Ah, Massachusetts. Whenever I feel the need for something to get outraged over, laugh about, or feel good about living in New Hampshire, they always provide me with what I need.
Today I needed a little of that, and both Boston newspapers teamed up to sate my craving.
First up, we have this report from the Boston Globe. Despite voters passing “Proposition 2 1/2” 25 years ago, capping annual property tax rates from going up more than 2.5% a year, politicians have found a loophole — they have to make sure that the tax rate hikes average 2.5% a year, so they balance jacking the hell out of residential property taxes, while bringing down commercial and industrial rates. Thanks to that little chicanery, Massachusetts homeowners can expect to pay 6.4% more next year.
Meanwhile, in Boston, whose mayor is whining about insufficient money from the state and federal governments, finally got around to looking at its own books — and it turns out that there’s about $25 million on those books that they’re owed that they haven’t collected. The Boston Herald took a closer look at those records, and found all sorts of interesting things — bills on properties long after they should have been removed from the tax rolls, for one.
So the cities and towns can’t keep track of what they’re owed, or even how much they have, but gosh-darn it, they need even more.
And, I’m sure, they’ll get it. Because they are, after all, Taxachusetts.