Somerville Transfer Tax Meeting Wednesday April 4th

A call to property owners the City of Somerville will be having a meeting on the Transfer Tax.  It wil be held on wednesday April 4, 2018.  Residents need to know that the board of Alderman opposed sending any notification to the property owners in Somerville.

The only member of the board Alderman Mary Jo Rosetti, Alderman at Large recommended that notification be made to the residents of the City.  Instead of respecting us the board is sand bagging all of the property owners moving the transfer tax forward.  The Transfer tax is being led by the Ward 5 Alderman.

The plan by the members in support is to have all their constituents and friends to flood city hall in support.

Property owners and renters need to contact your Alderman, Mayor, State Senator, State Representatives tell them NO Transfer Tax. Stop our elected officials from taking more money on top of all our taxes and fees we already pay.

Please attend the meeting show the strength of the tax paying property owners Wednesday April 4, 2018 @ 6:00 P.M.

John L. Sullivan

17 thoughts on “Somerville Transfer Tax Meeting Wednesday April 4th”

  1. Thank you John. Unfortunately my alderman is in ward 5 and has a deaf ear to whatever we want. He has his own agenda and that does not include the people in his ward.

  2. Watch the BOA meeting from last Thursday, March 15. It’s another 4 hour meeting so if you want to see some highlights, watch it starting at 8:30 p.m. until the end.

    My take is – indecisiveness ruled the meeting. Aldermen Bill White advised aboard members to write out their comments in advance so the meetings are not wasted.

    Alderman Mark Niedergang, in defense of the transfer tax, stated that he paid $195k for his home which has grown to market value of $1.2 million. Then added he didn’t move here because he knew it was going up in value.

    I challenge his statement- I know that urban planners, which Mark is, have privileged information well in advanced as others in the business of urban development. He also said he doesn’t think rich people should have social security. I hope he’s prepared to forfeit his at retirement. According to public records, he owns three properties- one he mentioned which is in Ward 5, the Ward he represents. The other two are in W7, close to Tufts, where he and his daughter are alum. So he’s trying to claim that although he owns three properties in Somerville, an urban planner who allegedly is involved with the Beacon Street hotel project, he’s not rich. And that’s even before knowing what his wife’s profession is, which I’m inclined to believe it’s similar to his career opportunities and benefits.

    Let’s move on—while Alderman MaryJo Rossetti made a good pitch to inform homeowners by USPO mail, Alderman Lance Davis of Ward 6, strongly objected due to his insinuating this proposal is bias against tenants who should also be invited. Interesting comment since we know that most of the tenants are transients who are only living here for college and first job- then off to better opportunities. I can attest to that as I have been a landlord for twenty years, and former tenants have left only for this reason— better jobs and less expensive housing.

    I got the impression that Lance is primarily concerned with his transitory tenants who obviously are lobbying for this transfer tax, because he also states that he objects all exemptions for homeowners. We know Lance’s background so there’s no surprise here. Corporate lobbying at its worst.

    Katjiana provided some humanitarian efforts to the debate by sharing that our W7 elders, most who are women are not “rich”, as implied by some of her colleagues. That they are in fact just getting by on social security and some don’t even have that since they raised families as stay at home moms.

    Alderman Rossetti also challenged clarification of the HUD grant which does not cover just Somerville residents but everyone outside the city. Yet, this practice is common among the non-profits who have been doing this for years. But I do give her some credit for bringing it to the attention of residents who were watching the meeting from their homes who were unaware. There were also other comments made to the city solicitor (I believe), who she asked to speak privately about these details.

    Some of the other board members appeared to be unsure of where they stand on the transfer tax. Lots of waffling back and forth. In my opinion, it’s a matter of which constituents will be happy or unhappy about their vote.

    My overall impression of the meeting and everything else witnessed, there is one thing which remains abundantly clear—

    Homeowners, tenants and neighbors have been pitted against one another as a way to deflect the real issues.

    What we need is common ground for everyone to fully understand the ramifications of transfer tax. If residents don’t know the negative impacts, why should they vote for it?

    Their failure to hold developers accountable to paying for these incentives and others has created the problems we have today.

    I strongly suggest they drop both. In the long run, it will not benefit any tenant or homeowner. The only ones benefitting are those who already have taken too much.

    1. Thank you Judy for further enlightening us on this issue. You are always on top of ills of the city, THANK YOU.

  3. This Transfer Tax is just another form of Socialist Extortion perpetrated against home owners as a last chance grab into your pocket before you leave the city for a place with lower taxes.

  4. The progressive aldermen are gathering up their forces and tons of tenants will be at the meeting.

    You can’t have a democracy with out open debate. Shame on the those aldermen for not notifying the people whose pockets they continually pick. What are they afraid of?

