Boston Landlords Startled to See 8 to 11% Tax Increases

2016: As reported by the Boston Globe, Boston's commissioner of assessing increased property values for two-families by 17%, and for three-families by 20%. Proposition 2 1/2 and a city exemption were used to abate the tax increases a little, but still, Boston landlords are facing a 10% gouge this year.

Boston Landlord

These average figures belie the statistical truth that some individual owners are facing increases of one-third or more. Mary Bellrose in South Boston had her triple decker bill increase from $9,000 to $12,500.

One interesting note about the Boston Globe is how unfamiliar they are with the landlord perspective. They write that Ms. Bellrose "has professional tenants in her three apartments". "Professional tenant" in the landlord parlance means "one who milks the legal system to get free rent." In this case the Boston Globe meant "tenants who have white collar jobs."

Single family taxes increased just 1%. Just 1%? Is there no demand to live in Boston single families?

Some of the article comments are interesting. One commentator notes that zoning prevents the construction of new multifamily housing because of minimum parking requirements. This is a good example of how short-sighted zoning restrictions can be. Rather than meet parking requirements, which can be impossible, new dwellings simply are not built.

Restrictive zoning is behind the increases in property values and taxes, and the lack of affordable housing.

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