MAY 3, 2016 – Two recent events have renewed public interest in the importance of the property tax for Boston. Mayor Walsh released his recommended fiscal 2017 operating budget, which relies on the property tax for 68% of the City’s total operating revenue. Also, last week Mayor Walsh announced his support for the Community Preservation Act (CPA) in Boston and the City Council is expected to soon approve placing the CPA question on the November ballot. Adoption of the CPA would add a 1% surcharge on business and residential property tax bills less exemptions. Today, the Research Bureau released a Special Report, Boston’s Taxable Value Grows to $128 Billion that examines the factors that contributed to the fiscal 2016 value increase and tax rates such as tax base growth, Proposition 2½, and classification.
Boston Municipal Research Bureau
March 8, 2016 – The Research Bureau’s 84th Annual Meeting of Directors & Members was a great success with over 400 in attendance at the Seaport Hotel, Boston. Matthew J. Kiefer of Goulston & Storrs, was re-elected for a one year term as Chairman. The Board also elected Thomas E. Samoluk of John Hancock, as Vice Chairman, Timothy Buckley of Citizens Bank, as Treasurer and Sam Tyler, as President of the BMRB. Keynote address was given by Mayor Walsh, focusing on the City’s pro-active growth strategy, education, transportation, development & financial status of Boston. Click here for the video:> Thank you to the 2016 sponsors of this event:>
In 2015, the City of Boston paid $30M to city employees for accumulated vacation, sick and personal days not used. Depending on the union contact, employees are able to redeem for cash specified vacation, sick and personal days annually or upon separation from service through resignation or retirement. The payout for days accumulated over several years are based on current salary rather than prorated for salary in the year the benefit was earned. These different compensation factors are not usually publicly noted and are hidden when describing employee costs only in terms of annual salary. (continued . . .)
April 3, 2016 – The annual budget problems facing the Boston Public Schools are not due to the increase in Commonwealth charter school seats in Boston. The charter schools do not receive an unfair share of Boston’s public resources for education. The budget challenges facing the BPS are more due to its growing employee costs and a structural deficit driven by excess capacity across BPS schools. The growth of the BPS General Fund budget over the past five years has outpaced that of other city departments.
Read our latest Special Report: The True Costs of Boston’s Charter Schools>
By Michael Levenson | The Boston Globe | March 24, 2016
. . .”A more than 20 percent rise in school spending over the past five years — from $815 million to more than $1 billion — has been driven largely by growing salaries and benefits, which constitute 71 percent of the increases, according to the Boston Municipal Research Bureau.”
Check out our 2015 Special Report
By Boston Herald Staff |March 25, 2016
. . . “Nearly a year ago the Boston Municipal Research Bureau put out an analysis of why this relatively small system had grown so expensive and year after year is in fiscal hot water.”