By John Alan Roderick
Apparently, the Somerville (aka Moscow-on-the-Mystic) Real Estate Transfer Fee was reported out of the Politburo (aka Board of Aldermen) Legislative Matters Committee unanimously to be sent to the State Legislature in search of a Home Rule Petition.
I’ve read that the pro-forma proposal has been greatly modified to not include owner-occupants (like myself) and others who are not speculators or flippers, but merely people of means who scraped together down payments and managed to buy a home in Somerville.
While this may sound great at first, I am of the belief–and this is ONLY MY OPINION–that if/when this passes muster on Bacon Hill, the newly-minted local ordinance will be quickly expanded to be more “inclusive”. This has “Mission Creep” written all over it and I believe that, in the end, it will prove to be a counterproductive measure which will do more harm than good to the very people it is supposedly intended to help; the unwritten Rule of Unintended Consequences.
Therefore, on these and other grounds of principle, I remain vehemently opposed to this or any legislation which even in a hypothetical sense robs from the labors and wealth of the average homeowner who has had nothing to do with the current real estate speculative run-up in Somerville and who, ironically, are among the parties who provide, collectively, the preponderance of affordable housing remaining in the City. Taxation is theft. The power to tax is the power to destroy.
Sure. The Rodericks have been providing affordable housing for the past 62 years. I’ll be damned if someone is going to FORCE me to pay into a government agency against my will.
Regarding the Home Rule Petition; people need to understand how much power this gives to the local legislative body in crafting and modifying ordinances. Sure, the BOA came up with a modified version that exempts people like me. But that’s to get it through the Legislature. Once it passes there and gets back to City Hall, all bets are off. If, for some reason, the “projections” are not met, guess what?
Below is one of my favorite quotes about the dangers of big government…
“Remember that a government big enough to give you everything you want is also big enough to take away everything you have.” — Barry Goldwater