William Tauro’s Statement at the 7/20/23 Rent Stabilization Meeting

This was my testimony the other night that I presented live at the Rent Stabilization Meeting that was held at the Armory. Mysteriously the audio on my testimony conveniently didn’t have audio, but only video and it was considered “technical difficulties”, so no audio was recorded that evening. So here it is in a nutshell!

Attached is my testimony:

William Tauro’s Statement at the 7/20/23 Rent Stabilization Meeting

This meeting tonight has got to be one of the biggest examples of mismanagement that I’ve ever seen. The city’s lack of communication to it’s residents on such an important issue like this depriving them of their rights to be part of this meeting with only two days notice to residents via email, in July, during the greatest time when a majority of residents are out of town during vacation season is unbelievable. If this wasn’t a case of mismanagement, then it was nothing but a dirty trick. But we are here now tonight so let’s get this meeting underway and salvage what we can for the sake of the city.

My name is Billy Tauro and I lease at Assembly Row. And yes, the rents are very high. The reason why the rents are very high is because we blew it as a city, allowing our elected officials, to grant Assembly Row with all their tax breaks that they received from day one. Most of you remember when Assembly Row was still on the planning table, it was supposed to be our cash cow to relieve the burden of taxes on the property owners and their tenants.

Also the rate that Somerville is hurting our mom and pop local businesses by eliminating needed parking spaces to survive citywide is another recipe for disaster. We are destroying our local businesses in Somerville who are failing at a rapid rate when instead we should helping them to trive. By local businesses not thriving it eliminates their major contributions to help them pay their fair share of taxes, but instead it creates a huge tax burden that now falls onto the homeowner which eventually automatically trickles down to the tenants, so yes, that’s why we’re paying higher rents in Somerville.

Rent control was proven to be a disaster in Cambridge from the beginning causing dilapidated properties and discouraging new development for affordable housing and it didn’t work in Cambridge and it will not work in Somerville.

The only people that will be displaced will be the landlords because eventually landlords will give up and will go into foreclosure, lose their properties because of rent control and then yes eventually the tenant is displaced as well in a domino effect. Another administration trick to force housing sales from longtime homeowners so that they can have their own developers purchase and overcrowd even more neighborhoods.

When you factor in the water and sewer costs, the insurance, the taxes, the repairs, the mortgages, utilities, the regular maintenance that’s needed to keep up any property it just won’t work when you put the restraints on the landlords ability to pay his or her property bills. Just do the math.

Please find another solution because rent control is a recipe for disaster! The current administration is systematically eliminating our local businesses in Somerville when instead, they should be nurturing and supporting them.

I am always willing to take on any task or issue that plagues the citizens of the community.
When I was asked about the rent issues and how to solve that situation, I thought along this line.
The truth breaks down to the examination of the past history where the administration raised the tax assessments very high for unfounded reasons except possibly to fluff up the valuations of neighborhoods for their own agenda, which has come more to light over the years. In return, the homeowners were forced to raise their fees.

So, on the high rental issues I will formulate an offer to the homeowners consisting of a tax reduction to consider lowering the rental fees for tenants. It will lessen the burden of overtaxed properties and ease the situation creating room for a more feasible rental request. This should ease the financial burden all around.

William Tauro

4 thoughts on “William Tauro’s Statement at the 7/20/23 Rent Stabilization Meeting”

  1. There is rent control in Massachusetts, The city or town would pay the difference between market rent and the rent control rent, and no city or town would not want this form of rent control.
    They would like to see the small housing providers suffer like they did 25 years ago.

    1. that is how it should be. if they want to do a city income tax, or increase prop taxes on others, or eliminate residential exemption to generate the money – propose it.

  2. as a small landlord I was NOT notified of this meeting. Nothing in the mail, nothing in a tax bill nor water bill, no phone call. There was no notification to the local property owner group. Not one owner I know heard anything about it.

    when some speakers spoke against the policy their microphones did not work. Yet they worked fine when there were speakers in favor of the policy. Now what are the odds of that happening?

    the “board” were there any small owners? One would think that owners would comprise half of the board.

    there was one mention of ever increasing operating expenses which translate to higher rents. the people elect the city council which continues to overspend which translates to higher taxes.

    if the city wants this policy then the city should make up the difference to the owners. That is the solution. Otherwise this is a taking of private property without just compensation. Some of us served years to uphold the constitution. Our leaders take an oath to uphold the laws of the land.

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