By Bob Katzen
Bill (H 4516) – Allows cities and towns the option to charge a 2 percent surtax on current property taxes to help build or repair affordable housing or provide rental vouchers in the community. The surtax would take effect only upon approval by a two-thirds vote of the local city council or board of selectmen and acceptance by the voters as a ballot question at the next regular municipal or state election.
Cities and towns would be allowed to exempt $100,000 of the value of each property and exempt altogether certain properties including residential property owned and occupied by a person who would qualify for low income housing or low or moderate income senior housing in the city or town.
“Too many in Massachusetts do not have a safe, clean, affordable place to live and we should do better,” said the measure’s sponsor Rep. Jay Livingstone (D-Boston). “I plan to re-file the bill”