Newton Mayor Ruthanne Fuller unveiled plans last night to ask voters to approve three property tax overrides, totaling nearly $15 million.
Fuller's proposal includes a general operating override of $9,175,000 to support schools, and maintenance of fields, playgrounds, roads, sidewalks, and other items.
Two additional debt exclusion questions, totaling an estimated $5.8 million, would support bonding to rebuild two elementary schools. (Globe story here.)
Both questions would go before voters on March 14, 2023, one decade after Newtonians approved the last package of overrides and 20 years after the city’s first-ever.
There’s much we need to learn to understand these proposals in the months to come and we will be listening carefully. But at a time when our employers are battling inflation, wage pressure, and a looming recession, a property tax increase feels like a lot to ask of our business community.
In other words, still no progress
That’s what state Senate President Karen Spilka told reporters yesterday when asked about the $4 billion economic development bill that's still unresolved -- 79 days after lawmakers formally adjourned for the rest of 2022.
"As you all know, it's very complicated. There were a lot of things that came up. So we are in constant communication about it," Spilka said Monday after meeting with House Speaker Ronald Mariano and Gov. Charlie Baker, according to Colin A. Young at State House News.
It's not like there were substantive disagreements over the vast majority of the bill. The House and Senate both unanimously passed similar versions this summer. But they never agreed to a final version after learning the state was required to return nearly $3 billion in tax refunds under Chapter 62F.
In addition to provisions to help many hard-hit business sectors stay afloat, the bill included estate and other tax reforms. Neither Spilka nor Mariano will now commit to passing the plan they agreed to in July. Mariano even suggested tax relief might wait til next year, writes Young.
Running a business is "complicated" too. But our business owners don’t have the luxury of adjourning for months when scenarios change.
Meanwhile, Gov. Charlie Baker said yesterday he didn’t know if taxpayers can expect to see nearly $3 billion in excess tax revenues returned before Thanksgiving as originally hoped, reports Alison Kunitz at MassLive.
“I mean, my hope all along on this was that we would be able to get these out to people in time so that they would be able to spend them on fuel, on gas, on holiday — you know, basically a lot of the expenses that I think a lot of people are going to have that are going to be much higher than they thought they were going to be,” Baker said.
Refunds will equate to roughly 13% of your personal income tax liability. Estimate your refund through this online calculator.
Linear Retail, which owns about 40% of commercial properties on Central Street, has divvied up that 16,000 SF GAP site with hopes of attracting multiple restaurants to a corner that features a wide sidewalk for outdoor dining and parking in the rear.
Wellesley has seen an influx of restaurants over the past year or so, including Lockheart, Laughing Monk, La Toscana’s, and Tatte. Oath Pizza and Karma are coming to Linden Square. Black & Blue Steak and Crab is slated to move into the former CVS space on Central Street, Swellesley adds.
And here's how you can showcase your brand in downtown Wellesley.
Project: Pop-Up is now accepting applications for retailers, artists, and other small businesses looking to take their concepts for a brick-and-mortar test drive in downtown Wellesley.
The program, funded in part through a state grant, provides retail space at a subsidized rate. But act fast: The deadline to apply is tomorrow (Oct. 19). Applications will continue to be accepted on a rolling basis after that, space permitting. Details.
Other Need to Knows
The Head of The Charles returns this weekend Friday-Sunday (Oct. 21-23). As always, it is a great event on our favorite river, a quintessential Boston experience. There will even be some Ukrainian rowers to cheer for.
The Sustainable Business Network of MA is holding an in-person seminar and information session on how businesses and nonprofits can decrease their carbon footprint and be more environmentally responsible, on Oct. 20 at 6 p.m. at the Boston Public Library. Details.
The Newton Theatre Company's Monologue Project is shining a spotlight on a segment of the population that's too often overlooked in our well-off suburbs: Renters. The Oct. 29, 4 p.m. program will feature an afternoon of stories about the reality of renting a home -- the good, the bad, and the bemusing. Details
Lakon Paris Patisserie in Newton Highlands is opening a second location in Brookline's Coolidge Corner (Boston Restaurant Talk)
Scroll down to watch yesterday's chamber state Senate debate between incumbent Sen. Rebecca Rausch (D) and Rep. Shawn Dooley (R). And read a CommonWealth article about the contest here.
D-Line trains are back, for now, T bus plan revised
Riverside Green Line trains are running again this week, following the second of three planned D-Line shutdowns for track and signal upgrades.
The third and final planned closure begins this Saturday (Oct. 22) and through Oct. 30. Shuttle buses will operate once again. There’s a time-lapse video here.
Meanwhile, the MBTA has made some changes to the draft proposal of its Better Bus Project draft after receiving more than 20,000 public comments. They’ll be presenting an update at a virtual meeting on Nov. 2 at 6 p.m. The updated map will be available in advance of the meeting.
All wicked. No local.
Six months ago last week the final editions of the Newton Tab, Needham Times, and Watertown Press landed on lawns in our communities.
“It’s hard to have real democracy in local decision-making when people have fairly little information about what public officials are doing," writes Perry Bacon at the Washington Post.
“News organizations should be a forum through which communities hash out their goals and priorities. They can, through their coverage and selection of writers and columnists, elevate voices who aren’t rich or powerful,” Bacon adds.
It's critical that we all support the fledgling local news sites in each of our communities -- financially and by rolling up our sleeves -- in any way we can.