA.

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and that's NYC, more specifically Manhattan. Miami? Maybe, but not to the degree of NYC. L.A., America's second largest city, 2AM closing time. Ditto S.F.

I'm amused by posters and others who generally come from no where special, usually a small suburban town, complaining about Boston/Metro Boston being boring.

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to Las Vegas

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It's an adult theme park - at least the parts you are talking about.

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Two huge parts to the problem:

Build a large project and the city tells you 15% of it has to be "affordable". So what happens? The developer could build 200 units - make a decent return on investment and move on. But the city steps in and says - you must make 15% affordable - so now the developer has to either raise the price or sell more market rate units to make roughly same amount of money and give about 30 units away for no profit or even a loss. The "affordable" housing drives up the cost of market housing by 15-20% for everyone else (and really doesn't make housing any more affordable because now you have pushed people that maybe could have afforded the expensive properties into the next geographic ring and drive up the prices there).

Second - add on the high costs of local union labor and you add another 15-20% to the cost of housing - last time I checked union carpenters were making a significant premium over what we pay teachers on an hourly basis - I'm sure plumbers and electricians are a lot higher than that even (a developer acquaintance told me it costs $100 per sf more to build a high rise in Boston compared to Toronto excluding land. If materials are roughly the same - that leaves labor as the variable).

Fix those two problems and you are 90% of the way to a solution.

Add in easier permitting, more predictable as of right zoning and you get almost 100% of the way home.

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We have plenty of affordable housing, but it's in areas people consider too crime riden too live. People are leaving the city to have kids and moving to the burbs because they have good schools and safe streets. Meanwhile rents in the crime ridden areas of the city stay low and attract section 8 tenants. We all can't live in the trendy parts of the city.....if the mayor could elliminate crime in areas of Roxbury, Dorchester, Mattapan, Hyde Park, and Roslindale there are plenty of affordable areas to live. Two bedrooms from $1200-$1800 a month. Also student loans are preventing young professionals from purchasing homes....no idea how to solve that one.

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This is the same mayor who, along with his BRA, oversaw massive conversion of Boston's apartments to condos 10 years ago and called it progress and stability. The same one who is currently promoting new developments with $1,700 one-bedroom rentals. His policy should either include killing his evil twin, or an apology to the many people who warned of gentrification while he told them they were just crazy people who hate change.

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Why is housing expensive in Boston? From today's Globe article on the Mayor's proposal.

The average development cost per unit in city-assisted projects in the early 2000s was $259,000, according to the housing report. In the last four years, the average jumped 41 percent to $365,000. Private development costs have soared 87 percent, from $302,000 per unit in the early 2000s to $566,000 over the last four years. Getting cooperation from unions and developers to help build below-market-rate housing will be no easy task.

There is plenty of land in Boston on which to build housing that would be affordable to many residents. There is not plenty of land in the one square mile we call downtown Boston.

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How can construction costs be reduced when workers have to pay $20-$30 a day on parking for their trucks with tools, and materials blocks away from a site? You need to pay workers more to put up with the extra cost and hassle of trying to work in the city when they have none of it working on jobs outside the city. Few workers will risk leaving their tools on a site to get stolen so they can bike to a city job site from their home in Pembroke or wherever.

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are there that many construction jobs building residential/commercial towers outside the city?

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There is plenty of opportunities outside the city and they don't have to be towers.

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Hate to break it to you but contractors are supposed to pay for on street permits or be reimbursed for parking by developers.

Requiring parking with new developments significantly increases the cost. Cars take up a lot of space and accommodating them is very expensive.

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The City is sitting on many seized and other properties that can fund programs. They also don't need to raise taxes to cut the regulations that make housing more expensive.

Allowing Emerson to build more floors of dorm housing will free up the most affordable housing that students grab up. Too bad for some shadow on the little used part of the Common! There is no such thing as new and affordable. If you want affordable, its old and dumpy. Cheap is old, dumpy, and in bad neighborhoods.