  5. This is a tax on a minority of people. Its discriminatory. Tax everyone one fixed amount. We keep hearing that we are ALL in this together.

    1. That is sneaky. It tells us they are working for us but for their own interests. We need to to remind them of who they need to be loyal to.

  6. We aren’t really all in this together. I rent, which means I pay someone else’s mortgage. They gain equity and I gain nothing. They will get an ENORMOUS amount of profit when this crumbling old building is sold and I will get nothing.

    Like many renters, I fear complaining about maintenance because the rent could easily go way up and someone would still pay, but this leaves many of us paying exorbitant prices for living conditions that aren’t even up to code, much less worth a luxury price tag. The fact that many of us leave for better opportunity and lower cost is not a justification we are less a part of the community and have less right to be informed. It is a symptom of the problem that we have no voice, no leverage, no recourse and are ultimately left with no options.

    I don’t support longtime residents being gouged or priced out and it definitely is not ok to intentionally not inform homeowners. (Although I don’t believe tenants were any more informed about this. I have not been “rounded up by progressive aldermen.”) But when a cheaply renovated condo (half of which is in a basement) sells for $800,000, is a 1% tax on a giant profit margin really a meaningful loss? These days, only people who are very rich or who bought property in the 70’s can afford to live in Somerville.

    We need policies that will enable middle and low income people to continue to live in Somerville. I do not know if this tax is the answer, but I would like to see more fact-based analysis of the potential ramifications for everyone in town. (Also, tenants are people too!)

    1. I am totally opposed to this transfer tax but I know the alderman Mark Neidergang is for it 100%. Beware of deception and also beware of deception in the disguised attempt to bring in rent control which was not passed in Cambridge. Our city government is working against us and it is up to us to stop them. Just the idea of them not wanting to let us know of these issues should tell everyone in Somerville that they are working against us. The city is not a friend of older residents and would like nothing better than to boot us out. This nothing but GENOCIDE. It is illegal to pick on any group forcing them out by any means. I am still troubled by the cost of the new high school. I was told the alderman in the area I live that the aldermen and women put up the money to pay for the cost of the mailing to all voters in Somerville because of my complaint to him that they had the advantage of city tax money. We the people, voters who opposed the new high school were no contest for the money the city had. My argument is and was, if a new high school is going to promote better education THEN why hasn’t Harvard, MIT, and Tufts thought of tearing down their educational buildings to rebuild. Surely, they will not do it because they know better. It is not the building. We were had by a very clever and deceptive group. This my feeling and I stick by it. I hope I am not going to be visited by the city in any form for speaking up, my right!

  7. I am against the transfer tax. I own a condo,

    When you buy property in an area, you take a risk. Mark N. might not recognize this. Yes, Somerville has done well. But it could easily have gone the other way. I know, my relatives have lived here since 1970. Even in the late 1980s and early 1990s Somerville was on shaky ground. Crime was on the rise, house prices were stagnant, they wanted to bulldoze the Somerville theater, there were bad dudes hanging around on Central between Highland and Broadway all the time. If Somerville had gone down the plughole and property values had plunged, would any of the powers that be have come in to bail out the homeowners? Of course not. Thus on the flip side, if it does well, the homeowners benefit.

    As to the renter complaining. This also applies to your comment. If an area goes down, all a renter has to do is give his notice and he is out of the mess in 30 days. A homeowner does not have that luxury – they have to sell, and maybe at a large loss. There certainly are disadvantages to renting, but there are also major advantages as well. Flexibility being one of them. If it bothers you that much, then move to a place where you can afford to buy. Guess what? That might be the next Somerville.

  8. Because of a medical issue I could not be at the meeting tonight. I am against the transfer tax. I am against changes to the Zoning laws for the benefit of contractors and developers and the city. Genocide of seniors being squeezed out like me is illegal. If the city really cared about affordable housing developers should not get wavers to affordable housing laws. As I understand it Assembly Row has 6% affordable housing not the legal 20%. I am a senior and lately have been feeling very stressed out because I feel the zoning laws WILL make me and other seniors move with a contractor stealing my house.
    Home home owners like many of us are not wealthy contrary to what renters believe. In 2017 my tax went up $100 a month and in 2018 it went up another $100 a month. My home owners insurance goes up every year and my water bill for the house goes up up up. Then if an appliance breaks down I have buy a replacement. I like many caring owners have the responsibility of keeping their property in a safe livable condition. I have not raised my rents for about 2 years. Renters do not have to worry about repairs and maintenance. I am against rent control by any deceptive name, 100% against it.

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