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Bubbling Boston budget brouhaha

CommonWealth Beacon takes a look over disagreements about how the city should deal with a declining office-space market - and the resulting potential loss of property taxes.

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Comments

Is Kenzie Bok the administrator of the Boston Housing Authority or a Wu campaign spokesperson? That line seems very blurred here.

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Voting closed 29

family has a true "Monica Nutt" moment.

Her statement that the city needs to raise the full amount allowed by prop 2 1/2 to preserve the revenue in the future is disrespectful of ALL taxpayers and is reprehensible.

There should be no place for this type of irresponsible behavior has no place in government.

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Voting closed 16

If the city falls as we take down North End pizzerias, so be it.

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Something must have prompted a normally low key former elected to write that letter that purposely misconstrues the Research Bureau's position. i'm interested to learn.

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But someone else is.

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Have no smart think tank members or former city councilors thought about conversion of formerly commercial space to residential space, thus still bringing in taxes, just not at the higher commercial rate?

If we are hurting for housing, and all that's being built is either those cookie cutter apt buildings or high end top of South Station stock, wouldn't this be a boon to the city. Not only in tax collection but in creating commerce in these areas for the new residents.

I don't see how the center can hold if the rate is raised on already half empty commercial spaces. It feels like that will accelerate the loss of even more commercial tenants, since taxes can be passed thru.

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Unfortunately, it's all luxury apartments. Good luck with that.

It's only a matter of time before Boston goes the way of Detroit, I think.

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The city has a pilot that gives landlords who do such conversions (and agree to, I think, 20% of the units being sold or rented as "affordable") a pretty significant tax break. And there have been some takers.

Part of the problem is that conversion can be costly. Just think of office restrooms vs. bathrooms in individual apartments (a single' men's room and women's room per floor vs. bathrooms in every apartment) and all the plumbing needed to convert the former into the latter. There's probably something similar with heating and AC.

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Voting closed 29

Any developer who has a workable plan to convert office space to basically anything else will get city approval. But such conversations are expensive and difficult so there's little interest from developers.

And even if the city approves a proposal, it's going to be years before the conversion is ready for tenants so that doesn't solve the immediate tax problems.

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What about from everyone according to their abilities?

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doesn't leave you much of anywhere, does it

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Cut out the positions of climate chief and nightlife czar, that will save $300,000 - 400,000. The climate is fine(it's a beautiful day out today) and so-called nightlife in Boston isn't going anywhere unless the state relinquishes its stranglehold on Boston liquor licenses.

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Voting closed 17