In a January 9th post I wrote that the shift of Boston property to from taxable to non-taxable continues apace as properties are bought by wealthy not-for-profits.
Today, The Boston Conservatory announced the $5.1 million purchase of 132 Ipswich St. http://www.boston.com/Boston/businessupdates/2012/01/boston-conservatory-buys-fenway-building-for-million/js6e3E98obJZJR1LLXKwjK/index.html
The current annual tax for 132 Ipswich is $41,671.56, based on its assessed value of $1,305,500. (Way below the real value of $5.1million Boston Conservatory paid for it. Low assessments are another thing killing residents who either make up the difference or lose services.) So, in 10 years, not accounting for tax rate or value increases, $410,672 will have been lost to the city. In 20 years it will be about a million and on and on in perpetuity. I haven’t read anything about Boston Conservatory’s willingness to keep the city whole or even pitch in for part of it. But why should it when so few others feel any compunction to do right by the city that supports them so well?
And as long as places like Northeastern University hires City Councilors, e.g. John Tobin Jr., at much higher salaries, residents can’t expect to see City Councilors back Menino in asking for not just payments in lieu of taxes but a sense of partnership and shared responsibility. Still, maybe he’ll ask again in tonight’s State of the City address.
P.S. Please spare me the Laffer Curve theory recitation. This is about real lives, real schools, real tax bills for real people.