Somerville Speakup Line: Somerville Real estate tax – Bill h. 4582 – Board of Alderman – Please explain the logic that the tax will not affect current residents

Dear Billy T and Somerville Speakup Line,

Still, not one response from any member of the Board of Alderman on the issues that have been asked multiple times.  It is disgraceful that the public is deceived on these issues and it is farce that this process had open and honest community involvement.  I have been asking these questions since this home rule petition was announced.

1. Do you believe that it is acceptable for current residents to indirectly pay for the tax, through possible lower home sale prices?  A large portion of Somerville is non-owner occupied so moving forward a large portion of the buyers will inevitably a large portion of the buying market will be paying the tax and thus reducing their purchase offers.  This is in line with economic theory, Somerville’s own report and empirical evidence. If so why was this not discussed or disclosed to the public?

2. You clearly state that current residents will not pay the tax, but will current residents be indirectly impacted by the tax through lower offer prices?

a. If you believe current residents will not be affected, do you have a source of information that counters Somerville’s own report by RKG, empirical evidence and economic theory.  And if so, why was why was this issue not disclosed to the public?

b. Will this assessment hold true when the real estate market is a buyer’s market?

3. Were you even aware of this issue during deliberations? I wrote many emails to all Board Of Alderman highlighting this issue. If you were aware of this issue, why was this issue not disclosed to the public in any  of the numerous fact sheets and articles written by Board of Alderman in support of the tax?

Matt

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