The Globe has an article saying that I wasn't correct about the the politicians kids being in their first choice of schools.
I was first tipped off to this intriguing story when Michael Flaherty came to our neighborhood last summer for a kitchen table talk and talked about how families were leaving the city if they didn't get their first choice of schools. He then told our neighborhood group about how he was lucky to win the lottery and get his kid into his preferred school.
Earlier this year, we called Sam Yoon's office and they confirmed that Sam had also gotten lucky and received his first choice of schools. The Mayor would not answer questions, but has spoken about his grandkids being in one of the better Boston public schools not one of the failing schools that he wants to turn into "in district charters". The Globe article just takes the Menino spokesman's word for it without evidence.
I probably would have been more accurate in saying what a coincidence it is that all three candidates have their kids in good public schools, not the 55 Menino wants to turn to Charters. I watched the debate tonight, and you can see that Keller cut me off right when I was about to say "why don't we expand the cap on the public schools that these politicians send their kids to."
Drop out rate in Cambridge: Here is the link to the State statistics on dropouts: Boston is 21 % Cambridge is 4%.
Here is information on the 121A tax break for the One Beacon Tower:
Ch. 121A is an urban renewal statute that provided for 40-year tax-exemption for new construction of affordable housing in blighted areas. The developer pays a lower negotiated state excise tax which is given back to the City as a Payment in Lieu of Taxes. Developments qualify for 121A tax agreements if the BRA declares the area "blighted" and then declares the project a “public purpose.” There are many of these agreements around the city.
Ch. 121A projects save one-third to one-half on their property taxes. In Boston, there are about two dozen 121As that are not affordable housing. The BRA has a practice of selling these tax breaks to each subsequent buyer of One Beacon Street. As if One Beacon Street is somehow a “Blighted” property. They sell or extort these tax breaks for $1 per square foot from each new buyer of the property, who is happy to give the BRA $1.1 million dollars because they save many millions more in property taxes, taxes the citizens of Boston do not receive.
One Beacon Street is a 1.1 million square foot tower. It was sold in 2000, 2004 and 2006. Each time, the BRA wrote up a Cooperation Agreement for $1.1 million to be paid to the BRA as a “voluntary contribution” by the owners for "affordable housing" and other purposes. Since 2000, One Beacon has been spared an average of $5 million a year in property taxes via the 121A. In short, the BRA, to rake in $3.3 million in kickbacks, has cost the City of Boston about $40 million in property taxes since 2000.
City of Boston: $10.63
City of Cambridge: $7.56 per thousand
Link to how much money the City has on hand: City with $100 million plus more money