Boston reaps tax windfall from new construction

Boston will reap a tax windfall from its building boom.
Boston will reap a tax windfall from its building boom.Jonathan Wiggs/Globe staff

Boston’s building boom is paying off for the city.

In a report, the Wall Street rating service Moody’s estimated Boston will receive nearly $75 million in additional property tax revenue this fiscal year from all the new buildings that came on line.

The firm estimated that some $4.3 billion worth of new real estate will be added to the tax rolls in fiscal year 2017. That is nearly double the $2.3 billion added last year, and is easily the biggest increase on record.

Most of the new construction — 60 percent, Moody’s said — comes from residential buildings, which the Walsh administration has been encouraging as a way to keep the city’s high housing costs in check.


Many Boston homeowners should see a windfall from the new construction in the form of lower property taxes. Anticipating the new revenue, the city this year boosted its residential exemption for homeowners for the first time in 17 years. The Walsh administration estimates that the average single-family homeowner will save $299, and the average tax bill for a single-family home will drop to $3,254, its lowest level since 2011.

Thanks to both the city’s large commercial tax base and the residential exemption — which only 13 cities and towns in Massachusetts offer — Boston homeowners already pay relatively low property tax bills. The average homeowner in Quincy, for example, will pay $5,638 this year, according to the Massachusetts Department of Revenue, while Newton homeowners average $11,346.

Tim Logan can be reached at timothy.logan@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter at @bytimlogan.