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. Read more.
In addition to four statewide ballot questions, Boston voters are deciding whether to add a surcharge to property tax bills to pay for more affordable housing and improvements to local parks and historical sites. Read more.
City Councilors Andrea Campbell (Roxbury) and Michael Flaherty (at large), say that for an average of about $23 per resident a year, Boston would be able to build more housing for people being priced out of the city - and help upgrade city parks and historic sites. Councilor Bill Linehan, however, is not sure he buys it. Read more.
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 buy and maintain open space. Read more.
City Councilors Bill Linehan (South Boston, South End, Chinatown) and Steve Murphy (at large) will try once again to persuade the state legislature to let Boston residents over 55 who meet certain income requirements defer parts of their property tax until they sell their homes.
Linehan says the matter is even more urgent now that the city has come out with revised property assessments, which he said are really hitting long-time residents of his district hard - he said he himself has seen his quarterly tax bill rise $200 due to the latest assessments.
Councilor Bill Linehan (South Boston, South End, Chinatown) tomorrow asks the City Council to consider a proposal that would let people over 55 who have lived in their homes at least ten years defer payment of their city property tax until they sell the property or die.
In his request for a hearing on the matter, Linehan says the measure would let longtime residents stay in their homes even as their property taxes skyrocket due to the effect of the well off snapping up all the properties around them at ever escalating prices.
City councilors Steve Murphy (at large) and Bill Linehan (South Boston, South End) today will propose setting a limit on how much a homeowner's property taxes can rise from one year to the next.
The two argue that residents in areas undergoing gentrification are being unduly burdened by the fact that as foreclosed and distressed properties get renovated, their property values - and so their property taxes - are going up too fast. In a request for a hearing on a "circuit breaker" provision, they add:
Chris Faraone examines the implications of Boston's heavy reliance on the property tax for income.
At least, when it comes to reimbursing Boston for city services.
A new report by the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy in Cambridge looks at "payments in lieu of taxes" negotiated between some municipalities and their non-profit, non-property-tax paying landowners. Boston collects more of these payments than any other city in the country (and Massachusetts has much more cities collecting them than any other state), but because they're negotiated separately, the amount each local institution pays varies considerably.
Three reasons: Property values continue to sink, commercial development continues to escalate, and Tom Menino got legislation passed that changed the way residential and commercial tax revenue related to each other (until this year, state law barred Boston from reducing residential tax income unless it did the same for commercial properties).
Gail Spector comes back from a trip to Syracuse, NY with two main impressions: Sure, houses are a lot cheaper there, but property taxes are so much higher, like $7,000 a year on $200,000 home.
Of course, that's just an average. While the taxes on our humble Colonial in Roslindale will go down about 8% (must be the "semi-modern" bathroom the city thinks we have), Kevin McCrea says the taxes on the properties he owns in the South End and Roxbury are going up between 17 and 30 percent:
Tomorrow, in West Roxbury, Gibran Rivera is holding a community meeting on property taxes. Gibran is running to represent West Roxbury and Jamaica Plain (District 6) in the Boston city council. To be discussed are the estimated doubling of residential property taxes over the next five years, and why a minority of properties (47%) bear all of the city's property tax responsibility.
When: Thursday, November 3, 7:00PM
Where: Theodore Parker Unitarian Church, 1859 Centre St., West Roxbury