Want to get investment in Dot and Mattapan so more middle class families with kids will live there? Don't allow use of section 8 rent vouchers in high crime neighborhoods. Crime will then go down there so developers and middle class families can move in.

Fix the preservation rules so 10% doesn't have to go to preservation and open space. Historic preservation declarations are an attractive tax break for owners which turn into near permanent road block to future re-development, or even the slightest changes and improvements.

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Otherwise, it's going to become a great reason for landlords to cite when raising rents the following year.

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This was the comment I was waiting for - adding anything to real estate taxes is encouraging the melting glacier that IS the real estate problem in Boston. Landlords are either going to cause a ruckus about the increase in their real estate taxes, or in the back of their minds, they'll just up rent again next year, causing an even greater rift in class warfare in this city based on the dichotomy surrounding wage freezes and rent increases. I hate that politicians aren't saying anything about this because it's a huge issue in most of the neighborhoods of Metro Boston - median rent increase in the North End, for example, soared 30% in a single year. Ask City Hall why that happened...

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I'm lucky I can afford it. What is a landlord supposed to tell someone who can't though?

"Too bad, now GTFO!"?

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that's basically what happens, because there is 50 people who will pay that much more for that apt.

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Rent control does nothing but incentive people to not move when they otherwise would. That perversely screws up the availability of rental units and drives up the cost of anything new or available. Hong Kong and New York are poster children for what rent control does to the affordability of housing.

Rent Control also lowers property values, kills property taxes, stymies new development, and worst of all leads to neglected properties. When a landlord can't make a profit from a rent controlled property the first they thing do is defer maintenance.

A few years thereafter gallons of paint thinner are introduced to a match. See Boston 1972-1989 for details.

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Although, if landlords do proper checks, and find good tenants, not just the first qualified ones they come across, then I don't see how this is bad. Why wouldn't you want good tenants to never move? Especially if they pay their rents on time, don't let the property fall in to disrepair itself, and are productive members of the community.

What's wrong with letting property values come down? If they come down enough, more people can purchase. If more people own properties in the city, then more people will want the neighborhoods to stay safe, healthy, productive and vibrant.

The constant raising of taxes and rents is just continuing to squeeze middle class residents. Why keep juicing money out of those who make too much money to live in affordable units, but not enough to buy a home?

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"What's wrong with letting property values come down? If they come down enough, more people can purchase."

Who in their right mind would invest any capital in an investment which only depreciates? Look to Detroit, Baltimore, St. Louis, Philadelphia, etc. to see what happens to neighborhoods with declining property values. People aren't buying property. They are abandoning it!

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I'm thinking more along the lines of having properties reach affordable levels (for a majority of people, not just those at extremely low income levels), then increasing at a much slower rate than they currently are. It doesn't seem right that people are paying over $300k for a studio on Comm. Ave. Having property costs, and rentals, stay in line with the 3% people commonly get for pay increases (at my company 3% is the average) is what I'd like to see.

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Bending the curve and allowing wags to catch up is the proper way to go about it.

You never want contractions in economics.

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1) Do a Bing on financial crisis and property bubble to see what happens when property values fall (or see 101 above). People end up underwater and walk away. See prior articles on Hendry Street also for more local flavor.

2) Boston can only tax to the amount of 2.5% of the total value of our property. We are currently approaching 2% and rising up until about this year or last where it has leveled off at least temporarily. If property values fall while taxes continue to rise we lose the ability to raise property taxes except on new property - which is about 50% or more of Boston's annual incremental revenue each year.

What happens - at least in Boston - catastrophe.

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Raise taxes on middle class to raise money for more section 8 housing (in middle-class neighborhoods, obviously, not in uber-NIMBY back bay or beacon hill,) what a great way to keep middle-class folks in the city. Why don't we get rid of residential exemption as well while we're at it? To hell with poor Joe Sixpack who's been busting his ass for 10 years, finally bought a little shack in Roslindale and will now lose it because he can't afford the taxes, we gotta save the underprivileged!

