Why should those of us who were fortunate enough, through no effort of our own, to have our properties appreciate in value many times more than we ever dreamed possible, due to what the entire community has done to change Somerville for the better, not share a teeny portion (1%) of the incredible, unearned additional wealth we have received here in Somerville, so that working people can stay here and continue to live here? The transfer fee proceeds are necessary for City workers, teachers, social workers, middle class people to get the subsidy they need to buy even a condo in Somerville now. Do you want Somerville in 20 years to be mostly rich people? Quite simply the alternative to raising large amounts of money to support affordable housing, and especially to take housing out of the private for-profit market, is a Somerville where most people are highly-paid professionals or independently wealthy. No artists, teachers, tradespeople (except maybe plumbers and electricians), social workers, small business owners, etc. Is that the kind of community you want, with only rich people living here?
Read more on this proposal:
Ward 5 Mark Niedergang’s Original Posting on the 1% Transfer Tax Fee:
Thursday, Feb 1, 6 PM in the Aldermen’s Chambers City Hall, the BOA Committee on Legislative Matters of the Whole meet to deliberate on three important issues: (1) Proposed revision of the demolition review ordinance which would require, among other things, a delay of 24 months (instead of the current 9) for demolition of historic residences; (2) a Home Rule Petition to the State Legislature to allow Somerville to impose a 1% Real Estate Transfer Fee on all real estate transactions to raise between $6-8 million A YEAR for affordable housing; and (3) a Community Benefits Ordinance and recognition of the Union Square Neighborhood Council and related issues. It will be a long meeting! Lots of challenging issues to work through. You can see the agenda and the accompanying documents at:http://somervillecityma.iqm2.com/Citizens/Detail_Meeting.aspx?ID=2579