Somerville Speakup Line:Board of Aldermen Meetings With Further Discussion on Transfer Fee Tax Issue

Dear Billy T and Somerville Speakup Line,

I attended the meeting last night to discuss the transfer tax by the Board of Aldermen.

There will be another meeting tomorrow, Wednesday, 4/11, for the board to discuss amendments.

As that information becomes available, I will pass it along, so please check back about meeting dates and times.

There was a low turn out of constituents last night.

Here are the highlights taken from the meeting of 4/9 at 6:00 p.m., at city hall:

Alderman at Large, MaryJo Rossetti asked board members to consider having more discussion and public forums.

Residents who have emailed her would like to continue an ongoing dialogue about the transfer tax at public forums.

She also reminded the board that many constituents were not notified about the public hearing taking place on Wednesday, April 4, 2018 and residents would like to remain engaged in the process.

Although, board members agreed this was a good idea, they also shared their concern about the issue of not meeting the transfer tax deadline to the legislators by the end of April 2018.

Board members agreed they were swamped with hundreds of emails from constituents – those opposed and those in favor. Some board members said they have a much deeper understanding of how any news of tax increase effects long time residents and said they were unaware of their hardships.

Some board members also agree it was not a good idea to rush the transfer tax.

One comment stood out for me by Alderman Hirsch who is considered the data guru of the board and cited:

“72 % of Somerville’s real estate is owned by investors”.

There was no other details provided, but I’m guessing that means anyone who is not homeowner occupied and considered to be the owner of investment property.

But we should definitely ask Alderman Hirsch for more data on this finding.

There is a video of this meeting on the City of Somerville website. I encourage you to watch it for more details.

Also Billy, Katjiana got back to me about meetings this week—

Tomorrow, Wednesday 4/11 is a public meeting to discuss the transfer tax not more public speaking only board discussion.

Thursday night is regular BOA meeting, there may be more discussion when Legislative Matter Committee report is read. After Wednesday, details might change.

Judy Locchi Jacobs

3 thoughts on “Somerville Speakup Line:Board of Aldermen Meetings With Further Discussion on Transfer Fee Tax Issue”

  1. My husband and I attended the meeting last night as well. What was up with the low turnout? Even though we were unable to add to the dialogue, surely a better turnout would have made a silent statement. We were pleased that Ms. Rossetti started the evening with her comments; we believe her statements and opinions set the tone for the evening.

  2. I’m very disturbed that our Alderman don’t have the balls to tell the Mayor to US mail all home owner about this very important issues. Regardless of who pays this tax, it will significantly effect property values in a negative way in this town, and likely end “Somerville’s Hot Real Estate Market”.

    The plan is to help those who make up to 150% of the Boston median income in Boston ($110K/year), so folks making up to $161K/years. The median household income of Somerville Home Owners is only $66K/year. This is a reverse Robin Hood.

    Our property values are going to fall, as a properties with transfer tax attached are worth less – no math required and it’s at least as bad as a lien.

    It get’s worse – out tax payments will be given to folks who make up to three times what we earn, so they can afford to buy our property.

    If your head is spinning, it should be. You are not possessed, but your Alderman appears to be. Write them to tell them NO TRANSFER TAX.
    boardofaldermen@somervillema.gov

  3. The issue appears to be the desire to generate more money. Why not have EVERY one contribute? Maybe a move in tax of a hundred.

    For those who cannot pay it – community service of 2 days where they do something to maintain / improve the housing stock the city owns. People do not need skills to sweep, or cut a lawn, or rake, or paint.

    On the 4 proposals to generate more money – will this include hiring more city employees OR will it go towards housing?

    What happened to the CPA that is paid in every prop tax bill?

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