Continuing the work from our Vacancy Tax idea and the Housing Policy Summit we hosted last year, we are excited to announce the next step forward on the Commercial Vacancies Front.
This Friday at 10:00 AM EST The Boston City Council Committee On Small Business and Workforce Development will be having a hearing on commercial vacancies in Boston.
This is an opportunity for us to advocate for our Vacancy Tax proposal which was sparked by the widespread lack of affordable commercial real estate to local entrepreneurs and organizations. In Boston, many commercial properties sit vacant for a number of reasons. Some contributing factors are the misplaced incentives offered by the tax system and the complications of commercial lending requirements. The idea of a vacancy tax is to create a new set of incentives, to dis-incentivize leaving a space empty for purposes of a tax write-off or to artificially raise the property value for the property owner and to offer incentives and rewards for landlords who make their spaces available and affordable and keep them occupied contributing to thriving, vibrant and activated communities.
This is a public hearing and public testimony is welcomed. If you have ideas about commercial vacancies, if you have tired to start a business but been halted by Boston rents, if you are tired of seeing buildings sit empty on our streets, please take the time to join the conversation and add your ideas.
Written testimony may be sent to the Committee or staff email (below) and will be made a part of the record and available to all Councilors. Members of the public wishing to testify virtually via videoconference should email the staff contact for a link and instructions to do so.
Staff Contact: Michelle A. Goldberg
Committee Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Broadcast on Xfinity 8/RCN 82/Fios 964 and streamed at: boston.gov/city-council-tv