Boston metropolis councilor urges Wu administration to take workplace vacancies ‘seriously,’ pushes for research group


The Boston Metropolis Council handed a decision calling for the creation of a particular fee to handle workplace vacancies and declining values 4 months in the past, however one councilor says the Wu administration has not acted on the advice.

Councilor Ed Flynn stated he’s been attempting to “sound the alarm” on the problem “for some time” whereas pointing to a February report that cites the unfavourable affect falling workplace values and vacancies could have on town’s business tax base, in a letter urging Chief of Planning Arthur Jemison to create a blue ribbon fee.

The fee would “study and make recommendations on the issue of downtown office vacancies,” Flynn stated. He envisions it as being composed of enterprise leaders, metropolis and state officers, neighborhood organizations and trade teams. The Council authorized Flynn’s non-binding decision to assist creation of such a fee in March.

“Vacancies and falling downtown commercial property values from this struggling industry can pose serious concerns for our city’s tax base and budget,” Flynn wrote. “It is critical that we be proactive in working to address any potential revenue shortfalls.”

He pointed to unspecified experiences of workplace buildings “being sold at a portion of their original purchase price,” equivalent to 201-207 South St. within the Leather-based District that bought at $13 million lately in comparison with its 2016 buy worth of $27.5 million and the close by constructing at 186 Lincoln St. that bought for $11 million final November when it was purchased in 2015 at $20.7 million.

Flynn additionally cited a February report issued by the Boston Coverage Institute and Tufts College’s Middle for State Coverage Evaluation, which projected that falling workplace values might result in a greater than $1 billion income shortfall in 5 years, and a $500 million annual drop in metropolis income after that point.

“This is an alarming possibility, and our city must take steps now to address this,” Flynn wrote, including that he was urging town’s planning division and mayoral administration to “take this issue seriously” by making a blue ribbon fee.

A Planning Division spokesperson stated Wednesday, “We are reviewing the letter and look forward to working with the City Council in any way that will help to address office vacancies.”

Provided that greater than 70% of town’s annual budgetary income is derived from property taxes, a 3rd of which comes from the business sector, metropolis officers have stated a lower in business property values would shift extra of the tax burden onto residents, with the potential for a double-digit tax improve subsequent yr.

Mayor Michelle Wu put ahead a plan that might enable town to lift business tax charges past the state restrict for 4 years to stave off a part of that prime tax improve for owners. Business leaders and trade teams have criticized the proposal for additional hampering a struggling business sector.

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