No New Taxes on Real Estate

To help create more homes and make housing more affordable, Massachusetts should take four pivotal steps:

Step One: Embrace the key elements of Governor Healey’s Housing Bond Bill. 

Specifically, the state should reduce red tape around the creation of Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs), and make serious investments in the upkeep and maintenance of affordable units. This will help produce more homes for retirees and those looking to downsize, as well as improve well-being for those in and pursuing affordable units. 

Step Two: Develop housing on unused state-owned land.

Creating more homes on land that is simply going unused is a common-sense option the state should embrace. Governor Healey cited this as a priority in her inaugural address, and though the administration has made some progress here, more work remains. We are eager to partner with the administration to bolster unit creation on unused state land.

Step Three: Ensure that communities not only implement the MBTA Communities Law, but go well beyond meeting minimum requirements.

 In 2023, communities like Brookline and Lexington passed ambitious zoning reforms, approving plans that would zone for the creation of far more homes than simply required by the state. As Commuter Rail and Adjacent Small Town MBTA Communities must pass their own plans by the end of this year, it is crucial they emulate the likes of Brookline and Lexington. 

Step Four: Strengthen the Community Preservation Act.

 Instead of passing new, onerous real estate taxes, the state should bolster one program that has already proven successful: the CPA. The state should focus on ensuring communities meet their 10 percent affordable housing spending threshold, and reward communities that surpass it. The state should also impress upon communities that have not adequately invested in affordable housing to fund make-up projects moving forward.

Greater Boston Real Estate Board
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