205 Everett St demolition today

A few thoughts about today's demolition of the house at 205 Everett St that was the subject of blog posts in August 2008 and October 2007.
The property was sold last week for $350,000. The City assessment for the property was much too low. The City thinks the land value is $159,000. According to the demolition permit it cost $10,000 to demolish it, so the City was off by $200,000. I've written in other locations about the City assessing land for much less than a developer will pay for it and I think it is time for our cash-strapped City to catch up with the reality of the market.
This is a prominent location in our neighborhood. We should watch closely to see what the City and developer are interested in having built here and make sure we speak up loudly if the proposal is another 6 or 8 units of dorm-style apartments (like what has been built on Raymond and Adamson recently) that is contrary to our community goals for more ownership, more families, and more stability and diversity in our neighborhood.


  1. I thought I was going to cry when I saw them taking that beautiful house down. I can't believe it sold for just $350K.

  2. In another show of the sad state of affairs:
    I just found Rosie Hanlon's poor dog wandering the streets, I called animal control because the dog looks poorly cared for and the number on the tag was disconnected.

    Also lets wait and see what gets done with that land. We don't really know if the property had any structural problems, etc.

  3. Anonymous4:33 PM

    The demolition was Saturday morning, actually. We happened to be walking by and spoke to one of the demolition guys, who was actually quite sympathetic to our distress -- he told us that apparently the house was termite-ridden and just about rotted through, structurally. I too wanted to cry when I saw it coming down, but the real tragedy was that it was allowed to deteriorate like that.

    Two town houses are going up there, according to the guy we spoke to. He claims that they are very moderately scaled and will not overwhelm the site, but of course we'll have to see.

  4. This was such a glaring instance of demolition by neglect.
    There are ordinances in other cities to prevent demolition by neglect - why is it allowed here? Do officials turn the other cheek for the right price? Or do they just not care about our neighborhood?

  5. Anonymous4:27 PM

    It is too bad they are going to be twonhouses, if that is what is going in there. I nice two family would look and fit in so much nicer there. I also hope that the construction of the building is done with better work than what was done on Franklin Street and Everett. Those "Townhouses" are already peeling and falling apart. What a shame.

  6. Anonymous4:26 PM

    Property taxes are based on the value of the LAND, not the house that rests on it. The sale price has nothing to do with the assessed value for purposes of property taxes.

  7. Property taxes are based on the value of the property. This is the sum of the value of the land AND the value of the house that rests on it.

    This building at 205 Everett was assessed at $288,900. The land was assessed at $159,000. The total assessed value is the sum of these values, $447,900.

    The assessed value of a property is supposed to equal the property's fair market value. The City's opinion was that on January 1, 2007 this land was worth $159,000. Less than two years later the land sold for $360,000 (purchase price + demolition price) and prices in the overall Boston market in Aug 2008 are lower than they were in Jan 2007. So, I stand by my statement in the original post, the City was $200,000 low in their assessment.


  8. Anonymous2:17 PM

    Even if that was the case:


    Can't increase more than 2.5%/yr.

  9. Prop 2 1/2 does nothing to limit an increase for a specific property. From your own source:

    "These limits refer to the entire amount of the annual tax levy raised by a municipality"

    It limits the total real estate tax that the city collects. There is no limit on the amount of tax increase that each property on its own can have.

  10. Anonymous10:48 PM

    How can you drastically increase the amount of property taxes collected on an individual unit by more than 2.5% and not go over the gross 2.5% limit?

    Explain this to us oh wise one? Did no other properties go up in value? Did others go down in value to offset the massive increase of this one property. No, they all freaking when up in value, way more than 2.5% Thus, the simple solution is what the city does, which is increase the assessed value for everyone by approx. 2.5% so that no individuals are assessed with a crazy tax increase. Like, oh....say retirees, people with disabilities, and pretty much anyone with a fixed income or one what is generally just adjusted for inflation.

  11. There is no limit on the amount of tax increase that an specifc property might see, and it is possible for a city's overall taxes to increase by more than 2 1/2%.

    The levy limit provision of Proposition 2.5 affects the total amount of taxes to be raised by a city or town. It does not apply to an individual tax bill.

    From a Dec 19, 1997 Globe story:
    "The average property tax bill for a Boston homeowner will increase by $60 next year -- a 3.8 percent hike -- under new tax rates released yesterday by the city's Department of Assessing."

    "Under Proposition 2 1/2, the city is required to limit its property tax levy to no more than a 2.5 percent increase a year and the total levy cannot exceed 2.5 percent of the value of taxable property. Provisions in the law, however, allow municipalities to seek some additional taxes to help finance new construction and growth."

    "The proposal, which is awaiting approval from the state Department of Revenue, is projected to levy an overall 4.4 percent increase in property tax payments over last year -- generating $32.7 million in additional revenue for Boston."

    "property taxes on the office towers will rise by 7.2 percent, or $5.82 per square foot, next year."

  12. Further confirmation from Sunday's Globe:

    "The average single-family property tax bill in the state rose between 3.7 percent and 6.7 percent in each of the past 10 years... decreased assessments and a struggling economy do not mean decreased taxes and that Proposition 2 1/2 does not mean individual taxes cannot rise more than 2 1/2 percent a year. The 2 1/2 percent refers to the overall tax collections, not individual tax bills."