By Conor Ahern. Download as PDF. Split-rate taxation is a concept that would thoroughly benefit the City of Boston. This type of taxation has tremendous potential without the risks associated with other revenue-generating schemes. In the short term, split-rate taxation is revenue-neutral and would alleviate many of Boston’s entrenched municipal problems without risking undermining urban development. In the long term, split-rate taxation promotes density, efficiency, lowered rents, an enhanced tax base, decreased environmental impact, and numerous other potential benefits.In this memorandum I advocate that Massachusetts law be amended to permit municipalities to engage in differential taxation within given land usage categorizations. I provide a brief explanation of split-rate taxation—its underpinning assumptions, its potential benefits, its barriers to implementation, and its successful (if limited) deployment. I argue that the criticisms and skepticism of split-rate taxation’s feasibility do not apply to Boston, then enumerate the benefits Boston could expect to reap were this taxation system to be deployed.
Cecilia Ugarte Baldwin, Rappaport Fellow in Law and Public Policy 2007
by Jane Whitehead
The most predictable part of Cecilia Ugarte Baldwin’s day may be her early morning run. Baldwin, 33, Deputy Director of Cabinet Affairs in the Executive office of Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick, is a marathon runner who gets up around 5.45 most mornings to fit in a training run before work. Once she reaches her cramped quarters under the eaves of the historic State House, says Baldwin, an Arizona native, “there’s no such thing as a typical day.” Continue reading
Eric Batcho, Rappaport Fellow in Law and Public Policy, Summer 2008
by Jane Whitehead
Eric Batcho’s commute is a five-minute walk from his Beacon Hill apartment to the Tip O’Neil Federal Building. Since August 2010 he has worked there as an attorney in the Office of the General Counsel in the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD.)
In Batcho’s ideal world, short, car-free commutes would be the norm. From the time he entered the Master’s Program in Urban Planning at Harvard Design School, to his graduation from Boston College Law School in 2010, he has been intrigued by policies and regulations that shape the built environment, and by learning how they can create “a livable environment more suited to pedestrians and bikes.” With the support of a Rappaport Fellowship in Law and Public Policy from May-August 2008, between his first and second years in law school, he was able to explore the world of land use and permitting issues as an intern at the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (DEP.) Continue reading