Boston Municipal Research Bureau

Bureau-Update

Police Detectives’ Receive Costly Arbitration Award

As the City of Boston and its 40 employee unions are preparing for the next round of collective bargaining negotiations to begin in early 2016, the officers in the Boston Police Detectives Benevolent Society union received an arbitration award on December 22, 2015 that would provide a salary increase of 28.7% at an estimated cost of $22.8M over six years (July 1, 2010 – June 30, 2016). This arbitration award is based on components of the highly expensive 2013 arbitration award for the police patrolmen and continues an escalating cycle of awards that is fiscally unsustainable by the City and could lead to service reductions in other areas. No provisions for management improvements were included in this award. (continued . . .)

Bureau-Update

Boston’s Fiscal 2016 Tax Rates Set

The third consecutive year of strong growth, new building construction, and a full parcel-specific revaluation combined to boost Boston’s taxable property value to $128B as of January 1, 2015. Boston’s FY16 taxable value increased by 15.6%, up from 10.9% in FY15. The average single family tax bill is $3,530, a $10 or 0.28% increase over FY15. Approved by the state on December 17, these changes will be reflected in the third quarter tax bills that are due by February 1.
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Bureau-Update

City Revises IDP Policy to Increase Housing Units

Mayor Walsh signed an Executive Order on December 9th which modified the City’s Inclusionary Development Policy (IDP) to create more affordable units from housing development. The Executive Order keeps the current requirement for building affordable units on-site, but increases the cost to developers of cashing out, or building affordable units off-site in some areas. The BRA Board approved the new IDP at its meeting on December 10th. The new IDP will take effect on January 1, 2016. (continued . . .)

Bureau-Update

Boston Leads All Cities in NIH Funding for 20th Year

Receipt by 46 Boston medical, educational and research institutions of $1.70 billion in medical research grants from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in FY14 topped all other cities in the country for total NIH funding for the 20th consecutive year. Tempering that good news is the fact that Boston’s total NIH funding has declined in each of the last two years ($1.78B in FY12, $1.72B in FY13, and $1.70B in FY14). This record for Boston over 20 years highlights the importance of these nonprofit institutions to the economic vitality of the City. (continued . . .)