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NAIOP's Advocacy Alerts are generously supported by Serlin Haley and Pierce Atwood, LLP.

Last Thursday, Mayor Wu announced her intention to file a Home Rule Petition with City Council allowing the City to lessen increases in residential property tax bills caused by declining commercial values by temporarily shifting more of the property tax levy onto owners of commercial and industrial properties. The proposal was filed this week with City Council for consideration at Wednesday's Council Meeting.

On Friday, The Boston Globe Editorial Board chose not to endorse Mayor Wu's proposal, and instead stated their agreement with NAIOP's position, suggesting that the City consider diversifying revenue streams. NAIOP CEO Tamara Small told the Editorial Board,

With the commercial sector facing extraordinary economic headwinds, this proposal may have long lasting repercussions that would impact the city’s competitiveness and long-term growth. Now is the time for the city to closely examine recent anti-growth policies that hinder new development, while also finding ways to diversify its revenue streams to ensure Boston does not rely on any one sector to meet its residents’ needs.”

NAIOP is also concerned that despite filing this proposal, it is unclear that the City actually needs to advance this action to secure Boston's financial future. Yesterday, Politico's Massachusetts Playbook reported that the City's Chief Financial Officer Ashley Groffenberger stated, “I want to make it really clear that we are not expecting to lose a billion dollars in revenue in the next couple of years. Whether or not this measure passes or not, we are still going to collect the same amount of revenue and still be able to provide the critical city services that we provide in the city." Given the potential for serious negative consequences due to this proposal's advancement, NAIOP hopes that the City Council carefully evaluates the need before taking further action on the Mayor's legislation.

If passed at City Council, the proposal will go to the State Legislature, where it will be filed and receive a hearing. It must then pass the House and the Senate before being sent to the Governor for signature consideration. At this stage, Governor Healey will not comment on whether or not she would enact the proposal. As the end of the formal legislative session on July 31 rapidly approaches, the window for these actions is closing. NAIOP will be weighing in throughout the local and state-level process.

The NAIOP Advocacy Team is working on numerous initiatives at the state and local level. If you have questions regarding these, or other topics, please feel free to reach out to NAIOP's CEO Tamara Small or NAIOP's Vice President of Policy and Public Affairs, Anastasia Daou.

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