Heavy burden

By CHRIS FARAONE  |  August 17, 2011

In some ways, Boston seems to be thriving in the face of a national recession. Billion-dollar plans for waterfront development — as well as high-value condo projects elsewhere — also provide increased opportunity for tax revenue. That scenario changes, though, if residential values slip further, leaving vacant properties to drive real-estate values down, along with the limit for how much Boston can collect in much-needed levies. Tyler says that's an unlikely prospect; he thinks the housing market will recover soon. Still others are intent to spark further dialogue, particularly as pension costs soar, and as pricey police, teacher, and fire contracts come up for negotiation.

"I just want for people at City Hall to really think about these things before it's too late," says Wintermeier, who worked with mayoral candidate Kevin McCrea last election to raise these concerns. "People need to stop getting a little bit alarmed when our tax bills come every year, and instead look good and hard at the bigger picture."

David Eisenberg assisted with the research of this piece. Follow Chris Faraone on Twitter @fara1.

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