Homeowners deserve property tax break

Mayor Martin J. Walsh, Dorchester Reporter

When I ran for mayor, I wanted to make Boston a city where every resident can afford to live, work, and raise a family. Since my election, Boston has grown rapidly. Our population is expanding and we’re expected to reach more than 700,000 residents by 2030. Our tech sector is booming, and the construction of our commercial and residential buildings is reaching new heights.

While I’m excited about our economic growth, increasing investment, and the new jobs arriving in our neighborhoods, we also need to make sure we are meeting the needs of every family in Boston.

Over the last three years, I’ve listened to the concerns of families and residents who live and work in Boston but struggle to cope with the high cost of living. I want to help our middle class homeowners maintain an affordable quality of life in this city. As mayor of a diverse, thriving city, it’s my responsibility to make sure all families are represented. Economic diversity and a strong middle class help make Boston a city where everyone can live.

In an effort to ease the financial burden on our middle class, the City Council and I have created tax cuts for Boston homeowners by increasing Boston’s residential property tax exemption for the first time since 2000 – a move that will reduce the average property tax bill for single family, owner-occupied residences by $299 per year – and by raising to 35 percent the residential tax exemption for taxpayers who occupy their homes as their principal residences.

Though this cut was specifically designed to benefit middle-to- lower-income earners, the residential exemptions will impact all homeowners who live in the city. Overall, the vast majority of Bostonians’ tax bills will decrease.

This residential tax exemption will exceed $2,000 for the first time, an increase of $472 over last year’s amount. Each qualifying homeowner will save $2,435 on his or her property tax bill by taking the exemption.

Right now, Boston is enjoying the benefits of a strong local economy and real estate climate, as well as record tax-revenue growth. This is the right time, and the smart time, to provide property tax relief for our middle- and lower-income homeowners.

This tax cut will level the playing field for Boston’s middle class, and bring us closer to achieving a better balance between growth and affordability.

I thank the City Council and the Legislature for passing this cut. We will continue to work together toward a more equitable, economically diverse, and affordable Boston.