Joe Curtatone, mayor of Somerville, is proposing a 1% transfer tax on real estate sales to help pay for new affordable housing units, according to Wicked Local Somerville. Curtatone is quoted, saying:
“We need to be a city that is just as much a home for the people who are working their way up, as it is for those who have already made it,” Curtatone said. “The math is simple. If the region does not build the housing we need and if Somerville does not build the 9,000 units we need, no amount of affordable housing programs alone will be able to keep the cost of the home or rent reasonable for all of us.”
(He also said the requisite, “Somerville will lead the way on affordability,” and he guaranteed that the Green Line extension would be constructed. )
I’m not sure what it means to “move forward” on new laws and regulations in Somerville, but considering that Somerville homeowners pay a 1.5 percent tax for the Community Preservation Act, Curtatone’s plan sounds pretty ambitious.
It’s hard to envision Newton’s leadership proposing such a plan.