Boston authorities plan to increase property fines


Boston city councilors plan to increase fines for owners of derelict properties tenfold.

Councilors Lydia Edwards, Kenzie Bok and Liz Breadon presented a bylaw petition on Wednesday that would raise the city’s fine cap from $ 300 to $ 3,000.

Edwards, the main sponsor, stressed that this would not increase the fines yet – it would simply increase the limit, allowing the board in the future to set fines at any level up to that rate.

The three sponsors all said the $ 300 fines just don’t give big developers enough incentive to fix anything.

“A lot of times if you’re a wealthy developer or just waiting for someone to buy your property it’s not expensive,” Edwards said at the board meeting.

Bok, whose district includes Beacon Hill and Back Bay, added, from the lowest amount, “It really encourages some players to just waive the fine.”

Breadon, who represents Allston-Brighton, said the current level of the fine might encourage homeowners to sort things out, but “leaves big, chronic offenders undeterred”.

“It’s almost considered the cost of doing business in Boston,” she said.

This is an autonomy petition, which is essentially a request from the city to the state to allow it to change its governing charter. Any autonomy petition requires the approval of the council, the signature of the mayor, the passage of both houses of the Legislative Assembly and the approval of the governor to enter into force.

They are often difficult to pass in a timely manner, but necessary for many important changes in the functioning of municipal government. The process is often quite frustrating for city-level officials – so much so that Edwards cited these types of municipal government limitations as the reason she is running for the State Senate.

Councilor Ed Flynn, who, along with South Boston resident Councilor Michael Flaherty, pioneered the idea of ​​tougher penalties for property owners who are frequently the target of noise complaints, suggested they look into this as the hearings progress. the rule at home.

All 12 advisers have signed the measure, which will now go to committee for hearings.


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