Somerville Speakup Line: First Right of Refusal

Dear Billy T and Somerville Speakup Line,

Hello Somerville Homeowners,

For a change good news from Cambridge the City Councilors voted down the first right of refusal proposal bill submitted by the State  Representative Provost from Somerville.  This was done because homeowners from the city of Cambridge converged on City Hall Tuesday night along with many contacting the Councilors and saying no.  Keep government out of private business.

Although it does not apply to me its another example for those naysayers that if you become invovled in an issue you can cause an impact.

Back to the transfer tax, entry fee or exit fee.  Somerville homeowners along with everyone in the State of Massachusetts contact your State Senator, State Representatives, Speaker of the House and Senate tell them   STOP the TRANSFER TAX.

The plan by our elected officials is to get it adopted at the State level with very vague language allowing each  city or town to implement it in their own way.  WHY SHOULD TAX PAYING HOMEOWNERS be subject to another TAX when they sell their home because this City has allowed affordable housing to go south. It was not the home owned occupied properties that caused the condo conversion boom, we were not the cause of the delay to  change  the zoning to preserve residential neighborhoods from being over developed.

Many of us have been here when this fine community was referred as Scummerville we never left, we have paid our taxes, we have contributed to our community in many ways.  We supported all the neighborhood restaurants, local bars, fruit markets, corner stores, barber shops and hair dressers, bakeries, tailers, laundry mats, doctors and dentist offices, that were all owned by our families, friends and neighbors.  The BS about shop local we have been doing it for long before it has since been reinvented.

Don’t give the hard working middle class that have lived here, shopped here, raised their families here, educated our kids here, attended church here, another kick in the ass when and if they go.

Our so called million dollar home when sold and everyone gets their piece amounts to very little when a family of four or so siblings share their portion, the state takes their piece, the realtor or attorney gets their part very little left.

Somerville homeowners should not have to pay anything more than we have already.  Its time for fiscal responsibility and the developers to pay the way.

SOMERVILLE HOMEOWNERS AND NEW BUYERS UNITE resist the tax and protect our rights tell the elected officials HELL NO.

John L. Sullivan

4 thoughts on “Somerville Speakup Line: First Right of Refusal”

  1. Dont forget all the other fees and taxes paid when a house is sold including the capital gains tax. When will our elected officials stop thinking of new ways to tax the property owners of this cit ? With our assessments raising every year the city receives an ever increasing amount of taxes. Yet that is still not enough. A transfer tax is a punishment for those who live in the city.

    1. While watching the good Alderman from Ward 5 speak this evening on T.V. the BOA meeting. He discussed both issues mentioned he failed to state a fact that the first right of refusal was shot down in Cambridge.

      Either he is being deceptive or maybe he has not read this news paper since the last time he did when he questioned WHY I did not use his name when speaking about him.

      The City Cambridge Councilors shot the first right down on Tuesday night. There was great opposition that protested at the meeting.

      I think honesty is the best policy. We do not need to be vague about the language on any issue be specific and ensure those affected are aware of what your intent is! I will try quoting my Alderman at the first meeting of this year, the least specificity when approving the language will make it easier going forward.

      I reiterate my stand on both issues that will have consequences to everyone that resides in our great City. Just the facts! Reach out to those that will be impacted and ensure they understand what the costs are.

      Transparency that’s how other elected officials were motivated to change their train of thought and realized you just pick the brains of everyone to make it a feel good community.

      Upon defeating both of these measures whether it affects me or not. I will continue to fight to prevent passing the buck onto one certain group to pay for the mistakes that have negatively impacted residents of our City and forced them out.

      We will discuss more important issues that really need to be addressed that will have a more favorable impact to us the homeowners, bike riders, pedestrians, children, seniors, and veterans.

      Fiscal responsibility along with getting back to real City business not politics and grandstanding. Not adding more burden onto the residential group of taxpayers.

      John L. Sullivan

    2. The city needs more rental units not fewer. Reducing the number of rental units by removing them from the pool will result in fewer rentals, higher demand, escalating rents. Tenants should think about this and protect their interests. 1st right of refusal is promoted as ‘affordable’ housing – when in reality it will raise rental costs for the majority of Somerville residents. If a tenant can afford to buy the unit at market value, say 550, they not only can compete in an open market, but they don’t meet the threshold of those most in need of assistance. Some renters have no interest in buying, planning to settle in a different community eventually or in some other cases not knowing where employment will take them. Property owners will be hurt – developers will be hesitant to invest here with all these strings attached – giving up to 120 days for a tenant to purchase. A developer wont’ wait patiently bypassing other opportunities while keeping their money. They’ll invest elsewhere, say in Medford w/o delays and conditions. Market value is another issue altogether. If a property has conditions attached, there will be fewer prospective buyers, damaging to achieving highest value from the sale and damaging property owners financially. As far as affordability and displacement, as someone born and brought up here I can speak to this issue. It’s always been the case, where blue collar working class Somervillians, large families, and others could not afford to stay. My family managed to stay by my dad working 2+ full time jobs and my mother working. It’s an age old problem and will continue to be.

    3. How come the meeting was NOT advertised on Monday?

      I am against the proposed right of first refusal. I cannot see why the city would want to hold up a sale. If the city rule holds up the sale for months – will the city immediately eliminate the property tax bill while things are being delayed?

      This senior has supplied 3 rental housing units for over 30 years. I am against the right of first refusal. Why would anyone want to delay the sale for months? Assisted living and nursing homes are quite expensive in this area. The “homes” want their money for an elder to move in and they are not about to wait. This would be elder abuse if elders cannot cash out asap
      Our house is our retirement fund. We have invested a lot of time and money into it. It does not seem like a good idea to delay a sale and possibly get less money for it. We have paid higher property taxes, and income taxes on the rents for years. When selling it there is capital gains taxes. And now the city wants to reduce the sale price  on a small minority of people called landlords. This is a taking of private property without just compensation.

      This proposal will reduce the amount of rentals in the city. Is that what the city residents want?

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