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If you give people a break on their taxes, they can spend more on their mortgage - which, as long as they have a little extra for the down payment - means they bid more for their homes.

Think about it - three families can spend $2000 per month for housing. Now you give them a $200 tax break. One guy says - oh good, I'll spend $1800 a month on housing and pocket the tax break. The other family says, you know what - I really want the house so I'll bid an extra $20k and spend $1900 for the house. Family three says - well, we budgeted $2000 - let's just spend it and bids $40k more than family one and $20k more than family two. Guess who gets the house? That drives up the cost of buying, which drives more people on the margin to rent which drives up rents. Vicious circle.

The residential exemption is NOT a good law - but it's an easy sell for politicians.

(and for the record - the taxes don't go away - most of them get shifted onto landlords who aren't eligible who ultimately pass it on to their tenants)

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Quite the contrary - that $1600 a year is nothing but a drop in the bucket for the $500K+ crowd and wouldn't affect their buying strategies whatsoever, but it makes a huge difference for the recent grads who are barely making ends meet trying to buy their first $200K shoebox.

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You actually make my point for me. If you don't give them the break on the taxes the buyers of the $200k home will still spend the same amount on housing each month. But instead of say $1100 to the mortgage and $100 to taxes, it breaks out $1000 to mortgage and $200 to taxes. That means they are taking out a lower loan and need a smaller down payment to get in the home if you get rid of the residential exemption.

For the bigger home - proportionately the exemption has less value (and as a matter of fact if you eliminated the exemption it would only increase the taxes about $500 on the expensive home - but about $1500 on the $200k home - but as noted doesn't matter because especially at that level it's more about monthly payment than actual price which is highly dependent on the amount of leverage available to the buyer).

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Has it ever occurred to you that you can't magically find a cheaper house so you can have a lower mortgage in order to be able to pay higher taxes when dealing with the lower end of the housing market and prospective buyers earning under $50k a year? That $150 a month buys approximately $30K worth of mortgage - it's still possible to find a $180-200K condo that would be affordable with $50k income if one looks hard enough, but $150K condos simply don't exist around here. But hey, to hell with all those plebes, let them rot with roommates for the rest of their lives, right?

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... but more a "libertarian".

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That's exactly the point - the reason $150k condos don't exist is because the savings on taxes are used to take out a bigger mortgage and bid the $150k condos to $200k and the $200k condos get bid up to $250k (without going into the math - there's less of a benefit on the higher end, so the impact is probably a lot less in both relative and absolute proportions - as usual- those that need help the most get hurt the most by misguided government programs).

And thank you Michael - libertarian is probably a better description - although I'm sure any libertarian would have a huge issue with my gun control stance - so I would probably prefer "Practical Libertarian" - recognizing that government has a greater role in some social regulations.

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A 400K house in Westwood is paying 5-6K a year in taxes, while the same property in Brookline or Boston is paying 2.5-4K a year in taxes.

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It mainly has to do with creating 25,000 more luxury apartments, and then a smattering of 5,000 "affordable" units. for middle-class folks. You didn't read the article.

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A city with a lot of housing for the wealthy is what is needed by those dependent on public benefits. The wealthy buy more expensive houses and therefore pay more taxes and require fewer public services. So the wealthy have the means (if not always the motivation) to support the poor. Whereas, the middle class in the city doesn't have the income to support the poor. So a city that is home only to the rich and to the poor is what those living in poverty need.

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Im against more affordable housing.
This means more section 8 people coming into the area and that's going to need more of my tax money to pay for these people.
If you want costs to go down, you have to stop stressing the resources we have. Water, electric, gas, are all expensive because the supply cannot keep up in this area.
Inviting more EBT users doesn't add value to the area or make the area more attractive to high end employers. We don't need to be a McDonalds / WalMart employment zone.
The mayor needs to focus on improving utility supply, transportation, and lowering taxes, not building more burden on society.

