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If you're voting in Boston tomorrow, remember to flip the ballot over

There are five ballot questions, but only room enough on the first page of the ballot for four of them. You'll need to turn your ballot over to vote on Question 5, which would add a 1% surcharge to property-tax bills to pay for affordable housing, parks and preservation of historic monuments.

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Comments

Mine was two pages, each with votes on the back side.

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I haven't made up my mind on question 5. Need opinions!

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What they do with earmarks like this is spend it on stuff they are already spending on, then they use the "freed up" money to give people (like themselves) raises. On top of that - the affordable housing programs don't work. All they do is allow the lucky few that win the lottery to live in more expensive neighborhoods, so those that otherwise could afford to live there get pushed to other neighborhoods (e.g. - JP, Roslindale, parts of Dorchester) and push up the prices there. It's well intended - except it accomplishes the exact opposite of its intentions.

Their councilors' hearts may be in the right place - but they obviously failed freshman economics.

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Did you get a 1% raise this year? No? Then why does your community need one?

Your city pays THREE people 100 large each to work three days a week and decide if people who sell liquor get a punishment or not for their customers being (expletives). Somehow, I don't believe that's the only example of overspending on personnel.

Ask why we pay that much money for such little work before you volunteer to have more of yours taken away.

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If you think it's worth $24 a year to create more affordable housing and have money to protect historic properties then you should vote yes on Q5.

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more affordable housing is BS.

If you create more subsidized housing is a limited geographic area, what happens to the market rate house. IT GOES UP!

Its only affordable more some!

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Property taxes are pretty damn low in Boston. Even without the Residential exemption, a million dollar property is only paying around $9000/yr. $2000/yr on a 500k property is common.

Question 5 will only add around $26 to the normal bill.

The question is what do they do with the money and how transparent will it be. Unfortunately, it looks like we won't know unless they start collecting.

I'm ambivalent either way. I voted yes, because it's a pretty modest stripend in an already cheap property tax city.

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Cheap and Boston is an oxymoron

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But not property taxes.

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these hacks don't know how to manage money (or they do and just have no morals) giving them more, no matter how much or how little, is perpetuating the problem.

vote em out tomorrow. vote no on 5.

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The fact that the burden falls on city residents, while fauxury developers get sweetheart deals and tax breaks, is an absolute joke. But, I still voted yes for 3 reasons:

  1. Some of these costs should fall on residents. Not necessarily the affordable housing part in my opinion, but the public parks and historical preservation absolutely should. As a wise man once said, "This is our %$*#ing city," after all.
  2. It gives us some ammo when voicing opposition towards said fauxury developers' sweetheart deals and tax breaks. We're doing our part...
  3. It helps. Period.

Feel free to disagree, but this is why I voted yes.

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More than 150 other MA cities and towns have already enacted the Community Preservation Act. This database lists all the projects they've funded. My property tax will go up by $38 per year -- well worth it to get these quality-of-life type projects done.
http://communitypreservation.org/projects/new

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Be careful when marking the response bubbles that you don't go outside the bubble and hit the timing marks (down the side of the form) with your mark. It can cause the form to not scan properly.

It always amazes me that they always seem to put the ballot question Yes/No bubbles right next to the timing marks, where people can cause a problem, rather than have them be another 1/2 an inch towards the middle where a stray mark is less likely to cause a problem.

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To the commenter who asked for an opinion on question 5... 1% increase on property tax is very little to ask in order to preserve public parks and historic monuments so I urge you to please vote yes on 5. thanks

more info:
https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2016/10/30/yes-last-question/5e4cYcI6Q...

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So let's say the parks budget this year is $25 million and they collect the new tax - allocating $5 million to parks. You would think that means that next year's parks department budget is $30 million - plus perhaps a small bump for inflation. Not typically. What they do is the they budget the $25 million again - using $5 million from the new taxes and only allocating $20 million from old revenues to parks. Then they take the $5 million and use it to pay for something else. It's a back door way to get a tax increase without using the money for what they say it's for.

Keep in mind that property taxes have roughly doubled since 2003 already (inflation has run about 32%) - and they STILL somehow can't make ends meet.

...but for the price of a cup of coffee...

I can open a lot of coffee shops for the extra billion dollars of property taxes the city is now raking in compared to 15 years ago. And I should get my coffee served in gold plated cups!

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I thought this CPA was used to purchase new open space and fund affordable housing?

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It's for all 3. BU News Service, oddly enough, has a really great rundown.

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That Article has a link to the City of Boston CPA calculator. You can put in an address and see what your tax increase would have been if it were in effect for 2016.

My tax increase for 2016 would have been $0.00.

Tough for me to argue against it, now.

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Since my taxes have gone up 800% since I bought my home.

As Stevil has pointed out, it is a dishonest tax trying to get around proposition 2.5.

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Let the city manage the money they already have. Make it incumbent on developers to set aside affordable housing or preservation funds as part of the permitting process.
Once they get a hike there will be no stopping an increase down the road.

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