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How Property Tax Overrides Affect Massachusetts Consumers

In our bankruptcy blog, we try to inform our clients of an array of consumer issues that will have an impact on their finances and investments. Many of our Boston area clients, in and around Boston, have homes; many of those homes are their largest investment. With the economy precarious, and the job situation bleak, we hear some of our clients talking about voting against Proposition 2 ½ overrides. A new study by Northeastern Professor Barry Bluestone, Dean of the School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs, clearly indicates that, in the long run, voting in favor of overrides, notwithstanding the increased taxes, has a direct correlation to enhancing home, therefore investment, value.

The study compares 176 towns in the Commonwealth using SAT scores and per pupil spending on the one hand and housing values on the other. In Hull, for example, the proposed tax increase would have cost the average household $506 per year, or $2,530 over five years; however, the home value, according to the statistics metric, would have increased $9,970.
The study, undertaken with Ph.D. candidate Anna Gartsman, indicates that consumers, and especially homeowners, need to look at the long term consequences of these important decisions. In Massachusetts, there have been 389 override votes, with 165 rejected.