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Ok. You do realize that utilities are regulated monopolies with some price controls - right? Or did your neighbor outbid you for that last heating season and dryer load?

Also, Section 8 is a federally funded program regardless of where people with vouchers end up.

Water is expensive because the Federal Government set strict standards and handed out money to meet them - only the MDC was in charge at that time and never applied for it. Then a judge stepped in human fecal waste on a local beach and set the legal enforcement machinery in motion to get Boston to stop dumping raw sewage directly into the harbor. By the time MA was forced to put in the proper congressionally-mandated treatment facilities, the Federal handouts to build them were long over. So, water is expensive because MA forgot for a time that it wasn't MS and massively screwed up.

Do you even know how any of this works?

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Utilities and the way we have paid for them change.
I pay Federal taxes.
I think your proving my point.
Perhaps you should be less defeative and work to elect officials that can reduce costs of services, utilities, and increase employment levels and wages.

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You support a $15 minimum wage, right?

If you want people off of welfare and out of section 8, it's the sure fire way to do so and shrink government services. Their new found demand will also create more jobs and economic opportunity in the city.

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Not really. Employers have the same pool of money to pay people. If it costs more per employee he company will employ fewer people through automation or loading up the remaining staff with a busier workload. This has happened throughout history.

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but this seems relevant:

http://www.slate.com/blogs/moneybox/2013/09/07/de_...

You can start to get into very complicated neighborhood-level discussions of amenities and spillovers and the difference between gentrification and displacement and all the rest, but I really think it's important to start at the simplest level. If you have a city whose geographical boundaries aren't expanding, and that city is located in a country whose population is growing, and that city is also a global destination in a world whose population is growing, and if quality of life in that city is improving in terms of safer streets and better transportation and schools, then there are really only two things that can happen. One thing that can happen is that the quantity of physical structures inside the boundaries of that city can increase, in order to accommodate the increasing number of people who would like to live there. The other is that the fixed pool of physical structures inside the boundaries of that city can all get bought up by the richest people around.

There's no other way around it. You can try to keep Brooklyn affordable by making Brooklyn a place where nobody wants to live (Detroit is very affordable) but if it's going to be a place where people want to live, then it will only be affordable if new buildings are built. There's a lot of possible nuance around taxes and affordable housing set-asides and inclusionary zoning and all the rest and it's great for politicians to debate that stuff. But at the end of the day, if you've succeeded in making your city a place where people want to live and work then you need to allow for the construction of places for people to live and work. People who can't see past their desire to emotionally affiliate with the anti-business side of an argument to see that have no business running a city.

Simply put it we need to build and we needed to be doing this 15 years ago.

The economic prosperity left on the table for everyone due to the loss growth potential isn't worth a few NIMBYS worried about their views, or a few misguided progressives who can't get over the facts of pretty simple market economics that have nothing to do the actual developers pockets.

By not building we're giving up more housing, slower rising property values (more affordable housing), and economic growth. Lets open the floodgates.

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Individuals in Boston was quietly sitting in the room, and he just happens to be in real estate development.

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Whenever I visit my friends in SF, SD, NY, Chicago, or Florida, I always find myself saying how great those places are and how I kind of wish I lived in those places.

But then when those same friends come to Boston from those places, they say the same thing about Boston and how awesome it is.

Ok, maybe my friend from San Diego loves it there more, but does anyone have anything bad to say about San Diego ever?

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Their last mayoral election didn't turn out very well...

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But that's a person not a place.

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Said every time he went to a party everyone there spent the whole time looking at themselves in the mirror.

He moved back to NY after about a year.

I've been there several times and enjoy visiting the city but not sure it would be such a great place to live. I'm biased -but I love the history, the seasons and many other things about Boston.

only two other places I'd consider would be DC and SF (but too expensive!).

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