Saturday, July 11, 2009

Close the Zoo or take away the affordable tax credit for One Beacon?

Today the Globe has an article about the Franklin Park Zoo which may have to close down due to state budget cuts.

I was actually up at Franklin Park last weekend visiting cook outs and went over to the zoo. It is having a free day on July 24th (I think) for all to visit.

A few things struck me about the article. One is how the "public/private partnership" which runs the operation won't tell how much they are being paid for the movie rights. Not very public or transparent.

The other is how close the budget of the zoo is to the tax break given each year to the One Beacon Street tower for being in a blighted area. Every year they receive a tax break that was initially designed for affordable housing in blighted areas of between 5 and 8 million dollars. It is a Chapter 121A tax break. The juxtaposition of the One Beacon tower on beautiful Beacon Hill, just down from the State House and Franklin Park which is in the heart of Dorchester and Roxbury is striking.

When will our society stop giving tax breaks to the rich, while crying poor and shutting down cultural attractions in poorer sections of town?

1 comment:

Shava said... the early 70's it had been the sight of a razed old department store that had gone out of business in the 30's, and leased to offices and run down since. It was a parking lot for five years until Commercial Union Insurance agreed to develop the land (I knew folks who worked there in the 70's).

However, my understanding is that those tax abatements are supposed to run something like 15 years. My math has it that 1972 to 2009 runs a bit over that. Wonder if doing renovations every few years extends it somehow?

This scan is an article from the NYTimes on CU's initial plans to build on that spot.

It has been there for decades, even if I do remember it when it was young...:)

Shava (showing her age)